By Dan Lane
With more records sold in the run up to Christmas than a typical chart week, the Christmas Number 1 is THE chart topper every artist wants to achieve. And it has been this way since the Official Singles Chart began 60 years ago.
To have a Christmas Number 1 on your musical CV means you really are the best of the best; capturing the heats and minds of the nation… That, or you’ve managed to dazzle the British public with your, um, uniqueness (yes, we’re talking about you Mr Blobby).
However, not all of the biggest selling Christmas singles have been to Number 1 (two in the Top 10 peaked at Number 2, and one peaked at Number 5), and not all of the biggest selling Christmas singles have necessarily been, well, Christmassy.
To celebrate Christmas 2012 and 60 years of the Official Singles Chart, the Official Charts Company reveal the biggest selling Christmas songs of all time. These tracks may or may not have religious overtones, but have nevertheless captured the essence of what this special time of year is about.
At Number 1 on the countdown is Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? - the landmark charity single helmed by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to help raise funds and awareness for the 1984 Ethiopian famine. Featuring an all-star cast including members of The Who, U2 and Genesis to name but a few, Do They Know It’s Christmas? has sold a staggering 3.7 million copies to date and is the second biggest selling single of all time. The 20th anniversary version of the track is at Number 6 in the countdown with sales of 1.17 million copies.
Mary's Boy Child also appears twice in the Top 10, making its first appearance at Number 2 with Boney M's 1978 rendition (which has sales of 1.85 million copies), while Harry Belafonte's 1957 original is at Number 5 (with sales of 1.18 million).
Wham!'s Last Christmas, which we can officially confirm is the biggest selling Christmas song to have never reached Number 1, is at Number 3 in the chart with sales of 1.68 million. The Top 5 is completed by Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody at Number 4, which has sales of 1.21 million copies to date.
The full Top 10 is as follows:
|SINGLE TITLE||ARTIST||YEAR||PEAK POSITION|
|1||DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?||BAND AID||1984||1|
|2||MARY'S BOY CHILD||BONEY M||1978||1|
|4||MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY||SLADE||1973||1|
|5||MARY'S BOY CHILD||HARRY BELAFONTE||1957||1|
|6||DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?||BAND AID 20||2004||1|
|7||WHITE CHRISTMAS||BING CROSBY||1942||5|
|8||FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK||THE POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL||1987||2|
|9||THE MILLENNIUM PRAYER||CLIFF RICHARD||1999||1|
|10||WHEN A CHILD IS BORN||JOHNNY MATHIS||1976||1|
© 2012 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.Back