Today we’ll finally find out if LadBaby has clinched a record-breaking fourth Christmas number one in a row with Sausage Rolls For Everyone, or if he remains in the same camp as The Beatles and Spice Girls at a measly, paltry three in a row.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas number one day!
Next year marks 70 years of the Christmas number one that separates the men from the boys and while we simply don’t have the brainpower this close to the big day (i.e. today) to count down all 68 of the crowned bops thus far from decades gone by, we figured we can rank the top 20 in celebration.
In the meantime, though, let’s take a walk down memory lane. From Merry Christmas (or Xmas if you’re of the Slade persuasion) Everyone, to Stay Another Day, Do They Know It’s Christmas and *checks notes* Killing In The Name, below you’ll find our 20 favourite hits, starting from least-most favourite to most-most favourite. Some picked because they truly are bangers, others because they’re good for a laugh.
It’s Christmas – let’s not make it that deep.
Can We Fix It? – Bob The Builder
The title of this song is what was probably said by Westlife’s manager when they landed in the second spot in 2000 behind a cartoon character and his talking front-end-loader (not a euphemism – this is a child’s song for god’s sake).
Can’t get past a truly novelty number one though, especially when it’s marketed to those who still think Santa exists. I can’t help but think it got to the top spot the same way Baby Shark dominated the charts: mums and dads without parental locks on their phone and credit cards.
Goodbye – Spice Girls
The final of the Spice Girls Christmas number ones (so far…wink) Goodbye was the first song released without Geri Halliwell’s vocals after she departed the band between Christmas number one number two, 1997’s Too Much, and this here number three.
While not a Christmas song, the women were totally gunning for a hattrick festive topper with that film clip…
Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
I mean, it’s just a fun song isn’t it? It’s wildly inoffensive, incredibly festive and something the shopping malls can play without fear of a bad word slipping in as you peruse the tinsel. Because people who buy tinsel are most definitely fans of Shakin’ Stevens.
Somethin’ Stupid – Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman
Right after Robbie love-baited us with Kylie Minogue duet Kids, which got us way too hot under the collar than we’re willing to admit, he goes and tones things down for a wholesome (you know, apart from the bits where they’re doing it) tune with another Aussie in 2001.
Even if you don’t care for the song, the film clip is a glorious mashup of 60s kitsch and Christmas.
A Moment Like This – Leona Lewis
Ah, back when The X Factor basically dictated what the Christmas Number One would be. Full disclosure, nothing beats Bleeding Love, but it’s not a Christmas Number One and this is a list about Christmas Number ones so here we are.
Seems that while winning X Factor appeared to promise you a number one this time of year, it didn’t promise you stickability and the song was only on the charts for a moment like this. Just kidding, it was number one for, like, four weeks.
Don’t You Want Me – Human League
Ah, yes, what the pack of Celebrations taunts me with from the pantry come 10am on December 25.
1981 brought us this banger which topped the chart and provided us the perfect karaoke duet to perform at the Christmas party with Kevin from accounting.
Mad World – Michael Andrews and Gary Jules
You lot really love your morose Christmas number ones, don’t you?
This is a beautiful song and an enduring classic, the cover of Tears For Fears’ 1982 hit, but I just have to ask – were you ok in 2003?
Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) – Pink Floyd
We don’t need no education (ignore the double negative), nor do we need our Christmas hits to have anything to do with Christmas, as was the case in 1979 with this little ditty.
It’s a rock classic and the perfect tune to Stick It To The Man.
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
AKA what I say to the last bottle of Baileys as Christmas draws to a close for another year. Honestly, this 1992 hit is nothing about Christmas, everything about the feelings. Arguably one of the best songs ever, so was always going to score high here.
Earth Song – Michael Jackson
Nothing like a spot of deforestation, slain elephants and war to get you in the festive spirit. Another tune that has nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with making you feel horrible about the state of the planet, Jacko’s 1995 hit lands on our list because, frankly, what a song.
Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke
I know the country froths for these X Factor hits so I’m throwing you all a bone here. Truth be told, Hallelujah is a classic outside the designated Christmas song parameters and Alexandra absolutely sings the crap out of it.
Lonely This Christmas – Mud
Definitely your grandma’s favourite Christmas song, this is the perfect accompaniment to the afternoon spent rubbing your swollen belly after one too many yorkies.
This slow tune dominated the festive charts in 1974 and doesn’t the music video show that.
But for all those currently isolating due to *gestures around* just don’t read too much into the lyrics.
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
Let me stress this is most definitely the 1984 version and not the 2004 do-over. You just can’t beat the original and, sure, the various reboots continued to raise bajillions for those in need, but why mess with the original just to let them know it’s Christmastime at all?
Sound Of The Underground – Girls Aloud
Girls Aloud’s 2002 bop Sound Of The Underground was what got us into this whole mess, as they began the trend of singing contest winners dominating the Christmas number one, back when the bangers weren’t effectively promised the top slot.
It’s not even a touch festive, but from listening to songs about sausage rolls for the past four years I quite like that.
Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys
The reason I love this song is not just because it’s a classic banger, but because its success meant that The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York was not a Christmas number one single in 1987 and, frankly, we hear enough of that song every bloody year so let’s hear it for the (Pet Shop) Boy(s).
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Another incredibly un-festive song, but a classic that had it not reached the top of the Christmas charts I’d still probably find a way to shoehorn it into this article.
Freddie Mercury singing to his mother about killing a man in 1975 doesn’t really fill you with festive cheer but the fact Killing In The Name got to the top of the charts tells me the Brits love a bit of morbidity come December 25 (especially seeing as it got number one again in 1991). Anyway, doesn’t really matter to me.
Merry Xmas Everyone – Slade
Did Slade beat Shakin’ Stevens on this list because they arguably put out a better song, or because the slight tweak of the spelling of Christmas appeals to this abbreviate-everything-because-I’m-Australian’s very being?
Who’s to say?
2 Become 1 – Spice Girls
The Spice Girls have pumped out three number one hits come Christmas (Goodbye and Too Much being the other two) but 2 Become 2 is a stone-cold, stuck in the snow classique and I won’t hear a word against this homage to safe sex.
Because, honestly, sex doesn’t get much safer sex than immaculate conception, surely.
‘I had a little love, now I’m back for more’ is also, funnily enough, what I say to the pigs in blankets on my return journeys to the kitchen on Christmas Day.
Stay Another Day – East 17
The song that is nothing to do with Christmas but has the most festive music video of all time. Go figure. That’s all well and jolly, but this tops my Christmas cake merely down to the fact Stay Another Day managed to pip the unofficial Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey and her yuletide mainstay All I Want For Christmas Is You in 1994. I live for the chaos.
Even if you don’t rate this tune, you have to applaud its ability to beat that song, before that song went on to become the annual meme hit of our generation.
Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine
Sorry, but this can’t not be the top of this list. It was voted the best Christmas number one by a bunch of people on Twitter after initially taking the crown in 2009 – I challenge you to find me a more solid way of wielding democracy – and its sheer lack of festive joy warms this troll’s heart.