The top 20 most successful Christmas songs ever
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It’s that time again folks! You’ve got Michael Buble’s album defrosting by the fire along with the roasting chestnuts, you’re ready to murder everyone trying to steal your turkey in Tescos and you still haven’t finished your wrapping - the festive season is upon us. And what could be more Christmassy than the annual debate over which Christmas song is the best. At the start of Christmas day we’re rocking the Noddy Holder scream, and by the end of it sound like Shane McGowan in ‘Fairytale of New York’ (seriously, does anyone know what he’s saying?). We know that Granny always tells us that the old songs are the best - and it’s interesting to see that the tunes that make the top 20 are almost exclusively from the 20th century. There are also some hidden gems that made it to the Christmas top spot- Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ and The Beatles’ ‘I Feel Fine’, but we thought we’d focus on the festive favourites. So here we bring you the true gift of Christmas- some gold, frankincense and myrrh, and the top 20 bestselling Christmas songs of all time. 1. Band Aid- Do They Know it’s Christmas? (1984) It’s comforting to hear that the bestselling Christmas song EVER is one for a good cause, with Bob Geldof and co. shifting an incredible 3.8 million units since its release in 1984, making it the one Christmas hit to sell over 3 million copies. Its revamps have raised millions for worthy causes, and remains one of Britain’s best loved festive tunes. 2. Boney M- Mary’s Boy Child (1978) One of the few on the list that remains true to the religious origins of Christmas, and this one managed to climb to the top spot not once, but twice. Boney M’s 1978 disco revival was the bigger hit, selling a huge 1.88 million sales. Not too shabby you might think, but band member Liz Mitchell claims that the royalties that they receive are “minimal and menial”, each receiving a pitiful 1% each year. 3. Wham! – Last Christmas (1984) #3 this year Before his tragic death on Christmas day 2016, Wham!’s lead singer George Michael is rumoured to have made £300,000 a year in royalties for this smash hit alone. Last Christmas is the biggest selling #2 single of all time, shifting a whopping 1.82 million sales back in 1984, and only missing out on the top spot because of the colossal Band Aid single. Each year the hit sells more and more copies, and is currently sitting comfortably at #3 in the UK Singles Chart. 4. Harry Belafonte - Mary’s Boy Child (1957) The one that started it all is at #4, with the original tune selling an incredible 1.18 million units on its 1950s release. 5. Band Aid 20 (2004) The festive favourite returned to the charts with a new noughties look, featuring The Sugarbabes, Dizzee Rascal and The Darkness, and sold an incredible 72,000 in the first 24 hours of release. It became the UK’s biggest selling single of the year as well as Christmas #1, and was the last single ever to sell a million copies on CD, as times were a changing. 6. Slade- Merry Xmas Everybody (1973) Whether you love or hate it, we can all agree that when we hear that scream it is officially Christmas. British treasure Noddy Holder is as Christmas as St Nick himself, and is just as jolly, making an estimated £500,000 a year from the hit. It sold over a million copies in the UK alone, and is estimated to be the most recognisable song in the world, with almost half of its population having heard it. Now that is a hit. 7. Bing Crosby - White Christmas (1942) There’s nothing like a golden oldie - and I’m sure that Mr Crosby would agree, as this one makes £328,000 in royalties each year. The hit has been covered countless times and holds a candle to everyone’s biggest Christmas wish, but will this be the year that it comes true? 8. East 17 - Stay Another Day (1994) Probably one of the coolest on the list (if that’s your kinda thing) is a good old-fashioned boyband providing us with a Christmas staple, and a fancy dress idea for your office Christmas party. This also provides the band members with an impressive £100,000 in royalties a year- enough to maybe update the winter wardrobe. 9. Cliff Richard - The Millennium Prayer (1999) At #9 it’s an unexpected entry from Cliff Richard, with a #1 which certainly ruffled some feathers. Back in 1999 Cliff left his record label EMI after 40 years when they were reluctant to release a recording of the Lord’s Prayer, sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. However Cliff had the last laugh of the 20th century when it reached the top spot and became his 14th song to do so. EMI might have had a point though- the song has been voted in several polls as the UK’s worst #1 ever. Bah humbug! 10. Johnny Mathis - When a Child is Born (1976)
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