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Christmas Day No.1 Singles of the 1980’s

If you are a child of the eighties then no doubt just like the rest of us you watched Top of the Pops on Christmas day to find out if your favourite song,group,singer got the prestigious No.1 slot.

But what songs made it to number one in each of the 10 years that made up the 1980’s?

Back in 1980 John Lennon’s (Just Like) Starting Over became No.1 on 20th December and only stayed in that spot for one week before being over taken by St Winifred’s School Choir with their rendition of There’s No-one Quite Like Grandma.

The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me hit No.1 on 12 th Dec.,1981 and managed to hold on to their position for 5 weeks. A video for the song was commissioned and was filmed in Slough during November 1981.The theme of the video was the filming and editing of a murder-mystery film, featuring the band members as characters and production staff. The video was released in December 1981, just as the music video culture was became a huge part of the pop music scene, and it was felt that it was a major contribution to the song’s commercial success.

Renee and Renato became 1982‘s Christmas day winner with Save Your Love which entered the UK charts on 13 November 1982 at number 38. During the Christmas period, it began to pick up sales and six weeks after its debut was at the top of the charts, resulting in it being played on Top of the Pops, it remained there for 4 weeks before getting knocked off its slot by Phil Collins with You Can’t Hurry Love.

On 10th December, 1983 The Flying Pickets sang their way to the Christmas No.1 with Only You, which remained their for 5 weeks. ‘Only You’ was their debut single and despite The Flying Pickets socialist viewpoint , Margaret Thatcher, the then Conservative Prime Minisrer,declared that it was her favourite record.

In October,1984 Bob Geldof saw a BBC television report highlighting the famine that had hit the people of Ethiopia. He was so affected by it that he called his friend Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas? Geldof put together a collection of popular, leading British and Irish musicians. That group was called ‘Band Aid’ and Do They Know It’s Christmas? was recorded in Notting Hill, London. In 1984, Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? became the biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history. It sold a million copies in the first week alone, and on 15th December,it went to number 1, staying there for five weeks and became the Christmas No 1. This song (still regularly played every Christmas) was so popular that by the last day of 1984 it had passed three million sales.

In 1985 Whitney Houston was Saving All My Love for You at Christmas and only just managed to hold on to that prestigious No.1 spot before on 28th December,Shakin’ Stevens took over with Merry Christmas Everyone.

One of the shortest stays (1 week) as Christmas No.1 came in 1986 from The Housemartins with their song Caravan of Love to be followed by Jackie Wilson with Reet Petite which hung onto the slot for a respectable four weeks.

In 1987, the Pet Shop Boys performed a version of “Always on My Mind” on a television special commemorating the tenth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Their performance was so well received that they decided to record the song and release it as a single. This version became the 1987‘s UK Christmas number one single that year and topped the charts for four weeks. Always on my Mind is their best selling single in the official UK Singles Chart.

Cliff Richard snagged the Christmas number one position in 1988 with Mistletoe and Wine (every Christmas we still see him swaying along) and stayed there for four weeks.

Cliff like the song which was originally written in 1976 for a musical called Scraps, an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” set in Victorian London, but changed the lyrics to reflect a more religious theme.  It became his 99th single, and his 12th UK number one single, spending four weeks at No.1 in December 1988, selling 750,000 copies and becoming the UK’s best-selling single of 1988.

Bringing the eighties to a close was the remake of a much loved favourite. Remade by Band Aid II, it featured stars such as Bananarama, Bros, Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue,Chris Rea and Wet Wet Wet. Band Aid II – Do They Know It’s Christmas? became Britain’s Christmas number one on 23rd December 1989 and stayed at the top of the charts for only 3 weeks (2 weeks less than the original 1984 version). It became the 9th biggest selling song of the year, outselling Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”.

Is your all time favourite Christmas single among this eighties list?

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