Top Of The Pops: The Race For The U.K.’s Christmas Number One

On the other side of the pond in the United Kingdom, where the music charts are solely determined by sales, there’s always a fun competition each year for the Christmas Number One — the single that tops the chart during the Christmas holiday. Acts have come and gone and a long period of The X Factor winner releases on the date almost ended the whole thing years ago, but now, there’s a spirit renewed in this exciting race. So, what’s on the menu this year? Here’s what you may find yourself purchasing during the week of December 15:

We like to "Party".

A dose of Christmas cheer.

CIARA – “Overdose”

From her self-titled album, neither of the releases so far from it have gone top 40 in this territory. In fact, the last time the singer had a hit in the U.K. was in 2009 when “Love Sex Magic”, a collaboration with Justin Timberlake, peaked at #5. While this is her best chance at a mainstream success, it’s too late in the era for this to smash.

Another "Impossible" feat.

Another “Impossible” feat.

JAMES ARTHUR – “Recovery”

Following a series of outspoken Twitter comments and controversial diss track, Arthur recently performed this on The X Factor and sales have skyrocketed since that appearance, so it looks like his apologies might have worked with a few people. With top 2 singles under his belt, it looks like he’ll have a third hit on the charts.

He's not giving in.

Even the best need a little rest.

JOHN NEWMAN – “Losing Sleep”

Newman’s third single from his #1 album Tribute is also out, the followup to his recent #9 song called “Cheating”. “Losing” is sonically different from the first two single releases, which should work in his favor, but its peak may be dwarfed by the fact that his album has been out for two months now. We’ll have to see what happens then.

The pop princess of Prism.

A very Katy Khristmas.

KATY PERRY – “Unconditionally”

After a #1 single in “Roar”, Perry’s album PRISM just debuted at #1 in seven countries. The song is already charting as the second radio release from the album in several countries, including Australia and the United States, so it’ll ultimately rank somewhere in the top 40 over there. It’ll likely land somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Rolling through the Strangeland of charts.

Keen to stuff your stocking.

KEANE – “Won’t Be Broken”

This is the second of two new songs to be included on The Best Of Keane and follows “Higher Than The Sun”, officially out on the same date. Though “Sun” won’t be a significant hit, as seen by the results thus far across Europe, both it and “Broken” are enjoyable and will be charting nicely on my personal top 40 soon.

Not so mellow #Yellow.

Not so mellow #Yellow.

LIL’ CHRIS with LLOYD WILKINSON – “Christmas Number One (#FeedEmYellowSnow)”

If there ever was to be a release that addressed The X Factor singles dominating the Christmas Chart, you’ve got your wish. Best known for his 2006 hit “Checkin’ It Out” (#3) and his Christmas release that year called “Gettin’ Enough??” (#17), the former Rock School star and amigo could have a viral hit on his hands. Kiss his #YellowSong.

Ship happens.

Ship happens at holiday time.

RICHARD & ADAM – “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In (On Christmas Day)”

Reality television buff? You might recognize this duo who came in third place on the latest season of Britain’s Got Talent. Their debut album, the Gold certified The Impossible Dream, went to #1 in the United Kingdom in August; expect similar results with their newest release, The Christmas Album. It’s now in stores.

Swingin' on by.

Swingin’ on by.

ROBBIE WILLIAMS featuring LILY ALLEN – “Dream A Little Dream Of Me”

Taken from his former #1 album, Swings Both Ways, this is a great take on a classic. Plus, Allen is red hot on the charts again with her cover of Keane‘s “Somewhere Only We Know”, featured in an advertisement, and a recent top ten in “Hard Out Here”. The terrific twosome’s single should appeal to the older buying audience.

A "Wish" for #1.

A “Wish” for #1 this year.

THE BIG REUNION – “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”

If you watched the ITV2 show this year, then you know all about the groups that the program brought together. The all-star lineup of Atomic Kitten, Blue, B*Witched, 5ive and Liberty X are doing a take on the Wizzard classic, a #4 in 1973 that re-charts annually at the holidays. Will they both end up in the top 40 this year?

Other contenders out for the Christmas Chart (so far):
A3 – “Come With Me”
AC/DC – “Highway To Hell”
Agnes Obel“Dorian”
Altern8“Activ-8 (Come With Me)”
The Call Centre – “SWSWSWN/Mr. Brightside”
Celine Dion“Breakaway”
Chase & Status featuring Jacob Banks“Alive”
Deacon Blue“You’ll Know It’s Christmas”
Ella Eyre“Deeper”
KT Tunstall“Made Of Glass”
Lewis WatsonSome Songs With Some Friends EP
Lucy Spraggan“Tea And Toast”
Nerina Pallot – “We Made It Through Another Year”
Ninetoes featuring James Newman – “Silver & Gold (Finder)”
Olabean & GAZ“Party Like a Rockstar (Up Your Game)”
Pitbull featuring Ke$ha“Timber”
Sam Bailey – “Skyscraper”
Sigma featuring Doctor“Rudeboy”
Sir Terry Wogan, Aled Jones & Hayley Westenra featuring Bond with the Portsmouth Citadel Salvation Army Band“Christmas Dream”
The Retrobot“Christmas Robot”

So, who else will crash this party? Anything can and will happen. Be sure to check back in the next few weeks as the schedule is updated! Don’t forget to click the “Get Social!” tab at top or the “Follow” tab at bottom to get all the news.


Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Single Reviews

2 responses to “Top Of The Pops: The Race For The U.K.’s Christmas Number One

  1. Catnip

    Theoretically with the right marketing campaign anything can be Christmas #1.

    For example if lots of people bought enough copies of Brand New Sin’s Crank it Up , that could be Christmas #1. For those who don’t know, Crank it up is The Big Show’s entrance music.

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