Christmas Number Ones In The Eighties
By Steve McSteveface
The Christmas Number One song in UK singles chart has always been a coveted prize for any music artist.
The first Christmas number one of the Eighties was “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma” by St Winifred’s School Choir. I’m not usually a big fan of kids singing but since it’s Christmas I will overlook it.
The 1981 Christmas number one was “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League. Not particularly festive but a classic 80s song by a band that sums up the 80s sound.
1982 and it’s time to “Save Your Love” by Renée and Renato. A nice romantic song but let’s be honest, in real life they would never be a couple!
1983 was an acapella version of “Only You” by The Flying Pickets. This is the first Christmas chart topper that I can remember and it holds really special memories for me.
Band Aid done it for charity with “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984. The original and some would say the best. It’s certainly the “rawest” version of this song. Although it’s got quite a sad meaning behind it this is an iconic Christmas song – as soon as you hear those bells chiming at the start…
1985 was “Merry Christmas Everyone” by Shakin’ Stevens. Good old Shaky! I was shocked when I realised this song was 30 years old! Man, where does time go? Shaky recently re-released this song with a twist and all in the aid of charity.
For 1986 it was a fab song with an even fabber video – “Reet Petite” by Jackie Wilson
A cover of an Elvis song was the festive number one in 1987 – Pet Shop Boys with “Always On My Mind“. I do like a bit of Pet Shop Boys!
“Mistletoe & Wine” was number one in 1988 by Cliff Richard and I think this is when I really started getting interested in music as I can also remember what was number two and three that year. Cliff gets a lot of stick but no one can dispute the fact he has had an amazing career.
Was there really another need for this charity song in 1989? “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid II was produced by the amazing Stock, Aitken & Waterman and I think that, secretly, Pete Waterman just wanted an excuse to showcase all his artists. Either way – true 80s!