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Dec 12

Charts – 11 December 2020

Posted on Saturday, December 12, 2020 by Paul in Music

Welcome to a Christmassy, but rather static, chart. After the deluge of Christmas records that charted last week, there’s only one more joining them – perhaps because there’s no space, with Christmas records now accounting for more than half the top 40. And lo, the inevitable has finally happened.

1. Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas is You

“All I Want for Christmas is You” was number 2 at Christmas 1994 – the number 1 that year was “Stay Another Day” by East 17, which hasn’t proved as enduring on the chart, but was a perfectly worthy winner. It’s resurfaced in a big way during the streaming era, making number 2 for the last three years. Bearing in mind that it’s an archive track, which means its streams are permanently on a lower weighting compared to new releases, it’s a remarkable achievement for it to get to number one.

It reaches the top in its 70th week on the top 40, shattering the previous record (which I think stood at 19, for Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”). Of course, in purely chronological terms, there are a couple of records that only made number 1 on reissue decades after they were first released, and in that sense took longer to reach number 1 – specifically, “Reet Petite” by Jackie Wilson and “Show Me the Way to Amarillo” by Tony Christie – but Christmas records have become a phenomenon all of their own.

Oddly enough, Carey actually has a Christmas single out this year – a new version of “Oh Santa” featuring Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson. You’d have thought that that would get some traction if only thanks to Grande’s name… but it’s not a standard, so the public don’t seem to be interested. It enters this week at number 67. Let’s see if it climbs.

The last time Mariah Carey reached the top 40 with a new single was in 2013. Although she’s had a total of 24 top ten hits, she only has two other number 1s to her credit. One is respectable – the ballad “Without You” spent four weeks at number 1 in 1994 (clearly a good year for her). The other was a guest appearance on Westlife’s version of “Against All Odds”, which managed two weeks in 2000. She’s actually quite good on it, but it’s an utterly unnecessary record.

Let’s blast through the climbers…

  • “Last Christmas” by Wham! climbs 3-2. It reaches this position in 2018 as well, so who knows, maybe it can make the top this year as well.
  • “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl climbs 8-4. This is the same peak as it had in the last two years. It hasn’t been any higher than this since 2005.
  • “Merry Christmas Everyone” by Shakin’ Stevens climbs 14-6. Again, that’s the same peak as it managed last year, and it hasn’t been any higher since its year of release.
  • “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael BublĂ© climbs 13-7. Once again, that matches its previous peak from two years ago (this track never had a singles run on a first release).
  • “Do They Know it’s Christmas” by Band Aid climbs 15-8. It’s been higher than this in the previous three years.
  • “Step into Christmas” by Elton John climbs 18-10. It’s now reached the top 10 three years’ running; its all time peak was number 8, last year.
  • “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande climbs 16-11. That’s a new peak, beating last year’s number 13.
  • “This Christmas” by Jess Glynne climbs 28-13. This one’s a new release, and it’s her highest position since 2018 (when she was last in the top 10).
  • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee climbs 19-15. It’s been higher – it made the top 10 in 2017.
  • “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson climbs 20-16. This is a new all-time peak for the record.
  • “Driving Home for Christmas” by Chris Rea climbs 22-17. Still some way off its streaming-era peak of 11.
  • “I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard climbs 23-19, for a fifth straight year in the top 20.
  • “One More Sleep” by Leona Lewis climbs 33-25.
  • “Merry Xmas Everbody” by Slade climbs 32-26.
  • “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams climbs 36-28
  • “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John & Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir climbs 40-29
  • “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Michael BublĂ© climbs 37-30, a new peak for the record.
  • “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney climbs 39-32, which beats last year’s position of 37, but still lags behind the top 20 position it reached in 2018.
  • “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms climbs 38-34.

And with that out of the way, time for the only two new entries.

24. The Kid Laroi – “Without You”

Well, someone had to have a stab at just releasing a normal record. This is the debut hit single for The Kid Laroi, an Australian singer who had some degree of association with Juice WRLD and who got to number 11 on the album charts back in the summer with his mixtape “F*ck Love” (sic). This track is on the deluxe version.

36. Justin Bieber – “Mistletoe”

His 2011 Christmas single, which has charted for the last three years. Like Mariah Carey, he does actually have a 2020 Christmas single – his version of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, which entered at number 21 last week. Perhaps because it’s platform-limited, and perhaps because it’s just not very good, it has the dubious distinction of being the only Christmas single to go down on this week’s chart, falling to number 24.

On the album chart, things are slightly less quiet.

1. Yungblud – “Weird”

His first number 1 album; last year’s debut “The Underrated Youth” reached number 6 (and crashed out of the top 75 the following week). This track feels like it was meant to be a hit single, but in reality, his only singles top 40 appearance this year came when he guested on “Obey” by Bring Me The Horizon (which managed a week at 37).

3. The Arctic Monkeys – “Live at the Royal Albert Hall”

A 2018 live show, coming out as a charity release. Technically it spoils the Arctic Monkeys’ perfect record of number 1 albums (six in a row), but live albums don’t really count.

8. Kelly Jones – “Don’t Let the Devil Take Another Day”

The lead singer of the Stereophonics makes his first appearance on the album chart as a solo act. He released a previous solo album in 2007, “Only the Names Have Been Changed”, but it didn’t chart.

12. Shawn Mendes – “Wonder”

The title track reached number 20 on the singles chart. In a pleasing symmetry, Mendes’ album chart record consists of two number 3 albums (“Illuminate” and “Shawn Mendes”) and two number 12 albums (this one, and his debut “Handwritten”).

29. Abra Cadabra – “Product of my Environment”

And finally, the debut album for rapper Abra Cadabra; the single “On Deck” reached number 32 during the summer.

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