The Greedies "A Merry Jingle" (1979)

The Greedies were a short-lived late-‘70’s supergroup featuring three members of Thin Lizzy (Phil Lynott, Scott Gorham, and Brian Downey) and two refugees from the Sex Pistols (Steve Jones and Paul Cook). It certainly seemed like an odd mixture, considering that the Sex Pistols and other punk rockers were seen as rebelling against arena rockers such as the Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. However, the late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott took an interest in the late-‘70’s punk rock scene, befriending a number of its bands and acting like a sort of “elder brother” to the movement. Lynott formed the Greedies (that name was shortened from the less marketable Greedy Bastards) with Jones and Cook, and the three of them – along with other prominent musician friends – performed a few club gigs playing Thin Lizzy songs and post-Johnny Rotten Pistols songs.

The only Greedies recording was a Christmas single titled “A Merry Jingle”, released in 1979 in the U.K., the Netherlands, and Australia. Lynott’s usual bandmates Gorham and Downey also took part in this single. The A-side is a rock medley of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”. It bears more resemblance to a Lizzy tune than a Pistols song. Although the punk rock tension is there if you listen for it, the song mostly comes across as a good-natured arena-rocking carol that is as easy to swallow as a Christmas cookie.

On the other hand, the B-side “A Merry Jangle” is a more irreverent and avant-garde track, a little more up the Pistols’ alley. It basically sounds like the A-side being played backwards, and it seems to be full of subliminal messages about how the Greedies were supposedly only in it for the money. Sid Vicious might have dug it.

The Greedies - A Merry Jingle / A Merry Jangle

The Greedies “A Merry Jingle” (b/w “A Merry Jangle”) single (Vertigo GREED1) 1979

Track Listing:

a. A Merry Jingle
b. A Merry Jangle