The Official Top 20 bestselling Christmas Number 1s

We count down Christmas Number 1s and festive smashes by Band Aid, the Beatles, Spice Girls and more.

Music is an essential part of any Christmas party, but some of the festive season's biggest hits barely even mention a snowflake, let alone the big old FC himself and his habit of breaking into your house every 24th December. 

Just 12 Official Christmas Number 1s have been festive-themed, with the rest of them simply the most popular tunes at that time of year. There's more to Christmas than jingle bells, so we count down the top selling songs associated with the most wonderful time of the year, whether they're a Christmas Number 1 or a seasonal fave.

Do They Know It's Christmas?

Despite its melancholic theme, our top seller is both Christmas-themed AND a Christmas Number 1. The second biggest selling single of all time, Band Aid and their clanging chimes of doom has sold 3.8 million copies since its first hit the top in 1984, spawning three successful cover versions. It's the only Xmas hit to sell over 3 million units - 3.81 million to be exact.

MORE: Get your baubles in a twist with our Christmas quiz

Bohemian Rhapsody

Not particularly festive, but Bohemian Rhapsody has got serious Christmas credentials, scoring the Christmas Number 1 twice with the exact same version, sixteen years apart. It ruled the snow-capped summit on its first release in 1975 and again in 1991, following the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury. 2.55 million copies later, and it's the third biggest selling song of all time.

MORE: See all Queen's massive hit albums and singles

Mull of Kintyre

The Official Singles Chart welcomed all kinds of unusual, unlikely hits in the '70s, and 1977's Christmas Number 1 was the mega-selling Mull of Kintyre from Wings, led by none other than former Beatle Paul McCartney. With 2.09 million copies sold, it's Macca's top selling single ever, more than any of his Beatles hits. What are the chances? 

 

MORE: Take a look at Wings' UK chart history

Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord

Fourth biggest Christmas smash has got the lot: glitz, campery and, of course, actual Jesus popping up in the lyrics! Mary's Boy Child has hit Christmas Number 1 twice by separate artists: Boney M's disco-lite version from 1978 – like we said, the '70s were wild – is the biggest, though, with 1.89 million sales. Harry Belafonte's version is at 16, from 1957, on 1.19 million.

MORE: See all Boney M's UK hit singles and albums – including two million-sellers

I Will Always Love You

The biggest selling Christmas Number 1 by a female solo artist, Whitney's dramatic rendition version of Dolly Parton's ballad soundtracked the movie The Bodyguard, topping the charts for a mighty 10 weeks. 1.65 million of you have got totes emosh to this tune next to the Christmas tree, stirred by Whitney's iconic vocal acrobatics, and the gin and tonic you just sunk.

MORE: We will always love Whitney's hits – relive them all in her archive

Hallelujah

This relatively Christmassy Leonard Cohen cover from Alexandra Burke ruled the festive rundown in 2008. The first X Factor winner's single to be released on download right after the final, Hallelujah has sold 1.32 million copies and its nearest competition for Christmas Number 1 was another cover of the same song, this time by Jeff Buckley.

MORE: See all Alexandra's hits in her archive

MORE: Look back over Mariah's UK hit singles and albums

2 Become 1

Not a Christmas song, no, it's actually a thinly disguised sex education campaign, but 2 Become 1 topped the charts at Christmas 1996 and the girls look like they're half-frozen, don't they? Luckily, they sold 1.14 million copies of this song, earning them enough cash to invest in hats, scarves, and an oil-filled radiator so they could warm up in time for their next two Christmas Number 1.

The Official Top 20 biggest selling Christmas songs

POS TITLE ARTIST YEAR
1 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 1984
2 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY QUEEN 1975/1991
3 MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS' SCHOOL WINGS 1977
4 MARY'S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD BONEY M 1978
5 I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND THE BEATLES 1963
6 I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU WHITNEY HOUSTON 1992
7 DON'T YOU WANT ME? HUMAN LEAGUE 1981
8 I FEEL FINE THE BEATLES 1964
9 WE CAN WORK IT OUT/DAY TRIPPER THE BEATLES 1965
10 HALLELUJAH ALEXANDRA BURKE 2008
11 MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE 1973
12 GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME TOM JONES 1966
13 EARTH SONG MICHAEL JACKSON 1995
14 MARY'S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE 1957
15 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 20 2004
16 ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2) PINK FLOYD 1979
17 2 BECOME 1 SPICE GIRLS 1996
18 THAT'S MY GOAL SHAYNE WARD 2005
19 CAN WE FIX IT? BOB THE BUILDER 2000
20 WHEN WE COLLIDE MATT CARDLE 2010

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Listen to Every Official Christmas Number 1 on Spotify below:

Article image: Rex

View Image Gallery
Clean Bandit Rockabye 2016