But first up, this gets a fifth week at number 1, to overtake “Rather Be” as Clean Bandit’s biggest hit. Not so unusual for this remarkably slow year on the singles chart. It tops a completely static top 4.
Climbing from last week’s number 29. It comes back every year, but it hasn’t been this high since 2007, when it got to number 4. What’s happening here, of course, is that we’re now in the streaming era, and everyone has a Christmas playlist on the front page of their app, and so… well, keep reading.
16. The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York”
Hello again, old friend. “Fairytale of New York” has been back every year since 2005. It usually gets higher than this, so expect it to climb. It’s still yet to match the number 2 peak of its original run at Christmas 1987. Their only other top ten hit was their version of “The Irish Rover” (with the Dubliners) which got to number 8 the same year.
Oh hey, a regular release! This was on the X Factor results show, but the impact of that is not what it once was. Anyhow, Zara Larsson would like to get to know you and to get under your sexy body, because, you know, it’s one of those songs. It’s alright. Neiked do it better.
28. Shakin’ Stevens – “Merry Christmas Everyone”
Boy, that opening minute of the video is weird and cheerless, isn’t it? Did anybody even show videos end to end in 1985, when this had its two weeks at number one? Anyway, this is a relatively recent addition to the pantheon of regular returnees – it made the top 40 in 2007 and 2008 before vanishing until scraping a week at number 38 in 2014, but it got to number 26 last year, so it’s coming back into favour.
34. Charli XCX featuring Lil Yachty – “After the Afterparty”
This had the misfortune to land at number 41 last week, when the chart was flooded with Weeknd album tracks (most of which are gone, by the way). But it charts now. Charli XCX never really made it as the pop icon that people had her pegged as, did she? This is pretty weak, frankly, and that zombie video is about two years too late. Technically she has a UK number one to her credit, since the UK label gave her a highly dubious featured artist credit on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” (which she wrote), and she had three other top ten hits in 2014-2015, albeit that two of them were collaborations with higher profile artists. But it looks like we’re back to square one with this. It’s the first single from her new album and it’s been out for five weeks by this point.
37. Wizzard – “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”
That’s a very festive still image, Vevo, well done. Anyway, this is another hardy perennial, having charted every year since 2011 (oddly, it missed the top 40 in 2009 and 2010). Originally a number 4 hit in 1973, the pub trivia fact to remember about this single is that it isn’t Wizzard’s biggest hit – they had two number 1s in 1973, with “See My Baby Jive” and “Angel Fingers”.
39. Michael Bublé – “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”
…what? This version of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” comes from Bublé’s 2011 Christmas album, and it’s floated around the lower end of the top 75 every year since, but it’s never previously made the top 40. As far as I can see, this is the first time any version of this song has made the top 40 – Perry Como’s version came close a couple of times, but that’s it. As an MOR act, Bublé is more of an albums guy, but he has had occasional proper crossover hits, the biggest being “Haven’t Met You Yet”, which reached number 5 in 2009.
On the album chart, pretty much a dead week.
“Blue & Lonesome” by The Rolling Stones is their eleventh number 1 album – or twelfth, if you count the 2010 reissue of “Exile On Main Street”. The last time a completely new Rolling Stones album made number 1 was in 1994 with “Voodoo Lounge”, but they’ve come close several times since. Single: “Ride ‘Em On Down”.
“‘Awaken, My Love!'” by Childish Gambino at 34. His third album and the first to come anywhere near charting in the UK. Single: “Me And Your Mama”.
“Darkness and Light” by John Legend at 35. That’s surprisingly low for a new John Legend album, particularly when he’s got a minor hit; he’s never previously wound up below 26 (and albums rarely climb), and his last album got to number 2.