Most Christmas Number Ones?

When The Beatles first began recording in August 1962 their target was a number one single in the UK charts. This seemed implausible but was achieved within a year. To general astonishment they were still top of the charts in December 1963

A Christmas Number One has always been the Holy Grail of the UK record industry. Unlike in the US, where there is a special holiday chart, it is a topic of national conversation. 

In the early 60s  available only establish stars who could appeal across the generations could realistically aspire to taking the prize. In 1961 it was Elvis Presley, who didn't scare the horses with the mid-tempo Return to Sender.

Chart domination

The Beatles demolished this accepted wisdom - and not with an easy listening number to please granny and grandchild alike. 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' unashamedly youthful - a high energy statement of a break with tradition. It began a hold on the Christmas Number One spot that would last three years. 

In 1966 there was a comeback for the big ballad with Tom Jones but The Beatles returned to the top of the charts in December 1967. This set a record that is unlikely to  everbe broken:

  • 1963: I Want To Hold Your Hand 
  • 1964: I Feel Fine 
  • 1965: Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out
  • 1966: Green, Green Grass of Home (Tom Jones)
  • 1967: Hello, Goodbye 

A Beatle Christmas Record

This domination of the Christmas chart was achieved without a single reference to the event. In 1963 the Beatles A Beatles Christmas Record, the first of seven. These extraordinary collages of interiviews, song snippets and ad hoc clowning around were  only on flexi-disc to fan club members - see here.

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