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Christmas No.1s that should have been


They say democracy is a just thing. This is clearly untrue. Forget minority governments, vote-rigging and the like, if you need one indisputable piece of evidence, simply look at some of the UK’s Christmas number ones – and then what was number two.

Here are some of the British public’s biggest festive crimes.

(Image: Rex Features)

The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (1987)

One of the finest Christmas songs of all time was kept from 1987’s prime chart slot by The Pet Shop Boys’ You Were Always On My Mind; not a bad song by any stretch of your shell-suit waistband, but when compared to the only song in history that made you go over the drink-drive limit simply by playing it on your car stereo, it comes up short.

Take That – Babe (1993)

We all love a bit of Take That, and these days it’s okay to admit it. Like it’s okay to admit you fancy Gary most.


Anyway, Babe’s dark, sensitive story of a young man discovering an unknown progeny was kept off the festive peak by none other than the abomination that was Mr Blobby. You bought it, didn’t you? Didn’t you? Get out of our sight.

Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby (1990)

First of all, what the hell did Cliff Richard’s Saviour’s Day have to do with Christmas anyway? Ice Ice Baby is as Christmassy as it gets; you have lots of ice in your mid-morning Snowball, while we’re pretty sure there’s a baby featured in there somewhere. Secondly, think how much better all those Christmas compilations would’ve been as they played on loop, slowly driving shop assistants to bludgeoning customers with a Thunderbirds Tracy Island.

The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) (2003)

The Christmas song has been dead for years, bar that dreadful Band Aid rehash. The only star in that pitch black sky was this family-friendly-but-with-a-wink-to-the-adults cracker from The Darkness, which was criminally kept from the top spot by the dirge, the utter, utter dirge that somehow, for a few weeks, fooled us into thinking it was a stroke of genius – Michael Andrews and Gary Jules doing Mad World.

Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You (1994)

Yeah, we said it. We said Mariah Carey. If this song doesn’t make you feel Christmassy then you don’t know what Christmas is. And if it doesn’t make you feel dancey, then you don’t know what dancing is. Our only hesitation in putting it in this list is because number one that year was East 17’s Stay Another Day, which is also well Christmassy thanks to some snow and massive furry coats in the video. So, what we’re saying is, the British public should have bought exactly the same number of each song, so they could tie for number one. They failed.

This is not the official video, but something far more entertaining as Mariah performs for the Japanese. And talking of Japanese...

Shonen Knife - Space Christmas (1991)

Okay, it wasn't a number two (or even close), but this wonderful ditty from Japanese punk band Shonen Knife has to be the greatest undiscovered (by the masses) Christmas song of all time. We say everyone should download it so it can beat Matt Cardle to the top of the Christmas charts in 2010.

Beg pardon? Ah.



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