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> Christmas songs that have gained or lost popularity
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BillyH
post Dec 8 2020, 10:01 PM
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Looking at the most popular Christmas songs on the various music platforms this week, it's a fairly different list to what you'd expect back in the 1990s or earlier - some songs have become far more popular than they were in the past, and others (with one extreme example) have dropped a lot in popularity. Here's a few I've noticed:

Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas Is You really was one of the lesser-known festive songs in the late 1990s/early 2000s, it got a lot of airplay in its first year and then was played less for a while in comparison to more established hits. The turning points seem to be both the film Love Actually in 2003, and the advent of downloads a few years later when it was finally able to rechart again without needing a CD re-release. Tell anyone twenty years ago it would be by far the number 1 song every Christmas and few would have believed you!

On the other side, ask anyone twenty years ago what is the number 1 Christmas song, and many would say Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody. This really was the king of festive releases for ages, it was constantly re-issued throughout the 1970s to 1990s and very much felt like the most famous festive track of the modern pop era. It's still definitely well-known, but it's slipped a lot in popularity in the last decade or so and many others now chart higher and are played more. Maybe it's immense airplay for 30 years after release started putting people off by the time the download/streaming eras arrived, paving the way for other songs (most notably Mariah) to gain more popularity.

And on the extreme side, Gary Glitter - Another Rock and Roll Christmas was unescapable from release in 1984 right up to some point around the turn of the millennium when it stopped receiving airplay completely due to some rather horrific revelations involving the singer. It didn't disappear overnight - the cast of Blue Peter sung it in a festive special in 2001 (a few years after Glitter's career ended, which somewhat surprised me at the time) and I've heard it in recent years in the form of cover versions, but the original hasn't been part of many Christmas playlists for two decades or more now.

Any others that come to mind?
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dan :: G
post Dec 8 2020, 10:06 PM
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not so fun fact: we had that Gary Glitter song on the christmas playlist until about 2010 as it was from a 90s compilation, cos my parents didn’t realise it was Gary Glitter and I didn’t know who he was. it was an okay song but have no desire to listen to it ever again.

to answer the thread first think i think of is the Greg Lake song sadly seems to have lost a lot of popularity and doesn’t chart anymore.
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Jester
post Dec 8 2020, 10:07 PM
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Those 3 songs all spring to my mind when I saw this topic, so I agree with them all.

Itís good to see Brenda Leeís Rockiní Around The Christmas Tree doing really well over the last 2/3 years - cumulative Home Alone effect?
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dan :: G
post Dec 8 2020, 10:10 PM
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as for songs gaining popularity over recent years: Feliz Navidad, Iíd never heard of it until about five years ago and now it seems rather popular, thanks to Americanised Spotify playlists helped it along. Jingle Bell Rock too.
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zenon
post Dec 8 2020, 10:18 PM
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Elton John - Step Into Christmas seems to have got more popular over the last decade at least. Can't recall hearing the song before the mid-2000s.
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Maestro
post Dec 8 2020, 10:29 PM
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Fairytale of New York seems to be losing popularity, mainly due to its low playlist position on Spotify. I suspect itís actually more popular (at least in the UK) than some of the songs above it on the Spotify chart but doesnít get the streams as itís further down the playlist. Same applies to Merry Xmas Everybody.

On the other hand songs like Jingle Bell Rock, Itís the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Rockiní Around the Christmas Tree and Underneath the Tree are experiencing the opposite effect.
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Rob S
post Dec 8 2020, 10:51 PM
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As mentioned Brenda Lee, Elton John and now Kelly have all started to pick up over the last 3 or so years specifically. I'd also include Shaky as well as there was period where he never went top 40 with the usual lot from 2009-2014 and started building back up popularity again thanks to streaming. Same goes for Buble (unfortunately).

Sadly as has been mentioned Wizzard have started to slide in popularity and definitely Slade have as well considering how popular that was a decade ago!


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steve201
post Dec 8 2020, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE(Maestro @ Dec 8 2020, 10:29 PM) *
Fairytale of New York seems to be losing popularity, mainly due to its low playlist position on Spotify. I suspect itís actually more popular (at least in the UK) than some of the songs above it on the Spotify chart but doesnít get the streams as itís further down the playlist. Same applies to Merry Xmas Everybody.

