Welcome to our final instalment of our UK Christmas Number One Singles review. And it has to be the Fifties we’ve arrived at where purely instrumental pieces (Winifred Atwell – “Let’s Have Another Party”) and artists with such names as Conway Twitty could still dominate the charts. Rage against the machine and X-Factor: you’d better run and hide !
The official UK Singles Chart began in 1952, so there are no listings for 1950 or 1951.
Welcome to our UK Christmas Number One Singles review. We have arrived in the Swinging Sixties, where we have the unlikely combination of The Beatles, Cliff Richard and Rolf Harris battling for Christmas chart supremacy. It’s not often that you can mention all of those in one sentence!
Welcome to the Seventies, where we witness the next instalment of our UK Christmas Number One Singles review. Could you think of a more diverse group of artists (in the most broad sense of the word) than Pink Flloyd, Benny Hill, Little Jimmy Osmond, Queen and Boney M? Well, they all shared number one hits in the Seventies.
Welcome as we roll back the years further as we reach the Eighties in our UK Christmas Number One Singles review. Band Aid make two appearances, the original (and best in my opinion) version in 1984 and then the re-hash in 89. That makes three number one spots for Do They Know It’s Christmas in total: 1984, 1989 and 2004. Will there be fourth cover-version?
Welcome to our second installment of UK Christmas Number One Singles – this time we’re taking a look at the nineties, when The Spice Girls, Cliff Richard and Queen were still fighting for the top spot (seems like a long time ago now).
1990 Cliff Richard “Saviour’s Day” (Strange, my memory must be failing me, as I thought Millennium Prayer was his last Christmas Number One.)
1991 Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” / “These Are the Days of Our Lives” (To quote wikipedia: “Bohemian Rhapsody reached number one again in 1991, after Freddie Mercury’s death, achieving total sales of 2,176,000 and becoming the UK’s third best selling single of all time—beaten only by Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997″.)
These Are the Days of Our Lives
1992 Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (Originally released by Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston covered this tune for the movie Bodyguard, in which she starred alongside Kevin Costner.)
1993 Mr Blobby “Mr Blobby” (No comment!)
1994 East 17 “Stay Another Day” (The band’s lead singer Tony Mortimer had written this song about his brother’s suicide, and had not intended it to be a Christmas tune at all, but the record company thought otherwise, added some bells and released it just before Christmas.)
Christmas is drawing ever closer, and here in the UK there is a real fascination about who will have the Number One Single on Christmas Day. In the last few years it has rather predictably always been the winner of X-Factor, so if things go to plan for Simon Cowell and Co this would mean that Joe McElderry’s version of “The Climb” will take the No.1 spot.
Anyway, I thought I might take you through the UK Christmas Number One Singles, decade by decade, starting with our current decade.
2000 Bob The Builder “Can We Fix It?” (probably one of the more embarrassing No. Ones)
2001 Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman “Somethin’ Stupid” (Nicole and Robbie cover Frank and daughter Nancy Sinatra’s hit)
2002 Girls Aloud “Sound of the Underground” (groovy guitar line a la Misirlou)
2003 Michael Andrews & Gary Jules “Mad World” (a hauntingly beautiful reinterpretation of the Tears for Fears original from the eigthies, which sounds very different. It featured in the movie Donnie Darko. This video was shot by French director Michel Gondry, who also made the movies Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind and The Science of Sleep)
2004 Band Aid 20 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (I have to say, I think the original version sounded better – but we’ll get to hear that when we get round to the eighties)
2005 Shayne Ward “That’s My Goal” (I have to be honest here, I cannot remember this one at all!)