Tag Archives: Jona Lewie

Wham!'s "Last Christmas" sleeve

Wham!’s “Last Christmas” returns to number 2

The online campaign to mark the first anniversary of George Michael’s passing by sending Wham!’s Last Christmas to number 1 has fallen just short of its target – but the track has returned to number 2 in this week’s official singles chart.

On its first release in 1984, the double A-side of Last Christmas and Everything She Wants entered the chart at number 2. Despite spending five weeks in second place and selling over a million copies it was denied the top spot by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? which became the UK’s biggest selling single of all time. A reissue of Last Christmas reached number 6 in 1985 and the song has regularly returned to the listings at the end of the year since 2007 when download sales were integrated into the singles chart. Despite this, it wasn’t until George’s death on Christmas Day 2016 that the song made it back into the top ten, reaching number 7 in the week after his passing.

As well as the online campaign, the track’s return to the number 2 position this year is due in part to the inclusion of streaming data in the singles chart, which has also driven numerous other Christmas singles to their highest chart position in decades. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl climb to number 5 in this week’s chart with Fairytale of New York, its highest position since 2007, while Wham!’s former vanquishers Band Aid reach number 7, the first time the original recording of Do They Know It’s Christmas? has been in the top ten since 1985. Shakin’ Stevens achieves a similar feat, with Merry Christmas Everyone returning to number 10 and entering the top ten for the first time since it was 1985’s festive chart topper.

Further down, two Christmas classics are enjoying their first ever visits to the top twenty: Elton John’s Step Into Christmas achieves a new peak of #11 (it only reached 24 on its original release in 1973), while Chris Rea reaches #14 with Driving Home For Christmas, having peaked at #53 when first released in 1988. Surprisingly though, Jona Lewie’s Stop the Cavalry only reaches #61 (it got as high as #58 in 2016) and the Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping – voted second favourite Christmas hit of the entire decade in our recent poll – re-enters at a lowly #87.

Off The Sleigh: the Off The Chart Christmas Special 2017

Off The Sleigh

Remember voting for your favourite ’80s Christmas hits back in November? Finally Steve and Julian can reveal the results in this special festive edition of Off The Chart! Find out how your favourites fared as we count down all twenty-two … read more

Off The Chart: 9 December 1980

Off The Chart: 9 December 1980

We’re going all the way back to 1980 on Off The Chart to take in one of the most depressing days in musical history. That’s just the way the dates fall. But never mind, it makes the featured album very … read more

Off The Chart: 17 June 1981

Off The Chart: 17 June 1981

We’re taking on the chart from this week in 1981 with two hours of hits, history and hilarity! Steve and Julian play some of the forgotten hits from the week’s singles chart, three tracks from a featured album, a hit … read more

Off The Chart: 24 December 1980

Off The Chart: 24 December 1980

All the way back to 1980 this week on Off The Chart for one of the least festive charts imaginable. As Britain faces up to rising unemployment, Christmas without John Lennon and a lorryload of inedible poultry, join Steve and … read more

Off The Chart: 28 May 1980

Off The Chart: 4 June 1985

Every Saturday in our podcast-style-radio-show-thing Off The Chart, Steve Binnie and Julian Sparrow look at the chart from the corresponding week in one of the ’80s years and play the songs you don’t normally hear on a chart rundown. They … read more

New Releases: 15 April 2016 and Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2016

New Releases Paul Young releases a new album Good Thing while Phil Collins continues his Take A Look At Me Now series of reissues with newly expanded editions of 1985’s No Jacket Required and his 2002 set Testify. If you’ve … read more

1980 Christmas Top 40

John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Christmas 1980 was something of a subdued affair. Chartwise there was a fairly standard mix of Christmas songs, novelty records and songs that had been hanging around for a while and just happened to be caught up in the festive … read more