On the other hand songs like Jingle Bell Rock, Itís the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Rockiní Around the Christmas Tree and Underneath the Tree are experiencing the opposite effect.


This is definitely down to the Spotify worldwide focused playlists for me. Andy Williams, Bobby Helms and Brenda Lee are all huge US staples and regularly climb the chart there behind Mariah and initially ahead of Wham. Also the Home Alone film def helped Brenda Lee and Bobby Helms. Also a decent video which is modern helps the video plays so for example ĎRockin Around the Christmas Treeí got that from the Mel & Kim release in 1987 and indoubedly boosted its plays - this is detrimental to the likes of Greg Lake which has a video but itís pretty damn poor and of its time so probably gets less play than colourful videos!

Anyway I find the world wide Spotify playlists are equaled out by Amazon and Apple which fatter more for uk staples!
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scratchy23
post Dec 8 2020, 10:58 PM
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Feel like Underneath The Tree is growing in popularity year by year. I saw a tweet the other day that said UTT will be the AIWFCIY of the 2030s. I donít know if itíll ever be THAT popular but I can see it being seen as an absolute Christmas classic in years to come.
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MangÝ
post Dec 8 2020, 11:00 PM
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I made this last year precisely to show which songs were gaining/losing popularity over the years. The second column in blue is the one we're more interested in - it basically shows the ranking of the song compared to all the other Christmas songs in the chart, for the last 10 years (2010-2019).

So we can clearly see that Step Into Christmas has been steadily gaining popularity and Merry Xmas Everybody has been dropping in popularity for whatever reason.

