The biggest Christmas Number 1s of all time
Band Aid - Do They Know Its Christmas? (1984)
Perhaps the quintessential Christmas chart-topper, the original Band Aid line-up’s version of Do They Know It’s Christmas from 1984 is not only the biggest-seller with 3.83 million sales, but with streams combined it now totals at 5,311,000. With it continuing to re-enter the Official Chart every Christmas, it’s likely to hold on to that position for some time.
But wait. Who is this hot on its heels? It's Ed Sheeran himself, with the third- most-streamed song of all time, Perfect. With a combined total of 4,703,000 it’s one of the non-seasonal songs that sees its chart units creep up throughout the years thanks to streaming – could it creep up to pole position?
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives (1991)
Only 22,000 chart units behind Ed is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, with 4,681,000 - possibly helped by the fact it’s been Christmas Number 1 twice. Due to its non-Christmas subject matter and being Queen’s biggest song in general which is played throughout the year, it’s another non-seasonal fave that could find itself moving up the rankings in years to come.
One song by an act that defined their particular year is Don’t You Want Me by The Human League (4), which finished off, what was for them, an incredible 1981. With a combined total of 2.5m including 1.6 million pure sales, the song has re-entered the chart twice, in 1995 and 2014, though not at Christmas time.
Boney M - Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord (1978)
The grand finale of an incredible 12 months for Boney M in 1978 was their Number 1 single Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord, which comes in at Number 5 with a combined figure of 2.46m, with 1.9 million of those down to sales of the song at the time.
Close behind is Shakin’ Stevens, who claims the sixth biggest Christmas Number 1 of all time with 2.43m, in part thanks to its strong yearly streaming figures during its ‘on season’.
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You (1992)
Whitney Houston’s legendary take on Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You from 1992, which spent ten weeks at the top, is at Number 7. The evergreen hit is now at 2.42m chart units including 1.67m pure sales.
Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody (1973)
Approaching its fiftieth anniversary and unlikely to be disappearing any time soon is Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade (8). The glam rockers' pension plan shows no sign of letting up, being a regular playlist staple and Christmas chart returnee on 2.38m, with 1.32 million of those as pure sales.
Mull of Kintyre/Girls' School - Wings (1977)
Number 11 sees Paul McCartney and Wings’ Mull Of Kintyre currently at 2.15m, with 2.09 million sales mostly from its time in the Official Chart in 1977. In fact Macca does quite well overall as he populates the Top 20 with three songs from his stint in The Beatles, with I Want To Hold Your Hand at Number 10, I Feel Fine at 14 and Day Tripper/ We Can Work It Out at 15.
Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name (2009)
The viral sensation that was Rage Against The Machine’s Christmas Number 1, Killing In The Name, lands in at Number 17 with 1.43m. On its win in 2009 the track caused great upset to Simon Cowell and The X Factor, who had enjoyed a run of festive chart-toppers before this rap metal anthem barged in, thanks to a campaign led by Jon and Tracy Morter.
Once you're done looking at the Top 20 biggest, take a look at all 70 of the UK's Official Christmas Number 1s from 1952-2021.
Official Top 20 Biggest Christmas Number 1s
|1||DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?||BAND AID||1984|
|4||DON'T YOU WANT ME?||HUMAN LEAGUE||1981|
|5||MARY'S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD||BONEY M||1978|
|6||MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE||SHAKIN' STEVENS||1985|
|7||I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU||WHITNEY HOUSTON||1992|
|8||MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY||SLADE||1973|
|10||I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND||THE BEATLES||1963|
|11||MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS' SCHOOL||WINGS||1977|
|13||ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2)||PINK FLOYD||1979|
|14||I FEEL FINE||THE BEATLES||1964|
|15||WE CAN WORK IT OUT/DAY TRIPPER||THE BEATLES||1965|
|16||STAY ANOTHER DAY||EAST 17||1994|
|17||KILLING IN THE NAME||RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE||1993|
|18||EARTH SONG||MICHAEL JACKSON||1995|
|19||2 BECOME 1||SPICE GIRLS||1996|
|20||GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME||TOM JONES||1966|
©2022 Official Charts Company . All rights reserved.
*This chart is compiled using physical and digital sales, plus streaming figures.