Let’s face it, those old Christmas tunes were a bit naff, but they really don’t make Christmas hits like they used to. This year’s Christmas number 1 will no doubt be Louisa Johnson (XFactor winner) with her rendition of Forever Young by Bob Dylan. Now, don’t get me wrong, she deserved to win and blew us away with her huge voice at just 17, but that isn’t what I want to listen to at Christmas.
Let’s have a look back over the years at some of the best Christmas songs ever to have graced our ears and remind today’s artists just what a Christmas hit should sound like.
Here is my Top 10 must have Christmas tunes for that all important festive playlist.
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
This has to be the all time best Christmas record ever made. With sales of over 100 million it never made the charts, as back in 1942 they didn’t exist. With its short message it sums up everything we love about Christmas. The Guinness Book Of World Records quotes this song as the world’s biggest single and its estimated earnings are £24 million.
Slade – Merry Christmas Everyone
Christmas office parties just wouldn’t be the same without Noddy Holder’s “Merry Christmas Everyone”. Released in 1973, and holding the number one spot for 5 weeks, this tune is sure to be on everyone’s Christmas playlist. If it isn’t, what are you waiting for?
John Lennon- War Is Over
One of my personal favourites is this beautiful song from John Lennon in protest against the Vietnam War. Sang together with wife Yoko Ono, this Christmas hit reached number 2 in the UK charts in 1972 but reappeared at number 40 in 2007. A true Christmas classic.
The Pogues – Fairytale In New York
Another of my personal favourites. This song brings back wonderful memories of my Aunt & Uncle doing a Karaoke version one family Christmas. Kirsty MacColl joined The Pogues to record Fairytale In New York which charted at No.2 in 1987. Not your classic Christmas tune, in fact it’s a little odd but strangely wonderful at the same time.
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
Roy Woods perennial hit, I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday, reached number 4 in 1973 as Slade took the top spot that year. It has shown to have lasted the test of time and was last year’s 6th top most played Christmas tune on radio and television.
Johnny Mathis _ When A Child Is Born
This beautiful song is probably one of the few Christmas hits that mentions the birth of Christ. Reaching number one in the American charts in 1976 it later reached number 74 in 1981 when he duetted the same song with Gladys Knight. I have to admit this is one of my favourites and brings back some wonderful school disco memories.
Wham – Last Christmas
George Michael missed out on the number one spot with Last Christmas and only reached number 2 back in 1984. Bob Geldof’s Band Aid Do They Know It’s Christmas Time beat him to the top spot and was the most played Christmas tune last year. However, Wham’s hit is the biggest selling in the UK chart history to not reach number one, it rakes in around £300k a year.
Mud – Lonely This Christmas
Mud held the number one spot for four weeks with this Elvis Presley original. It sold more than 750,000 copies in 1974 and was officially ranked the 33rd most played festive tune in the UK.
Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
This song only reached number 6 in the UK charts back in 1979 but it’s safe to say it has earned McCartney an estimated £260k per year so a nice sum of £10 million. He played all the instruments himself and was joined in the video by wife Linda McCartney and Wings.
Cliff Richard – Mistletoe And Wine
Well, we couldn’t not add Cliff to the list could we! This evergreen hit notched up four weeks at the top of the charts back in 1988 and is estimated to earn him £100k every year. It started as a number in the musical Scraps in 1976 and was performed by twiggy when the show was adapted for TV in 1987. Cliff had a second Christmas number one with Saviours day in 1990.
Of course there are so many wonderful classic Christmas tunes out there.
Please let me know your favourite Christmas tunes in the comments box below.
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