AC/DC fans pull out of Official Christmas Number 1 race with Thunderstruck campaign
An AC/DC fan campaign to get Thunderstruck to Christmas Number 1 has been postponed, Official Charts can reveal, but they have another chart trick up their sleeve.
Originally kickstarted on a Facebook fan group AC/DC We Salute You to celebrate 50 years since the iconic rockers first formed as a band, Thunderstruck was handpicked by members of the group as the AC/DC song to focus on getting to Number 1 during the most important chart race of the year. The hope being to repeat or even better the success of their similar campaign back in 2013 which saw them push AC/DC's Highway To Hell to a brand-new chart peak of Number 4.
First released in 1990 and taken from the band's 12th studio album The Razors Edge, Thunderstruck originally peaked at Number 13 on the Official Singles Chart.
Official Charts have received confirmation from the organisers of the campaign that fans have decided to pull out of the Christmas Number 1 race for 2023, but they have a game plan. Their new campaign will delay the big push by two weeks to focus on the post-Christmas lull on the Official Singles Chart, which has reaped success for several notable Number 1s in the past.
In a statement to Official Charts, AC/DC Facebook fan page admins Steevi and Jon said: "After a vote across three separate AC/DC groups, including the original 2013 campaign group of over 100,000 members, we have decided to put back the campaign week to Friday 29th December to Thursday 4th January. By choosing to delay by two weeks, we'll also avoid being caught up in the Christmas songs that will no doubt be prominent the week after Christmas as well.
"Why? Because it focuses more on the band's 50th anniversary itself rather than being caught up in the Christmas mayhem, in which we feel many would love to see Fairytale of New York top the pack for reasons we all know well. When polled, 83% of AC/DC fans agreed so that's what we're going to do."
In December 1990, Iron Maiden released the not-so-festive Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter on Christmas Eve as a promotional strategy aligning themselves against Cliff Richard, who scored that year's Christmas Number 1 with Saviour's Day. While the song was never in the running for Christmas Number 1, it did debut at Number 1 the next week, 30 December, securing Iron Maiden their first and only UK Number 1 single.
A similar strategy was also in place for RAYE's jagged Escapism. last year, which reached an initial peak of Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart at the beginning of December 2022. While it was held off the top spot by a deluge of Christmas tracks during the festive period, as is common in December, it finally reached Number 1 in the new year. Escapism. became the first song to top the Official Singles Chart in 2023 and gifted RAYE her first-ever Number 1 single in the process.
What are the campaign race dates?
The race for the coveted Christmas Number 1 itself kicks off Friday 15 December and ends at midnight on December 21, with Christmas Number 1 being announced live on BBC Radio 1 December 22.
However, fans of AC/DC who are looking to get Thunderstruck to Number 1 will now be targeting their buying and streaming efforts in the chart week running 29 December to 4 January. The chart for that week will be published on Friday 5 January 2024 here on OfficialCharts.com, and broadcast on BBC Radio 1.
With news of another key contender leaving the race, this now narrows the list of contenders down even further, following earlier news that five-times record-breaking champions LadBaby will not be releasing a new charity single this year either.
So, who could be the reigning #XmasNo1 champion this year? Could we see former chart-toppers Last Christmas by Wham! or All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey claim Christmas Number 1 for the first time? Will the swell of support for The Pogues' Fairytale of New York following the sad death of Shane MacGowan last week go all the way?
One thing is for sure, it's still all to play for and shaping up to be the most exciting and unpredictable chart race of the year!
Follow the Official Christmas Number 1 race:
The Official Christmas Number 1 race 2023 kicks off Friday December 15 with sales and streams counting up until midnight (11.59pm) on Thursday, December 21.
Tune in to The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 on Friday December 22 from 4pm to hear the Christmas Top 40 countdown and the exclusive reveal of the Official Christmas Number 1 2023.
Join the conversation now using the hashtag #XmasNo1. Follow @OfficialCharts on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. For all the latest race updates join the Official Charts mailing list for Breaking News on this year’s race and beyond.