Landing Christmas number one is feat every artist undeniably sets their sights on and over the years we’ve had some real hits, whether they’re festive themed or not.
This year’s Christmas number one race kicks off today, with the artist or band coming out on top in 2020 set to be revealed on Christmas Day.
It’s a tough race, with LadBaby hoping to score his third consecutive number one, while Mariah Carey is hoping she can storm straight to the top of the charts with her iconic hit All I Want For Christmas Is You – albeit 26 years after it was released.
Liam Gallagher, Jess Glynne and Justin Bieber are all in the running too, with even Robbie Williams and Towie’s Gemma Collins getting in on the action and dropping holiday hits.
But as the fight for 2020 heats up, we’re taking a look back at the Christmas number ones of years past and pulled out our top 10 favourites of all time.
What are the biggest Christmas number ones of all time?
10 – Slade, Merry Xmas Everybody
As soon as things start getting a lil festive, there’s always somebody that can’t resist shouting out ‘IT’S CHRISTMAAAAS’ a la Slade and for that reason alone, how can it not be in our top 10?
The ’70s were a real hoot for Christmas number ones, with the likes of Boney M, Pink Floyd and Mud all landing the coveted top spot, but it’s Slade’s feel good festive hit that is guaranteed to get everyone up dancing and singing along.
It landed number one in 1973 and remained at the top for nine whole weeks.
9 – Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You
While it might not be hugely recognised as a Christmas number one, Whitney’s famous hit – that was originally penned by Dolly Parton – reigned supreme in 1992 and topped the charts for a then record-breaking 14 weeks.
Her stunning vocals say it all, really. This song will never not make you cry and leave you feeling all fuzzy inside.
8 – Alexandra Burke, Hallelujah
So the 2000s were pretty much dominated by The X Factor winners, including Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis, but Alexandra’s debut single Hallelujah was probably as festive as they got.
A re-release of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up tried to derail her chart success in 2008, but just as graceful as those spine-tingling vocals of hers, Alexandra pipped him to the post. A big key change, a video of emotional flashbacks, a talent show success – what more could you want?
7 – Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Band Aid hit number one for the first time in 1984, securing the top spot once again five years later in 1989 and a third time in 2004 with another re-record of Do They Know It’s Christmas?. It saw celebrities come together for a good cause to raise funds for famine relief and it’s probably one of the most well-known Christmas songs to date.
No festive playlist would be complete without a little Band Aid, so here’s to Bob Geldof for creating a real Christmas cracker.
6 – Michael Jackson, Earth Song
Continuing the theme of raising awareness, in 1995 Michael Jackson landed the Christmas number one with his track Earth Song that was penned to highlight the importance of both environmental and animal welfare.
It stayed at number one for six weeks – even keeping The Beatles off the top of the charts after they dropped their first single in 25 years, Free as a Bird. To date, Earth Song has sold a whopping 1.2million copies.
5 – Rage Against The Machine, Killing in the Name
Cast your minds back to 2009 and you’ll remember it was the year that The X Factor was finally defeated in the charts. Usually, it was a no-brainer that the show’s winner would secure the Christmas number one, but then came along Rage Against The Machine and their protest song.
X Factor boss Simon Cowell branded the campaign ‘stupid and cynical’ and poor Joe McElderry didn’t get a look in as Killing in the Name – originally released in 1993 – soared to success, raising £70,000 for homeless charity Shelter while doing so.
4 – Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
This one’s a crowd pleaser all year long, but in 1975, Queen dominated the Christmas charts as they released Bohemian Rhapsody. Fans went wild for it and the song stayed at number one for nine-weeks, with the legendary band racking up more than 1million copies of the hit by January 1976.
Not only one of the biggest songs of all time, but we’re calling it one of the biggest Christmas number ones of all time, as it’s the only track to bag the Christmas number one top spot twice. Following Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991, Bohemian Rhapsody soared straight back to that all-important December top spot.
3 – Spice Girls, 2 Become One
It’s got to be one of the greatest Christmas number one songs, when the track’s not even that festive, but it’s still one that everyone associates with the festive season, and that’s exactly what Spice Girls hit 2 Become One is.
Those cosy winter coats, that dreamy city skyline, VB ice-skating and the traffic lights basically looking like the kind we’d dress our Christmas tree up in – what doesn’t scream Christmas?
After 2 Become One became number one in 1996, the iconic girlband were on a roll, as they scored the Christmas number one both in ’97 and ’98 with Too Much and Goodbye respectively – one of only two bands (the other being The Beatles) to have done so to date.
2 – Shakin’ Stevens, Merry Christmas Everyone
The intro to Shakin’ Stevens track Merry Christmas Everyone is basically that warm Christmas feeling all wrapped up in 10 sweet seconds. You can’t not feel festive once this track starts playing, so it’s no surprise it stormed to number one in 1985.
It’s a fan favourite during the countdown to Christmas, possibly the best on the playlist, and we challenge you to find us one person that doesn’t know every single word, ad-libs and all.
1 – East 17, Stay Another Day
Hands down, East 17 is probably the most iconic Christmas number one of them all and, no, not just because of those white parkers.
It topped the charts in 1994, denying Mariah Carey the number one spot with All I Want For Christmas Is You. There’s not many songs we’d forgive when it comes to Mariah, but the East 17 lads absolutely nailed it with this one.
That boyband power grab, the lingering looks, the romantic ballad, the snow falling and did we mention those matching white parkers? Stay Another Day is that perfect track for sticking on and turning up loud, while you sit in front of a fire, drink mulled wine like there’s no tomorrow and admire your present wrapping handiwork. Christmas in a song, we’ve found it.
While The Beatles just missed out on our top 10, it’s only right that the band gets its own shoutout, as they are the only band to have had the most Christmas number ones over the years.
The Beatles have four Christmas number ones in total; I Want To Hold Your Hand in 1963, I Feel Fine in 1964, Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out in 1965 and Hello, Goodbye in 1967.
Credit: Original article published here.