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You---------------------------22 | 11 | 20 | 12 | 16 | 11 | 5 | 2 | 2 | 2--------------2 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 2
Wham! - Last Christmas---------------------------------------------------53 | 26 | 34 | 36 | 28 | 18 | 7 | 2 | 3 | 3--------------6 | 4 | 4 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 3
The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York------------------17 | 13 | 12 | 14 | 11 | 13 | 15 | 5 | 4 | 4--------------3 | 2 | 1 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 4
Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone-------------------------------68 | 42 | 46 | 54 | 38 | 26 | 17 | 10 | 9 | 6--------------9 | 9 | 9 | 9 | 6 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 5
Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?----------------------------------54 | 34 | 37 | 57 | 56 | 38 | 29 | 7 | 6 | 7--------------7 | 7 | 7 | 10 | 10 | 7 | 10 | 4 | 4 | 6
Wizzard - I Wish It Would Be Christmas Everyday--------------------------46 | 28 | 29 | 31 | 35 | 27 | 23 | 15 | 12 | 10--------------4 | 5 | 3 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 6 | 10 | 10 | 9
Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody---------------------------------------------50 | 33 | 35 | 49 | 55 | 55 | 30 | 16 | 17 | 19--------------5 | 6 | 5 | 7 | 9 | 9 | 11 | 11 | 13 | 15
Chris Rea - Driving Home For Christmas-----------------------------------67 | 36 | 36 | 53 | 43 | 29 | 26 | 14 | 11 | 24--------------8 | 8 | 6 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 8 | 9 | 9 | 18
John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)------------------------84 | 78 | 81 | 88 | 94 | 69 | 49 | 21 | 18 | 28--------------10 | 17 | 16 | 14 | 25 | 14 | 17 | 14 | 14 | 21
Coldplay - Christmas Lights----------------------------------------------13 | 65 | 96 | - | 93 | 75 | 48 | 31 | 47 | 29--------------1 | 13 | 17 | - | 24 | 16 | 16 | 19 | 32 | 22
Elton John - Step Into Christmas------------------------------------------ | 64 | 75 | - | 84 | 58 | 37 | 11 | 10 | 8--------------- | 12 | 13 | - | 20 | 10 | 13 | 7 | 8 | 7
Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree---------------------------- | 62 | 54 | 63 | 63 | 60 | 31 | 9 | 16 | 18--------------- | 11 | 11 | 11 | 12 | 11 | 12 | 5 | 12 | 14
Justin Bieber - Mistletoe------------------------------------------------- | 21 | - | - | - | - | 93 | 41 | 28 | 27--------------- | 3 | - | - | - | - | 35 | 24 | 20 | 20
Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime---------------------------------- | 72 | 96 | - | - | 68 | 40 | 26 | 20 | 37--------------- | 15 | 18 | - | - | 13 | 14 | 16 | 15 | 29
Dean Martin - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!---------------------- | 70 | 69 | - | 83 | - | 94 | 91 | 54 | 39--------------- | 14 | 12 | - | 19 | - | 37 | 39 | 36 | 30
East 17 - Stay Another Day------------------------------------------------ | 81 | 79 | 68 | 72 | 81 | 67 | 76 | 36 | 35--------------- | 18 | 15 | 12 | 15 | 17 | 24 | 33 | 24 | 28
Bing Crosby - White Christmas--------------------------------------------- | 92 | - | - | 75 | - | 47 | 22 | 31 | 31--------------- | 20 | - | - | 16 | - | 15 | 15 | 23 | 24
Michael Buble - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas--------------- | 77 | 77 | 81 | 49 | 41 | 27 | 13 | 7 | 11--------------- | 16 | 14 | 13 | 8 | 8 | 9 | 8 | 5 | 10
Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry--------------------------------------------- | 86 | - | - | - | 82 | 58 | 61 | 85 | 56--------------- | 19 | - | - | - | 18 | 19 | 25 | 50 | 38
Kylie Minogue - Santa Baby------------------------------------------------ | 100 | 99 | - | - | 95 | 72 | 38 | 53 | 74--------------- | 23 | 19 | - | - | 22 | 28 | 22 | 35 | 50
Michael Buble - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town----------------------------- | 100 | - | - | 87 | - | 98 | - | 82 | 77--------------- | 22 | - | - | 22 | - | 41 | - | 48 | 51
Michael Buble - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)------------------------- | 47 | - | - | 95 | - | - | - | - | ---------------- | 10 | - | - | 26 | - | - | - | - | -
Michael Buble - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-------------------- | 99 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | ---------------- | 21 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - The Power Of Love----------------------------- | - | 42 | - | - | - | - | - | - | ---------------- | - | 8 | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
Rod Stewart - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas---------------------- | - | 51 | - | - | - | - | - | - | ---------------- | - | 10 | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
Leona Lewis - One More Sleep---------------------------------------------- | - | - | 3 | 80 | 83 | 70 | 19 | 8 | 15--------------- | | | 1 | 18 | 19 | 26 | 13 | 6 | 12
Kelly Clarkson - Underneath The Tree-------------------------------------- | - | - | 30 | - | - | 66 | 32 | 37 | 21--------------- | - | - | 4 | - | - | 23 | 20 | 25 | 16
Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of Year---------------------- | - | - | 90 | 61 | 61 | 24 | 17 | 29 | 25--------------- | - | - | 15 | 11 | 12 | 7 | 12 | 21 | 19
The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride------------------------------------------------ | - | - | 98 | 89 | - | 68 | 80 | 58 | 34--------------- | - | - | 17 | 23 | - | 25 | 35 | 38 | 27
The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)------------------- | - | - | 97 | - | - | 96 | 69 | 42 | 42--------------- | - | - | 16 | - | - | 39 | 31 | 29 | 31
Ariana Grande - Santa Tell Me--------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | 68 | - | 90 | 28 | 13 | 13--------------- | - | - | - | 14 | - | 34 | 17 | 11 | 11
Michael Buble - Holly Jolly Christmas------------------------------------- | - | - | - | 96 | - | 100 | 34 | 44 | 32--------------- | - | - | - | 27 | - | 42 | 21 | 30 | 25
Sam Smith - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas------------------------ | - | - | - | 65 | - | - | 93 | 79 | 67--------------- | - | - | - | 13 | - | - | 40 | 47 | 42
Boney M - Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord------------------------------------- | - | - | - | 79 | 74 | 50 | 29 | 26 | 47--------------- | - | - | - | 17 | 15 | 18 | 18 | 19 | 33
Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas--------------------------------- | - | - | - | 86 | - | 79 | - | 59 | ---------------- | - | - | - | 21 | - | 33 | - | 39 | -
