20 years of Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas Is You!

We don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing we need…

Every year sees a new crop of Christmas songs, and while lots of them are great, it can be tricky for them to cross over and become a perennial favourite, up there with the old classics from the 60s and 70s.

It’s definitely not an argument we’d like to have – Christmas is all about getting on, after all – but it could be argued that the last modern Christmas song to attain legend status was this little number, celebrating a very special birthday this week…

All I Want For Christmas Is You was a surprise move for perfect-piped chanteuse Mariah Carey, back in 1994. She’d just enjoyed her period of greatest success in the UK, with her first run of consecutive Top 10s and a Number 1 single Without You from chart-topping album Music Box. Everybody wanted to see what she would do next, and, well, a Christmas album probably wasn’t what everyone was expecting.

The seasonal collection Merry Christmas was led by a song that would quickly become a festive classic. All I Want For Christmas Is You went in at Number 5 20 years ago this week, the UK perhaps not quite ready to get into the festive spirit. Sales trebled the following week, however, and the song raced to Number 2.

Any other week, Mariah could have made it to Number 1, but there was a huge sales surge for East 17’s Stay Another Day – shifting over 130,000 copies that week. Sales increased for Mariah again the following week, but with East 17 still clearing over 120,000 copies, it was runner-up spot again.

The week before the Christmas Number 1 was announced, Mariah sold 100,000, but East 17's sleigh was super-fast – they notched up 160,000 sales in the same seven days, and the prize went to them.

She may have been disheartened at the time, but little did she know just how loved Mariah’s jolly bell-jingling jaunt would become by the British public.

East 17 may have won the Official Christmas Number 1 battle, but ultimately victory belonged to Mimi. Stay Another Day has sold in excess of 825,000 copies, which is pretty impressive, but All I Want For Christmas has done the big one – it passed the million mark last Christmas. What a gift!

Since downloads counted toward the Official Singles Chart in 2007, All I Want For Christmas Is You has been like that traditional poinsettia we can’t help but buy. It’s returned to the Top 40 every single year, reaching a high of Number 4 and missing the Top 20 only once. Now that streaming is included, will this be the year Mariah fulfils her destiny and scores that festive chart-topper she so richly deserves? Midweek sales data suggests Mariah is on her way back to the Top 40, but it is, of course, all up to you…

She’s still got a lot of love for the song – she recorded a special version with Justin Bieber a couple of years ago and this year sees Mimi kick off an annual Christmas concert series in the States. A very Mariah Christmas to you!

Here’s Mariah still rocking it 18 years on in a special performance of All I Want For Christmas Is You with US chat show host Jimmy Fallon.

Also in the chart that week…

2: Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy

East 17 leapt six places to knock this track off Number 1, after two weeks. It’s sold over 360,000 copies in the UK and was the first of three Top10 hits.

3: Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time In The World

Originally featuring in James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, We Have All The Time In The World found fame after its inclusion in an advert for Guinness. It became Louis’ fifth Top 10 hit, 26 years after his last, What A Wonderful World, which is his only Number 1. This release racked up sales of over 270,000 copies.

4: Jimmy Nail – Crocodile Shoes

A return to the Top 10 for TV star Jimmy, who was last in the official Singles Chart in 1992 with chart-topper Ain’t No Doubt. Crocodile Shoes has sold over 310,000 copies and never advanced on Number 4.

6: The Real McCoy – Another Night

7: Pato Banton – Baby Come Back

8: Stone Roses – Love Spreads

9: Celine Dion – Think Twice

10: Boyzone – Love Me For A Reason

This time last year…

Calvin Harris scored a fifth Number 1 thanks to Under Control, his collaboration with Alesso and Hurts. Gary Barlow’s Let Me Go was closing in, along with One Direction’s Story Of My Life – the fivesome also had a few new entries thanks to the release of third album Midnight Memories, which would go on to be 2013’s top seller. Check out the full Top 40 from this week in 2013 for new entries from McFly, Breach FT Andreya Triana, Afrojack, Olly Murs and Justin Bieber.

Every Official Christmas Number 1 ever!
Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You tops 1 million sales!
Mariah Carey's Official Top 20 Biggest Selling Downloads

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