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The Rise and Fall of the Christmas Number One?

 article about The Rise and Fall of the Christmas Number One?

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Do we know it's Christmas?
The Rise and Fall of the Christmas Number One?


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat………and we all know that Christmas is full of those family traditions that we all love. My idea of Christmas is one that brings the family together, giving and receiving presents, eating too much before finally watching television, with films and television programmes that have become synonymous with Christmas (Home Alone, Only Fools and Horses…..you get the picture).

However, a tradition that seems to have been eluded from recent Christmases is the happy, uplifting (and even though annoying by the end of Christmas) Christmas number One in the UK charts.

Now I know what you are thinking, and yes, there are many Christmas number Ones from the past that don't have much to do with Christmas. However, my point is that artists today are failing to find that winning formula to write a successful, cheery and overall Christmassy Christmas number One.

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The 1990s can boast a back catalogue of manufactured pop bands fighting for the boasting rights to their amount of Christmas number Ones
In the past, bands have churned out records that have become as welcome to Christmas as the Christmas turkey. Songs such as "Do They Know it's Christmas?" by Live Aid, "Merry Christmas Everybody" by Slade and Cliff Richard's every annoying, but festive "Mistletoe and Wine" emphasising this point.

However, the 1990s and especially the 2000s don't seem to have had the same impact as Christmas songs of the past. Sure, the 1990s have had East 17's "Stay Another Day", and Cliff Richards lesser popular "Saviours Day", however the rest of the 1990s and 2000s just seems to suffer a drought.

The 1990s can boast a back catalogue of manufactured pop bands fighting for the boasting rights to their amount of Christmas number Ones, without the attempt to make a legendary Christmas song; The Spice Girls racking up 3 consecutive number one's and Westlife claiming one in 1999.

The 2000s seems to have fallen even further from the Christmas song scale, with only one song in the 8 years of the 2000s being an actual Christmas song (2004s Band Aid 20, a second cover of Band Aid's 2984 number one "Do They Know it's Christmas"). The other songs being either novelty songs (Bob the Builder's "Can We Fix It" in 2000 and Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman's version of "Somethin' Stupid" in 2001) or X Factor winners' debut singles (consecutively in 2005 with Shane Ward, 2006 with Leona Lewis and 2007 with Leon Jackson).

Now, it's not for want of trying for some modern day bands and artists to try and recreate the passion and festivity of the Christmas chart song. Songs such as "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" by spandex jump suit wearing post glam rockers The Darkness tried to recreate the majesty and immortality of previous Christmas hits such as "Merry Christmas Everyone" and Wizzard's "I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday" (1973), but with only limited success; reaching a respectable number two in the chart, but hasn't had the immortality of some of the previous Christmas hits.

Now, I'm not being a scrooge about this whole situation, and I do take my hat off to the winners of glorified talent show X Factor's clean sweep of the past 3 years' Christmas number Ones (soon to be 4 years if the 2008 predictions are anything to go by). However, I do miss the camp, over the top and cheerful Christmas song that makes it feel like Christmas.

Come on people, surely somebody out there can write a Christmas song that makes everyone feel warm inside, like they used to do in the good old days (the good old days that were here long before me, but still), and by releasing a Christmas song I don't mean re-recording or re-releasing already infamous Christmas songs...

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!


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