The race for the winner of the number one single at Christmas is always intense. The desire to be named top of the charts on December 25th seems to take over and artists both popular and obscure battle to take the crown. Since the charts began in 1952 there have been some dreadful UK Christmas number ones, but there have also been some fantastic ones. Here is a list of the top ten best UK Christmas number ones of all time.
Best UK Christmas Number Ones of All Time
10. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin Stevens (1985)
For unknown reasons, this song doesn’t appear on Christmas compilation albums as often as other Christmas songs. Shakin Stevens was never really considered cool but this song is certainly one of the best UK Christmas number ones of all time! It’s all about enjoying the festive season with friends and family – what message could possibly be better at Christmas?
9. Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys (1987)
The Pet Shop Boys were in their prime in the eighties, and proved it when they scored a UK Christmas number one in 1987. With a faster pace than the original and an electronic sound that was big at the time, their cover of Elvis’ Always On My Mind was a huge hit.
8. Somethin’ Stupid – Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman (2001)
Possibly the most unexpected duet in pop history, Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman recorded one of the best UK Christmas number ones ever in 2001. There was something magically cheesy about the accompanying music video showing the couple exchanging gifts and singing to each other in a retro snow covered cabin.
7. Don’t You Want Me – The Human League (1981)
Don’t You Want Me is right up there among the most recognised songs of the eighties, and that may be because it was once a Christmas number one! Anyone who remembers that time will almost certainly have performed this song with their friends and/or loved ones at a party!
6. When A Child Is Born – Johnny Mathis (1976)
When A Child Is Born is a beautiful song by Johnny Mathis. Although it is widely considered to be a Christmas song, there is actually no mention of Christmas in the lyrics. However, it was interpreted to be a song about the birth of Jesus by the lyrics, “a tiny star lights up way up high”.
5. Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke (2008)
Alexandra Burke was the fourth consecutive X Factor winner to bag herself a UK Christmas number one. With a cover of Hallelujah, she was yet another artist who made this very famous song her own. Although Alexandra herself was not a big fan of the song she was given, she certainly performed it brilliantly.
4. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade (1973)
Possibly one of the best known Christmas songs ever, this was also a great Christmas number one. Many people believe that it’s not truly Christmas until they have heard Noddy Holder scream, “It’s Christmaaaasss!”. Over thirty years on, this song is still as popular as ever and there isn’t a single man, woman or child who doesn’t know the words!
3. Earth Song – Michael Jackson (1995)
The King of Pop got his first UK Christmas number one in 1995 with Earth Song. It was, and still is one of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits. Earth Song spread the word about environmental issues – the likes of which we are facing today. It may not have any relevance to Christmas but it does send a strong message to the people about life and taking care of what we have.
2. Stay Another Day – East 17 (1994)
One of the biggest boybands of the nineties, East 17, took the Christmas number one spot with this haunting ballad. It tells the story of a man whose relationship has come to an end, yet he doesn’t know why and is asking his girl to stay. Although it is a bit depressing for Christmas, it definitely strikes a chord with those who are alone over the holidays.
1. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid (1989)
Without a doubt, this is the best UK Christmas number one of all time. Performed by the world’s biggest artists of the time to raise money for poverty stricken people in Ethiopia it is a Christmas classic. It is a happy sounding track, but when you listen closely to the lyrics the words are very moving.