Every race needs a second place, even the Christmas number one.
As the gloom of another X-Factor fuelled Christmas chart descends on the UK, it’s worth pointing out that so many of the classic Christmas songs never reached the top, yet they still have a place in many hearts around the world. You want your famous number two’s? The Daily Dust, with some help at You Tube, bring you the best of the rest on the festive charts.
Fairytale of New York, The Pouges featuring Kirsty MacColl
Probably the most famous Christmas Number Two of all time, and it says a lot that this is regarded by many as not just the finest christmas tune ever, but the greatest single track… in the world. By now, with all the stress on the number two of Jeff Buckley in the UK you’ll know it was the dastardly pet Shop Boys that prevented this being number two back in 1987. it now holds the record for the most appearances in the Top Ten (four), three consecutive years in the Top Ten at Christmas, and the only appearance of Matt ‘Herbie Fully Loaded’ Dillon in a music video. Enjoy.
Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End), The Darkness
The last true race for the Christmas Top Spot ended with Gary Jules’ Mad World grabbing away the rightful victor in the eyes of many. A touch too knowingly camp, and modern, for it to be fully immortalised in Christmas lore, but it hits all the right elements, and a ncie reminder of the brief period when The Darkness ruled over reality [tv].
Last Christmas, by Wham
Now this was one of the biggest races ever. It looked a dead cert that 1984 was goign to be the Christmas year of Andrew, George, Pepsi and Shirley. But then up popped Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their seasonal sizzler. The Power of Love drew first blood, and was expected to fight a rearguard action to hold of Wham… World events had other ideas, and the famine in Ethiopia saw Band Aid ascend to greatness. You could argue that with Wham in Band Aid they did win, but they were utterly magnaminous in their loss, and donated all the royalites from Last Christmas to Band Aid. After all, it’s just music…
All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey
Amazingly, there are four videos for Mariah’s biggest selling single – we at The Dust have a particular fondness for this 1963 homage with bright staging reminiscent of the Valerie Singleton Blue Peter set, Mariah in a go-go dancers dress and a complete lack of diva ‘home videos’ where she’s being wonderful and fabulous. Those would be the other versions.
The Millenium Prayer, Cliff Richard
For a long time in the 1980′s, the Christmas Number One belonged to Cliff. Admittedly he fought for it every year, with Mistletoe and Wine, and Saviurs Day facing tough competition. But an attempt to see in the 21st century with this version of The Lord’s Prayer didn’t capture the mood of the nation and Sir Cliff faltered at the last step. Thanks, Westlife.