Band Aid 30 - Do They Know It's Christmas?-------------------------------- | - | - | - | 1 | - | - | - | - | ---------------- | - | - | - | 1 | - | - | - | - | -
Mud - Lonely This Christmas----------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | 93 | 65 | 67 | 38 | 69--------------- | - | - | - | - | 20 | 22 | 29 | 26 | 44
The Pretenders - 2000 Miles----------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | 94 | 62 | 64 | 65 | 61--------------- | - | - | - | - | 21 | 20 | 27 | 42 | 39
Matt Terry - When Christmas Comes Around---------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 3 | 90 | - | ---------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 1 | 38 | - | -
Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby-------------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 63 | 68 | 73 | 55--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 21 | 30 | 44 | 37
Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock-------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 71 | 63 | 41 | 30--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 27 | 26 | 28 | 23
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 74 | 77 | 22 | 33--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 29 | 34 | 16 | 26
Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song---------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 77 | 66 | 56 | 51--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 31 | 28 | 37 | 34
Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad-------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 78 | 86 | 77 | 54--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 32 | 36 | 46 | 36
Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas-------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 75 | 75 | 63 | 68--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 30 | 32 | 41 | 43
Frank Sinatra - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!-------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 93 | - | 74 | 65--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 36 | - | 45 | 41
Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 95 | - | 48 | 72--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 38 | - | 33 | 48
The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping--------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 96 | 87 | 46 | 71--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | 40 | 37 | 31 | 46
Sia - Santa's Coming For Us----------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 39 | 24 | 17--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 23 | 18 | 13
Gwen Stefani feat. Blake Shelton - You Make It Feel Like Christmas-------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 98 | 71 | 82--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 42 | 43 | 54
John Williams - Carol Of The Bells---------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 97 | - | 98--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 41 | - | 60
Michael Jackson & Jackson 5 - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 99 | 30 | 46--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | 43 | 22 | 32
Katy Perry - Cozy Little Christmas---------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 23 | 22--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 17 | 17
Idina Menzel feat. Michael Buble - Baby It's Cold Outside----------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 39 | ---------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 27 | -
Cliff Richard - Mistletoe And Wine---------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 51 | 81--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 34 | 53
Perry Como - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas------------------ | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 89 | 63--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 51 | 40
Gwen Stefani - White Christmas-------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 62 | ---------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 40 | -
Brett Eldredge & Meghan Trainor - Baby It's Cold Outside------------------ | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 84 | ---------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 49 | -
Tony Bennett - Winter Wonderland------------------------------------------ | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 96 | ---------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 53 | -
Glee Cast - White Christmas----------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 98 | ---------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 54 | -
Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 100 | 93--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 55 | 58
Ellie Goulding - River---------------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 1--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 1
John Legend - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 9--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 8
Jonas Brothers - Like It's Christmas-------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 53--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 35
Jessie J - Man With The Bag----------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 70--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 45
Taylor Swift - Christmas Tree Farm---------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 71--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 47
Liam Payne - All I Want (For Christmas)----------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 73--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 49
Gabrielle Aplin - The Power Of Love--------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 80--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 52
Chuck Berry - Run Rudolph Run--------------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 94 | 83--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 52 | 55
Queen - Thank God It's Christmas------------------------------------------ | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 86--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 56
Little Mix - One I've Been Missing---------------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 92--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 57
Chris De Burgh - A Spaceman Came Travelling------------------------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 94--------------- | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | 59

