A collection of the best Christmas number 1’s of all time.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power of Love
David Seville and The Chipmunks – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas, Don’t Be Late)
Cliff Richard – Saviour’s Day
Tommy Drennan – O Holy Night
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
Johnny Mathis – When A Child Is Born
Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Dickie Valentine – Christmas Alphabet
Boney M. – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
Mud – Lonely This Christmas
Cliff Richard – Mistletoe And Wine
Back in the golden age of record buying the anticipation about the Christmas chart topper went on for many weeks. A Christmas number one was a feather in the cap for most artists and lots of recurring annual cash in their back pockets too. That said a Christmas No. 1 didn’t necessary have to be a Christmas song. How else could you explain Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power of Love’, which has become inextricably linked with the season despite lyrics that betray that association.
The first Christmas number one that was actually written with the season in mind is the largely forgotten ‘Christmas Alphabet’ by Dickie Valentine. It topped the charts for the big day in 1955 and it’s easy to see why given the ebullient style that Valentine dispatches his happy festive thoughts. Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is perhaps the finest example of how to infuse a Christmas song with merry thoughts and boisterous actions. In the wake of its ascension to the summit of the charts in 1973 it has returned without fail every December.
Happiness and Christmas chart toppers generally go hand in hand and while you could be forgiven for bouncing along to Band Aid’s 1984 smash ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ the song came with a serious message. Co-written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure this was a charity single to raise funds for the victims of the Ethiopian famine at the time. The single was hugely successful, raising millions for the cause and inspiring Geldof to organise Live-Aid the following summer.