New 4K video of Greg Lake's I Believe In Father Christmas released

Greg Lake
(Image credit: Greg Lake)

Greg Lake's evergreen Christmas classic I Believe In Father Christmas is due to be re-released for Christmas 2020 thanks to the restoration of the original video to 4K. You can watch the brand new video in full below.

The song features on the recently released The Anthology - A Musical Journey which features music from Emerson Lake & PalmerKing Crimson, Lake's solo career, 1967's Don't Go 'Way Little Girl, recorded with The Shame and 1969 psych rarity Love recorded with The Shy Limbs.

Despite it's strong anti-commercial message I Believe In Father Christmas remains a warm, catchy and enduringly popular Christmas song. The single was originally a hit worldwide in 1975, reaching Number 2 in the UK charts and selling over 13,000 copies in two days only to be kept from the UK number one slot by Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Greg, who died on 7th December 2016, aged 69, co-wrote the single with Pete Sinfield. ELP’s keyboardist Keith Emerson had encouraged each member of the band to come up with solo material, so in 1975 Lake teamed up with lyricist Sinfield to create something out of a “Christmassy” chord sequence Lake had written.

The result was thoughtful, but melodic too: a humanist, Christmas song that also manages to warm the cockles. By adding a snippet of twinkling sleigh-ride music by classical composer Sergei Prokofiev at Keith Emerson's suggestion, summoning the sparkle of Christmas, creating, as Sinfield has said, “a picture-postcard Christmas, with morbid edges."

This new 4K version of the original promo video has been painstakingly and expertly restored from a recently discovered rare copy of the original film for I Believe In Father Christmas which was shot partly on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and in the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The video includes previously unseen footage from the Vietnam War and was directed by Arnould Schwartzman who went on to win an Oscar in 1982 for his film Genocide.

The new video restoration included manually cleaning the film to remove the sticky residue from the sellotape joins to allow it to pass freely through the scanner, rebuilding the cuts to remove the jumps, recreating damaged frames based on those surrounding it, frame by frame dirt and scratch clean and eve repainting in camel legs!

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.