I'll update the list after Christmas to include 2020.


This post has been edited by M4ngo Ho Ho: Dec 8 2020, 11:01 PM
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Tafty
post Dec 8 2020, 11:07 PM
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I wish The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) would be a staple. sad.gif I am genuinely surprised that it's so forgotten about nowadays as I remember it being EVERYWHERE at the time of release and it wasn't too far away from when downloads would start impacting the charts. A forgotten gem.

EDIT: Maybe not so "forgotten" but it doesn't get the attention it deserves!
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steve201
post Dec 8 2020, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE(Tafty @ Dec 8 2020, 11:07 PM) *
I wish The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) would be a staple. sad.gif I am genuinely surprised that it's so forgotten about nowadays as I remember it being EVERYWHERE at the time of release and it wasn't too far away from when downloads would start impacting the charts. A forgotten gem.

EDIT: Maybe not so "forgotten" but it doesn't get the attention it deserves!


It always makes the top 100 and is already there this year possibly challenging for a top 40 re-entry. It was everywhere the year of release as they were literally the biggest band in Britain at the time following ĎI Believe In A Thing Called Loveí being released previous to it. Basically the same as Slade when they smashed in at number one in 1973!

I wonder if the guitar based songs struggle for the same reason as their modern contemporaries do on streaming? Maybe that type of music truely is dead sad.gif
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MangÝ
post Dec 8 2020, 11:26 PM
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QUOTE(Tafty @ Dec 8 2020, 11:07 PM) *
I wish The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) would be a staple. sad.gif I am genuinely surprised that it's so forgotten about nowadays as I remember it being EVERYWHERE at the time of release and it wasn't too far away from when downloads would start impacting the charts. A forgotten gem.

EDIT: Maybe not so "forgotten" but it doesn't get the attention it deserves!

Completely agree, wish it was played more. Definitely one of the best Christmas songs made!

I also wish 'Christmas Wrapping' was more of a staple, that's such a fun Christmas bop.
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steve201
post Dec 8 2020, 11:39 PM
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Strangely this Christmas so far I have randomly heard Joni Mitchell River more than any other Xmas 😮
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paulgilb
post Dec 8 2020, 11:48 PM
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I used to Mel Smith & Kim Wilde's version of Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree regularly in the early 2000s but don't seem to hear it now.

Chris Rea's Driving Home For Christmas is another one that has largely increased in popularity over the years - it didn't reach the top 40 when first released (it reached #53 as part of The Christmas EP).
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gooddelta
post Dec 8 2020, 11:50 PM
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I remember first becoming aware of All I Want For Christmas Is You in 2000 when I saw it on TOTP2. I certainly don't recall hearing it on the radio in 1998 and 1999 which is when I started following the charts, and as Billy says, I don't think it really picked up proper steam outside its first year of release until it featured in Love Actually.

It's been interesting to see Wham! move solidly into second place above The Pogues in recent years and Band Aid and Shaky climbing above Wizzard and Slade (at least Wizzard have maintained a position in or around the top 10). Not sure what happened to Chris Rea last year but he seems to be back on track this year!
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gooddelta
post Dec 8 2020, 11:56 PM
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I suppose another good barometer of this is to look at what was on the older Christmas compilations compared to the current ones. I have one called I Love Christmas from 2003 that opened with John & Yoko, so that really must have dived in popularity in the last 20 years.

Elton's song was Disc 1 track 4 so it must have been quite popular on radio even back then, even though it feels like it's come more to prominence in tthe last few years.

Another that seemed particularly popular on the radio when I was younger was Bing Crosby/David Bowie's Little Drummer Boy, which is still floating about but the original doesn't even seem to be available to stream!
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777666jason
post Dec 8 2020, 11:59 PM
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I know it was meant as a joke when it was released because it was taking piss out of Christmas songs in general but

Geraldine McQueen- once upon a Christmas song ,

Suprised it's done nothing since release year
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steve201
post Dec 9 2020, 12:03 AM
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John Lennon one is still one of the most popular ones - this year will probably see a rise in its airplay too given its 40 years this week since he was killed.

Itís an interesting point to note about original versions of Bing/Bowie not being available. As time goes on will newer versions take over the originals?
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zenon
post Dec 9 2020, 12:22 AM
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QUOTE(paulgilb @ Dec 9 2020, 01:48 AM) *
I used to Mel Smith & Kim Wilde's version of Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree regularly in the early 2000s but don't seem to hear it now.


It's still all over the Christmas music channels.
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