The festive season is already well under way on the Official Chart thanks to a surge of Christmas favourites heading for this week’s Official Singles Chart Top 100 earlier than ever before.
In what has been a tough year for many in 2020, new data from the Official Charts Company shows that the British public are wishing it all away in favour of getting into the spirit earlier than usual.
Festive classics have noticeably decorated the Official Chart every December since the introduction of downloads to the chart in 2005 and streaming in 2014, but according to yesterday's Official Charts Company sales flash (Nov. 17), a staggering ten yuletide favourites are on course to appear in this week’s Official Chart when it is published on Friday (Nov. 20).
That number is up five-fold from this time last year when two Christmas tracks started to make their return, and just one seasonal song during the same week in 2018.
Mariah Caret (credit: Daniela Federici)
Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey leads the charge of returning festive songs and is set to be the first Christmas classic to re-enter the Top 40 - All I Want For Christmas Is You is currently at Number 31 midweek. The track has reappeared in the Official Chart for the last 14 consecutive years - that’s every year since 2007. But Christmas 2020 will be the earliest on record that the song has ever returned to the Top 40. Its previous earliest arrival was in 2017, when it entered at Number 34 on November 24.
What’s more, according to Official Charts Company data, official UK sales and streams of Christmas classics are up over 50% compared to the same week last year, predominantly powered by streaming.
Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, said: "After what has been a year to forget for the vast majority of us, it also seems to be the year when Christmas is starting earlier than ever – with Christmas songs surging stronger and earlier than we’ve ever seen in the past.
"This says volumes for the power of song – and Christmas songs in particular – to raise our spirits at even the most challenging of times."
Just outside the midweek Top 40 is Last Christmas by Wham! at 46, followed by Fairytale of New York by The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl at 59. All three have gone on to become festive classics despite never achieving the coveted UK Christmas Number 1 crown.
Further down, Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone sits at 68, while Justin Bieber’s rendition of Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – released last week exclusively through Amazon as part of their Christmas originals series – is at 69, and Michael Bublé’s It’s Beginning To Look At Lot Like Christmas sits at 77.
Other popular festive tunes on course to re-enter the Official Chart this week are: Elton John’s Step Into Christmas (78), Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? (79), Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath The Tree (97), and Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (99).
These festive classics will be among the contenders for the Official Christmas Number 1. The Official Christmas Number 1 2020 kicks off Friday 18 December and is announced on Christmas Day on BBC Radio 1. More details to come soon on this year’s race.
Listen to this week’s Top 40 being counted down on the UK’s biggest chart show - BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart with Scott Mills from 4pm on Friday, see the full Top 100 published exclusively on OfficialCharts.com.