Song of the Week – December, Teenage Fanclub

Ignored            Obscured             Restored

Teenage Fanclub is a Scottish band that reached the height of its popularity in the ‘90s.  The core band was Norman Blake (vocals, guitar), Raymond McGinley (vocals, lead guitar), and Gerard Love (vocals, bass)  All three were songwriters and worked with an occasional keyboardist and a revolving cast of drummers.

Their most popular album was Bandwagonesque and was voted the Album of the Year by Spin magazine in 1991 (beating out Nirvana’s Nevermind).

The SotW is the timely “December”, written and sung by Love.

Musically, “December” is slower than many TFC songs.  The guitars are reminiscent of their contemporaries, The Jesus and Mary Chain.  A false ending is rescued with strings.

The lyrics are vague, ending with the repeated line “I wanted to assassinate December.”

The band Big Star is often cited as a major influence on TFC and Bandwagonesque, in particular.  That may offer a clue as to what the “assassinate December” line is referencing.  Big Star’s classic “September Gurls” has the line “December boys got it bad.”

It sounds to me like an acknowledgment of the cold, bleakness of December, or the depression that afflicts many people during the holidays.

TFC is still around (albeit without Love) and released an excellent album, Endless Arcade, as recently as 2021.

Enjoy… until next week.

2 thoughts on “Song of the Week – December, Teenage Fanclub

  1. I like TFC but the fact that they beat out Nirvana that year proves once again how hard it is to evaluate art in real time (or the flawed concept of “best of” lists )

    • Thanks Mike. I was thinking about you last night because I was at a concert and Glen Phillips guested with the Watkins Family. I remember you were a Toad fan.

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