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So now the rush for the number one chart spot at prime selling time is over, it seems a good time to look back and see what other songs made it to number one over the Christmas period…

10. Tom Jones – Green Green Grass of Home
Sales: 1.2 Million
Date: 1966

A Country song that Tom Jones covered and brought up to Christmas number one, breaking The Beatles’ 3-year run of consecutive Christmas number ones.

9. Whitney Houston – I will always love you
Sales: 1.36 Million
Date: 1992

The second cover in this list, Whitney covered Dolly Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You” and spent 14 weeks at the number 1 spot on the billboard singles chart.

8. Beatles – We Can Work It Out/ Day Tripper
Sales: 1.39 Million
Date: 1965

The world’s first double A-sided single was also a Christmas number one.   The Beatles’ third successive Christmas number one.

7. Beatles – I Feel Fine
Sales: 1.41 Million
Date: 1964

A riffy rock song took the top spot in ’64 when Lennon reworked a riff from “Eight Days a Week” into a smash hit.

6. Human League – Don’t You Want Me
Sales: 1.43 Million
Date: 1981

The first electronic track to hit this list, the 80s British synthpop group The Human League took the top spot and the single remains their most commercially successful release.

5. Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand
Sales: 1.75 Million
Date: 1963

This was the first Beatles song to use a 4 track recorder and to be produced in Stereo.   It was also their first number 1 in America and began the British invasion of the US music charts.

4. Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord
Sales: 1.79 Million
Date: 1978

The first song in the list to be related to Christmas, Boney M brought their interpretation of Harry Belafonte’s 1956 hit to the masses with an upbeat pop track that was recorded just a month before it hit the number 1 spot!

3. Wings – Mull of Kintyre
Sales: 2.05 Million
Date: 1977

The first single to be classified “Rhodium” (after “Platinum”), Paul McCartney’s tribute to the place in Scotland that he lived and recorded was the biggest selling single of all time.

2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
Sales: 2.1 Million
Date: 1975/1991

Freddy Mercury wrote Queen’s Magnum Opus as something a bit different, with an unusual “mock opera” format that didn’t have any specific chorus.   The public loved it, however, and it shot straight to number one in 1975 and again after Mercury’s Death in 1991.

1. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Sales: 3.55 Million
Date: 1984

The biggest selling Christmas number 1 ever, Bob Geldof’s brainchild to raise money for famine in Ethiopia brought together some of the biggest selling British and Irish musicians of the time.   From George Michael to Bono, Sting, Kool and the Gang, Status Quo and Boy George among others, the single outsold every other song in the chart put together.   Quite an accolade!

Special Mention: In 2009, Rage against the Machine was the first artist to get in the christmas number one spot through downloads alone with the backing of a facebook group who decided they’d had enough of the X-factor contestants taking the chart year after year.

The “Killing in the Name” campaign was supported by celebrities such as Dave Grohl, Sir Paul McCartney (who actually appeared on the X Factor as well) and the band Muse, as well as comedians Stephen Fry and Bill Bailey.

Just goes to show what you can do with the Internet!


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