60 Years Of UK Christmas Number 1s: 1952-2011

Fuck it, Gareth Malone and Gary Barlow are here...I'm gone.
Fuck it, Gareth Malone and Gary Barlow are here…I’m gone.

Back in days of old, I had a blog called I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (hence the temporary title change for TK this month: clever stuff, eh?) In a fit of nihilism, I deleted the whole thing, and now Blogger tells me I can only view it if I have an invitation from the author….errr…me. While I ponder the wisdom (or lack of it) displayed by this, I am reposting what I’ve always regarded as the best feature of it: every UK Christmas number one from the years above. I stopped featuring the years separately when the whole thing became a bit of an irrelevance. In the last three years, the domination of the chart by X Factor has been replaced by something even worse: smashing that programme’s stranglehold on the top spot by championing downloads of songs that seem to be even further removed from  the spirit of the season than Simes’ brigade of forgettable wannabes. The intention was laudable, but the execution miserable, and as a result I’ve stopped giving a flying fuck about what’s at the top this year. So, for the last time, here are all the songs you, the great British public, bought the most of at Christmas.

All The UK Christmas Number 1s
1952-1980
1952: Al Martino, Here In My Heart
1953: Frankie Laine, Answer Me
1954: Winifred Atwell, Let’s Have Another Party (both sides of the single included here, thereby making it longer than Bohemian Rhapsody!)
1955: Dickie Valentine, Christmas Alphabet
1956: Johnnie Ray, Just Walkin’ In the Rain
1957: Harry Belafonte, Mary’s Boy Child
1958: Conway Twitty, It’s Only Make Believe
1959: Emile Ford & The Checkmates, What Do Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
1960: Cliff Richard & The Shadows, I Love You
1961: Danny Williams, Moon River
1962: Elvis Presley, Return To Sender
1963: Beatles, I Want To Hold Your Hand
1964: Beatles, I Feel Fine
1965: Beatles, Day Tripper
1966: Tom Jones, Green Green Grass Of Home
1967: Beatles, Hello Goodbye
1968: Scaffold, Lily The Pink
1969: Rolf Harris, Two Little Boys
1970: Dave Edmunds, I Hear You Knocking
1971: Benny Hill, Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
1972: Little Jimmy Osmond, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool (still to my ears the worst of all)
1973: Slade, Merry Xmas Everybody
1974: Mud, Lonely This Christmas (the only cross-reference between this and my Peel’s Christmas Faves section, since he played it at the top of his 2001 festive show)
1975 and 1991: Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
1976: Johnny Mathis, When A Child Is Born (Soleado)
1977: Wings, Mull Of Kintyre
1978: Boney M, Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
1979: Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall Part 2
1980: St. Winifred’s School Choir, There’s No-One Quite Like Grandma

1981-2011
1981: Human League, Don’t You Want Me
1982: Renee & Renato, Save Your Love (greasy lardy and ugly bird buck the trend. Where are they now? Who gives a shit?)
1983: Flying Pickets, Only You
1984: Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
1985: Shakin’ Stevens, Merry Christmas Everyone
1986: Jackie Wilson, Reet Petite
1987: Pet Shop Boys, Always On My Mind
1988: Cliff Richard, Mistletoe And Wine
1989: Band Aid II, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
1990: Cliff Richard, Saviour’s Day (this brings the Cliffster’s tally of Christmas number 1s to four in total, two as a solo performer, one with the Shadows and one other as part of Band Aid II)
1991: Queen, These Are The Days Of Our Lives (since we already have Bohemian Rhapsody, this was the double A-side. The only song to be Christmas number 1 more than once in exactly the same version)
1992: Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You
1993: Mr. Blobby, Mr. Blobby (the only eponymous Christmas Number 1. Big deal. It’s still shite)
1994: East 17, Stay Another Day
1995: Michael Jackson, Earth Song
1996: Spice Girls, 2 Become 1
1997: Spice Girls, Too Much
1998: Spice Girls, Goodbye (they now tie with the Beatles for the longest uninterrupted stretch at Christmas Number 1, although the Fab 4 had more in total. Bet Paul and Ringo still ritually burn Tom Jones albums at New Year)
1999: Westlife, I Have A Dream (Seasons In The Sun was the double A-side, but hey, when you’re faced with two lumps of crap, they both smell and taste the same)
2000: Bob The Builder, Can We Fix It?
2001: Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman, Somethin’ Stupid
2002: Girls Aloud, Sound Of The Underground (Pop Idol winners, and the beginning of the end for the Xmas no. 1 as we know it)
2003: Gary Jules, Mad World
2004: Band Aid 20, Do They Know It’s Christmas? (two things to note here. The first time the same song had been number 1 three times at Christmas, and Sir Paul’s record-breaking six appearances as performer, with the Beatles, Wings and this. I don’t count his spoken message on the 1984 Band Aid track, as it was only featured on the 12 inch.)
2005: Shayne Ward, That’s My Goal (X Factor nemesis begins)
2006: Leona Lewis. A Moment Like This
2007: Leon Jackson, When You Believe
2008: Alexandra Burke, Hallelujah
2009: Rage Against The Machine, Killing In The Name Of
2010: Matt Cardle, When We Collide
2011: Military Wives with Gareth Malone, Wherever You Are

4 thoughts on “60 Years Of UK Christmas Number 1s: 1952-2011

  1. Yes Eduardo, 2001-2011 = cover / pop comp / cover / re-recording / pop comp / pop comp / pop comp / pop comp / reissue / pop comp / docu tie-in. Doesn’t exactly make the blood race, does it?

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