Happy Holidays! Since it’s the first year of my blog, and since it’s the last year for my Annual Holiday Show on my little 20-year-old 80s radio program, STUCK IN THE 80s (on WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine), I wanted to present to you THE 31 DAYS OF 80s XMAS SONGS, or, 31 of my favorite 80s holiday musical treats.
There were many great traditional holiday cover songs released during the 80s, but there were also many wonderful original Xmas compositions released as well. For Day 27 of THE 31 DAYS OF 80s XMAS SONGS, it’s one of those wonderful original compositions – “She Won’t Be Home (Lonely Christmas)” by Erasure.
Released in late November 1988, between Erasure’s third studio album, THE INNOCENTS (released earlier in 1988) and their fourth studio effort, 1989’s WILD! album, “She Won’t Be Home” was part of the four-song CRACKERS INTERNATIONAL EP.
Here in the U.S. at the time of the EP’s release, CRACKERS INTERNATIONAL was only eligible to chart on the BILLBOARD album chart, and it reached a respectable No. 73. However, on the U.K. singles chart in 1988, EPs WERE eligible to chart on the singles chart, and the CRACKERS INTERNATIONAL EP (led by “Stop!” and “She Won’t Be Home”) pushed the release to a big No. 2 peak.
Around the globe, CRACKERS INTERNATIONAL also reached No. 2 in Ireland, and the Top 20 in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Back here in the U.S., Erasure was (finally) enjoying their two biggest hits on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 (both songs from THE INNOCENTS album) – “Chains Of Love” (No. 12, October 1988) and “A Little Respect,” (climbing the chart on Xmas Eve 1988, on its way to a No. 14 peak in March 1989). So, the folks at Sire / Reprise commissioned a special promotional-only 7” single for radio stations with “She Won’t Be Home” on the A-side and Erasure’s stirring version of the traditional “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” on the B-side.
Somewhere along the way, I snagged myself a copy of this special 7” single, and though it was broken (but still sort of playable), I played it on my early STUCK IN THE 80s Xmas shows on WMPG. Eventually, like most music, I was able to find a clean(er) version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” on the Interweb somewhere, and I didn’t have to take a chance with my broken 7” holiday single anymore.
“She Won’t Be Home (Lonely Christmas)” could be lumped into the same category of 80s Synthpop / Pop holiday fare as, say, “Last Christmas” by Wham!, but as a big Erasure fan then (and to this day), I’m pretty okay with that. I’ve loved this holiday gem for a long time…