As the holiday season begins to gear up, UK music icon LIMAHL has unpacked his Christmas song “London for Christmas” that he released a few years ago and decided it was due for an update. Retitled “One Wish For Christmas,” and set for release on November 13, 2020, the new track revisits the perennial favorite and re-stages it with the current pandemic in mind.
The original version of his song “London For Christmas” was released in 2012 and re-released last year. Originally set in London and namechecking many of the city’s memorable landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Mayfair, the Thames River, West End, The London Eye, and Big Ben as the backdrop for the romantic track, the new version keeps the setting intact but adds a bit of yearning for Christmases past.
“I was very happy with the song and as usual was planning to re-release it as is. However, this year during COVID, I was thinking about the lyrics and how they’ll have more value/poignancy because they talk about the many things we’re all unable to do, such as travel/tourism, romantic hotel/city break, cocktail bar, theatre, etc.,” Limahl explains. “With all the extra time in lockdown to be creative and as it’s been eight years since we first wrote it, we decided to revisit the production.”
Adding lush strings, orchestral arrangements, and new vocals and a tweak to the lyrics, “One Wish For Christmas” takes on a whole new life this holiday season. “While lying awake one morning in bed, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be a nice Christmas gift to get some more recognition for ‘London For Christmas,” he recalls. “I started singing in my head ‘one gift for Christmas’ then ‘one gift’ became ‘one wish’ and then a little voice said, ‘That’s not a bad title’.” Immediately messaging his co-writers, Jon Nickoll and Ian Curnow, the three decided that an updated version of the song was needed and they got to work.
“I love Christmas and some of the great holiday songs like ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire)’,” he smiles, and it had always been a longtime goal to comprise his own holiday song.
Featured in three popular US TV shows last year, Limahl re-entered pop culture awareness and he laughs, “my Spotify monthly streams jumped from 300,000 to 1.5 million!” In reality, Limahl never really left pop culture prominence. His worldwide smashes “Neverending Story” and “Too Shy” (with band Kajagoogoo) were featured on hit television series Black Mirror (Episode: “Bandersnatch”), American Horror Story (Season Nine: “1984”) and Stranger Things (Season Three).
Winning the hearts of millions of fans in the 80s as the lead singer of British band Kajagoogoo, Limahl enjoyed the instant celebrity of hitting the top of the charts with their debut single “Too Shy” which was followed by two more Top 20 hits “Ooh To Be Ah” and “Hang On Now” (all of which he co-wrote). Limahl struck out on his own and soon re-emerged in the charts again with his first solo single “Only For Love.” That was quickly followed with the Giorgio Moroder–produced worldwide smash “Neverending Story,” the theme song from the hit film of the same name.
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