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Chart Chat Edition 814 : Christmas No.1 Contenders

Chart Chat Edition 814 – Christmas Number One Contenders 2015


For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 16 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.


This years race for the Christmas no.1 is wide open with the X Factor winner due to release their single the week before the festive rundown so just who are the artists who are catching the bookies eyes this year.


X Factor Winner – ‘Forever Young’ (EVENS)
Despite the series finishing slightly early this year the winners single is still leading the betting. Last year saw Ben Haenow take the festive top spot with ‘Something I Need’ following on from Sam Bailey’s success a year earlier with ‘Skyscraper’. In fact the X Factor winner won the annual race each year between 2005 and 2008 before Rage Against The Machine capitalised on a public protest vote to defeat Joe McElderry. This year the winner looks set to be one of Che Chesterman, Louisa Johnson and Lauren Murray though as Fleur East will testify the runner up can often end up enjoying more success. It appears that the winner of this years competition will sing Bob Dylan’s classic ‘Forever Young’ but that may suit some contestants more than others. With no other major contender declared at this stage it is possible that it could hold on for the second week that it would need to claim the coveted Christmas top spot.


Adele – ‘Hello’ (6/1)

While this track has already topped the charts it is quite possible that this will still be hanging around by then.  With streams now forming a significant part of chart return data it should fare well over the coming weeks although whether it will have the strength to return to the top spot remains to be seen. Her album has been breaking records over the past few days and is bound to find its ways into a few Christmas stockings particularly given the fact that it is not due to be available on music streaming services. The video to this track has been viewed an astonishing 451m times since it was made available at the end of October. In addition to ‘Hello’ her album track ‘When We Were Young’ has also been performing well with a version recorded at the Church Studios being viewed over 20m times. As such that could also put in a late bid for the number one position.


John Williams – ‘Star Wars Theme’ (6/1)

Each year it seems there is an anti X Factor single, but few have come close to replicating the success of Rage Against The Machine in 2009. AC/DC reached the top five with ‘Highway To Hell’ in 2013 but last year Iron Maiden missed the top forty altogether with ‘Number Of The Beast’. This year a Facebook group has acquired over 425k members and is aiming to take on the X Factor winner on Christmas week. Few will have failed to notice that this December sees the release of the seventh Star Wars film ‘The Force Awakens’ and the publicity surrounding that can only help the success of this campaign. Star Wars fans are a dedicated bunch and I am sure that there will be some serious weight behind this campaign. As things stand the bookies seem to give them a limited chance as 6/1 seems to suggest that they will end up falling just short of the finish line.


Eagles Of Death Metal – ‘Save A Prayer’ (6/1)

Shortly after the terror attack in Paris this track saw an upsurge in downloads and was the subject of a social media campaign to get it to the top of the charts. Although it did make the top ten on individual days it’s placing at the end of the week was no.53 and so my feeling is that its best chance may have gone. It has however given the band their highest charting UK single to date, going some twenty places higher than their only other hit ‘I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)’ which was released back in 2006. Their current album ‘Zipper Down’ reached no.32 upon its release last month and the indications were Given that the band were the ones performing at the Bataclan venue when it was attacked there would be a positive reaction by many fans if this were to climb to the top of the Christmas charts. If it did succeed it would actually improve on the no.2 position achieved by the Duran Duran original back in 1982.


Kylie Minogue & James Corden – ‘Only You’ (20/1)

It’s not exactly clear why Kylie has opted to release a Christmas album this year, or why she has asked James Corden to appear on one of the tracks.  However that is exactly what has happened and some bookmakers are quoting odds of 20/1 for this to top the charts. The track started out as a no.2 hit for Yazoo in 1982 but it topped the charts for the acapella band Flying Pickets the very next year. For me the ‘100 Degrees’ duet with sister Dannii Minogue would have made for a better single but I can see why her record label might have seen this becoming a hit. Reaction to the album has been mixed and it only entered at no.12 upon its mid November release but with many fans already owning this on the album there seems little incentive for them to download it again. James doesn’t actually have a bad voice and if this picked up sufficient airplay over the festive period it could yet become a hit single.


Cilla Black – ‘You’re My World’ (20/1)

This is another song which is the subject of an internet campaign although with just 12k members it would appear to be someway behind the Star Wars campaign. The track originally topped the charts in 1964 and made a return earlier this year when it reached no.91 following her death. The group have requested that EMI also produce a limited run of CD singles to accompany the release as this would help to boost sales amongst those fans who may not choose to download music. As with the Eagles of Death Metal track you have to feel that the peak momentum behind this track has been and gone but at this time of year anything can happen (and it usually does!). It was also requested that any profits from sales of the track go to Great Ormond Street hospital but whether that will happen has yet to be confirmed.


John Lennon – ‘Imagine’ (20/1)

This has appeared in the running this year for two or three different reasons. Firstly it would have been John’s 75th birthday this year but the song took on additional significance following the Paris terrorist attack. Not only do the lyrics resonate about the whole world living as one but an unnamed pianist played the track outside the Bataclan theatre following the terrorist attacks there. The track first charted in 1975 when it made no.3 but it became his third chart topper in the weeks following his death in 1980. It was then later reissued in 1988 when it peaked at no.45 but it had another top three run in 1999. It has sold 1.64m copies over the years and is one of the top twenty best selling singles in UK history. I’m not sure that it can top the charts some forty four years after it was first recorded even if the sentiments ring as true today as they did back then.


The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir – ‘A Bridge Over You’ (20/1)

This song is already available but has been the subject of a social media campaign to get it to the top of the charts. The choir first appeared on Gareth Malone’s TV show ‘Sing While You Work’ where they finished runners up in the competition and they first released the video to this track two years ago. The track sees a mash-up of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’. The Facebook campaign has over 150k members already and the video has been viewed over 100k times on YouTube. Charity singles can often perform well and if everyone who has signed up for the campaign downloaded both versions (the Radio Edit and the Extended Version) then it would probably sell enough to top the charts. As I mentioned earlier this years top spot is very much a wide open race so if this group can gather some momentum in the weeks that lay ahead then they could well be in with a shout.


The Killers – TBA (100/1)

No significant odds being offered on this year, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without a brand new track being released from the band. For me last years Jimmy Kimmel collaboration ‘Joel The Lump Of Coal’ was one of my favourites although I think that their Neil Tennant and Elton John due ‘Joseph Better You Than Me’ has to be their best Christmas song to date. So far only ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’ has charted, reaching no.34 back in 2007. Other tracks released to coincide with Yuletide have included ‘Christmas In LA’, ‘I Feel It In My Bones’, ‘Boots’ and ‘Happy Birthday Guadalupe’. I will be keeping an eye out for the video which will be coming over the next few days and will certainly be downloading the track once it has become available. Brandon Flowers released his latest solo album earlier this year so fingers crossed for some new material from the band at some point next year.


Other Contenders

Other tracks / artists who could be considered in the running include ‘Echoes Of Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Shakin’ Stevens, ‘Christmas In The Air (Tonight)’ by Scouting For Girls, ‘Alone On Christmas Day’ by Phoenix featuring Bill Murray, ‘Christmas Without A Prayer’ by Sparks and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’ by Blake & Shirley Bassey.


So who will triumph this year? The chart itself is on Christmas Day so it looks set to be a year to remember.



Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

22 November, 2015 - Posted by | ChartChat

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