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Top 10 biggest selling Christmas songs of all time

Discussion in 'Retro' started by rodmonster, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. rodmonster

    rodmonster Santa's Personal Trainer MMC Lifer Christmas Crew

    Single title artist year peak position
    1 do they know it's christmas? Band aid 1984 1
    2 mary's boy child boney m 1978 1
    3 last christmas wham! 1984 2
    4 merry xmas everybody slade 1973 1
    5 mary's boy child harry belafonte 1957 1
    6 do they know it's christmas? Band aid 20 2004 1
    7 white christmas bing crosby 1942 5
    8 fairytale of new york the pogues ft kirsty maccoll 1987 2
    9 the millennium prayer cliff richard 1999 1
    10 when a child is born johnny mathis 1976 1
    3 people like this.
  2. snowflake22

    snowflake22 *Harlowe's Mom* MMC Lifer Louann Jeffries Award

    Really interesting, Rod. Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. redkaga

    redkaga Elf Supervisor MMC Lifer

    I have to quibble with this list. I'm pretty sure this is a UK chart list, and I think it only dates back about 60 years. The obvious problem is White Christmas being #7. The song is not only the biggest selling Christmas single worldwide, but it is the biggest selling single. period. With 50 million single sales, it was released as a single 6 times and hit Billboard's #1 spot three times, hitting the charts in 20 different years. Compiling a worldwide Christmas singles chart, I'd have the following list:

    1. White Christmas - Bing Crosby - 50 million sales
    2. Silent Night - Bing Crosby - 30 million
    3. All I want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey - 14 million
    4. Do they Know It's Christmas - Band Aid - 13 million (could be more. sales figures vary)
    5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry - 12 million
    6. Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters - 6 million
    7. The Chipmunks Song - 5 million

    Compiling a definitive list of all-time Christmas singles is downright impossible. Sales figures come from different sources, and trying to parse the difference between songs produced during or shortly before the era of digital downloads with songs produced 60 or 70 years ago is difficult. Digital download numbers are considerably higher and easier to ascertain. But the lower marginal cost of a digital download vs. a physical single as well as the relative ease of purchase vs. the old method of purchasing a single adds to the confusion.

    Also of note, the UK charts add to the confusion by apparently holding a particular song in a place of honor each year - the UK Single Chart Christmas number one. This is the song which is at the top of the UK Singles Chart for each Christmas week. Sometimes a Christmas song, it will often be the hot pop song of the day.

    With all this being said, I think there is only one "best" Christmas song - the one that you like and has the most meaning for you at Christmas.
    5 people like this.
  4. Jeff Westover

    Jeff Westover Chief Santa Tracker MMC Founder Santa's Elf Kringle Radio DJ

    Have to agree with redkaga. I doubt very much that Do they Know It's Christmas belongs on any list. Yes, it did well for a season. But it hasn't sold well since -- or even been played much.
    3 people like this.
  5. Yuletide Junkie

    Yuletide Junkie Dang Near Santa Himself MMC Lifer MMC Donor MMC Premiere Member

    The song gets regular airplay every season around here...Can't speak to the sales, or lack there of.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jeff Westover

    Jeff Westover Chief Santa Tracker MMC Founder Santa's Elf Kringle Radio DJ

    I doubt if there is a way to quantify play time. I am likely opposite most in listening to Christmas music. I get most of my music during the year and less during the season because I'm so busy. And I just don't hear that song much. Some, but not much. I wouldn't put it in the Top 50 at all.
    1 person likes this.
  7. JoseChung

    JoseChung Eggnog Chugger Merry Forums Member MMC Premiere Member

    The list deffo looks like it's a UK chart. I can't see Cliff Richards selling well outside the UK!

    That said, I'm shocked that Slade and the pouges aren't higher on the list.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  8. Jeff Westover

    Jeff Westover Chief Santa Tracker MMC Founder Santa's Elf Kringle Radio DJ

    I agree. Perhaps I'm tainted by our year-round polling numbers, too. Slade always makes the Top 100.
    1 person likes this.
  9. ryansrs1

    ryansrs1 Merry Forums Elf, 2nd Class MMC Lifer

    Yep seems like a UK list.

    Do they know it's Christmas is played everywhere here in UK and makes the charts due to downloads at Christmas. Personal favorite is The Pouges though, love it :)

    We do need a new Christmas song though, who do you guys think would make a good song for the festive season?
    2 people like this.
  10. 'Tis the season

    'Tis the season Mrs. Claus' Executive Assistant MMC Lifer MMC Donor

    It seems most mainstream UK radio and music stations have given up on new Christmas music in favour of playing the same old classics every year which is disappointing. I thought Kelly Clarksons wrapped in red album was excellent but got little attention over here. I do wish the powers that be would broaden the Christmas music selection.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    HollyJolly, ryansrs1 and snowflake22 like this.
  11. JoseChung

    JoseChung Eggnog Chugger Merry Forums Member MMC Premiere Member

    I think if a UK act brought out a Christmas song it would be on our radio more.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  12. Ron Delaney

    Ron Delaney Mistletoe Hanger MMC Lifer

    True about Cliff. but do love his version of "Scarlett Ribbons"
    1 person likes this.
  13. Nash

    Nash Elf Supervisor MMC Lifer Christmas Talk Alum

    Although seems like a UK list it surprises me that Wizzard (I wish it could be Christmas everyday) isnt showing , That and Slade In my opinion are the TWO songs that most UK people would say if questioned on UK christmas tunes also i beg to differ regarding the post saying about Band Aid , it is played a LOT on our radio and TV over here come December , but as i state thats only MY opinion

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