By Dan Lane
The Christmas Number 1 is the most fiercely contested chart battle of the year, and it has been that way pretty much since the Official Singles Chart began in 1952. Every December sees regular Top 40 hits go head-to-head with festive tracks, novelty singles, charity releases, reality TV show contestants’ singles, campaigns against said reality TV show contestants’ singles, and classic tracks from yesteryear. And with record sales at an annual high over the Christmas period, the Official Christmas Number 1 single is THE chart topper every artist wants to get. Just ask Cliff Richard – he’s had three of them!
“There are more records sold between the end of October and the end of December than the rest of the year put together,” Cliff tells OfficialCharts.com. “I’m not the only person who puts out their records at Christmas – everybody tries to get a piece of that pie.”
If you want to be in with a chance of scoring the 2012 festive top spot, or want to show your support for a particular single that’s in the running, then here’s everything you need to know…
The Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 40 will be counted down on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Reggie Yates between 4 and 7pm next Sunday, (December 23), and the full Top 100 will be posted on www.officialcharts.com at 7pm.
Sales between 00.01 Sunday, December 16 and midnight on Saturday, December 22 will be counted towards the 2012 Official Christmas Singles Chart.
Make sure your single is chart registered so it’s eligible for the Official Singles Chart. Details of how to do this can be found here.
The Official Charts are unique because we compile sales data from over 6,500 physical and digital retailers every day, which is why we are the British music industry’s trusted, official chart. We count sales from online retailers like iTunes and Amazon, as well as high street stores like HMV and Fopp, all the major supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, plus independent record shops too. We pride ourselves on capturing 99% of all singles sold in the UK.
2009 was one of the most exciting chart battles of all time as Rage Against The Machine fans denied X Factor their fifth consecutive Christmas Number 1. The force behind this? Social media! If you’re an artist, focus on building a social media army and rally your followers. Facebook did it for Rage, and last year YouTube helped unsigned musician Alex Day gate-crash the Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 5. With no record label and no manager to speak of, the 22 year old YouTube blogger instead rallied his half a million channel subscribers which helped Forever Yours debut at Number 4.
Chris Evans was a crucial backer of last year’s Christmas Number 1, The Military Wives’ Wherever You Are. Having such a high profile figure as the Radio 2 breakfast show host supporting the campaign helped push the single into the homes of over half a million people. He even kept them going with mince pies while they were carol singing outside London’s Oxford Street HMV!
Christmas is a time for giving, so as well as basking in the potential glory of a Christmas Number 1, why not join forces with a charity and use your track to raise money for a good cause? Band Aid is perhaps the most successful Christmas charity single, topping the Official Christmas Singles Chart in 1984 with Do They Know It’s Christmas? And again in 1989. And again in 2004! It is now the second biggest selling single of all time!
The simple answer to that is more than the Number 2! That said, it’s no mean feat to become a festive chart topper; over the last five years, the average first week sale of a Christmas Number 1 has been 469,000 copies. And it’s on the increase: last year’s Christmas Number 1 sold 556,000 copies in its week of release!
When all else fails, stick on a ridiculous costume (preferably a hideous pink one with yellow spots). After all, it worked for Noel Edmonds’ sidekick Mr Blobby in 1993! The nation is still shuddering!
Every day on OfficialCharts.com we’ll be revealing all the very latest news on this year’s Christmas Number 1 race including exclusive sales updates! Also, make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter to be first to hear who is Number 1!Back