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LadBaby has a new chart record
LadBaby becomes the first chart act ever to get four consecutive Christmas number one singles.; Adele's reign at the top of the albums chart continues.

LadBaby sets a new chart record while Adele tops the albums chart for the fifth successive week.

When Nathan Evans took a sea shanty to number one in March, it would have been reasonable to assume that that would be the most surprising chart event of the year. Elton John, though, has proved those people wrong. Not content with having two number one singles this year (two more than even the most optimistic of his fans would have dared to dream), he now has a third, albeit with another version of the second.

Yes, it’s the Christmas chart which, in recent years, can only mean another LadBaby effort. This time he has chosen a more recent song to destroy, Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s Merry Christmas which has been at number one for the last two weeks and has been renamed Sausage Rolls For Everyone to fit in with LadBaby’s one and only joke. One reason for going back on his promise not to release any more singles is his desire to become the first chart act ever to have four successive Christmas number ones, a fact he acknowledges at the very beginning of the song. The Beatles had four Christmas number ones, but not in successive years. They topped the chart at Christmas 1963, ‘64 and ‘65 but Tom Jones had the 1966 Christmas number one before The Beatles did it again in 1967.

Both Ed Sheeran and Elton John have contributed to this new version of Merry Christmas, meaning that they have replaced themselves at number one. In doing so, they set a chart record of their own. There have been previous occasions when an artist has replaced themselves at number one. Sheeran himself did it earlier this year. However, this is the first time that two solo singers have done it at the same time. It is also worth noting that one or both of Ed Sheeran and Elton John have appeared on five of the last six number one singles, a run stretching back to July.

When Merry Christmas went to number one two weeks ago, it was Ed Sheeran’s 100th week at number one (58 weeks in the singles chart, 42 weeks in the albums chart). His total now stands at 102 weeks, behind (predictably enough) Elvis Presley (146 weeks) and The Beatles (245 weeks). Elton John is also in the top ten of that list, now on 58 weeks, one behind Madonna and Take That. He is tied in ninth place with Adele as her latest album continues its run at number one. Many thanks to Colin (zeuss at Buzzjack, orthon at Haven) for the information used in this paragraph. Regular readers will know that he is an invaluable source of statistics for this commentary.

The last time the same song was at number one and number two in the chart was at Christmas 2008 when Alexandra Burke’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, one place ahead of Jeff Buckley’s version. History has repeated itself here with the superior version in second place.

It is not the first time that one version of a song has replaced another, but we have to go back a long way to find another example, back to the very early days of the chart. In November 1953, David Whitfield reached the top of the chart with Answer Me, only for Frankie Laine’s version of the same song to take over the following week. Laine’s version stayed at number one for eight weeks although one of those weeks had a joint number one with the Whitfield version sharing top spot. The feat was nearly repeated in 1955 with different versions of Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White. Perez ‘Prez’ Prado & His Orchestra, The King Of The Mambo took their version of the song to number one in April, staying there for two weeks. After a two-week interlude when Tony Bennett’s Stranger In Paradise topped the chart, Eddie Calvert’s interpretation of Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White went to number one, spending the next four weeks there.

The only vague equivalent in more recent times saw a song responding to a number one single replacing the original song at the top. That happened in 2004 when Eamon’s F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back) gave way to Frankee’s FURB (FU Right Back). Both songs were terrible.

The original version of Merry Christmas slips one place to number two. Wham’s Last Christmas is at number three, the same position it occupied in last year’s Christmas chart. Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You is at number four. The song was awarded 6-times platinum status (3.6 million sales, including stream equivalents) this week, the first song by a female solo artist to do so.

There is a new entry at number five for an alleged song which is not very complimentary about the UK’s Prime Minister. Just in case the general nature of the “song” was not enough for the BBC to decline to play it, it also contains part of a Gary Glitter song just to make sure. Events in the coming twelve months may mean that the people behind this need to change their focus in December 2022 after expressing the same opinion for two successive years and reaching number five each time.

The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York is at number seven. Happy birthday for tomorrow to Shane McGowan. George Ezra’s Come On Home For Christmas climbs into the top ten, at number ten.

As is becoming the rule this year, we have a new version of an old Christmas song in the chart, this time a song that is nearly 80 years old. I’ll Be Home For Christmas was recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943, eight years too soon for it to register in the UK charts. Since then, it has been recorded by singers such as Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble but without amking an impact on the chart. This week, however, Camila Cabello enters at number 38 with her version which sounds more like I’ll Be Home For Chwismoyes.

There is, *drum roll, please*, also a brand new Christmas song in the chart this week in the form of Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande’s Santa Can’t You Hear Me at number 40. It is Clarkson’s eighteenth top forty hit, her first for five years, and Grande’s 31st. It is a perfectly decent song, so it is a shame to see it perform so poorly against all the older songs, some of which are a good deal less than perfectly decent.

There are a further two festive re-entries. Dean Martin’s version of Let It Snow, Let It Snow is at number 36, the highest position it has ever reached in its 62-year existence. Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe, a number 21 hit in 2011, is at number 39. It has peaked in the lower reaches of the top thirty for the last three years. Some of the older songs have joined Martin’s Let It Snow in reaching new all-time peaks. Jose Felician’s Feliz Navidad is at number 34. The Ronettes’ Sleigh Ride, another song which wasn’t a hit at all when it was released, reaches the dizzy heights of the top thirty for the first time, at number 29. Similarly, Bobby Helms’ Jingle Bell Rock didn’t give the chart compilers anything to do in 1957. This week it reaches a new peak of number 22. Andy Williams’ It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year was released in 1963 but didn’t reach the chart until 2007. This week it is at number fifteen, two places higher than its previous best.

As mentioned above, Adele’s 30 continues its run at the top of the albums chart, a run now in its fifth week. The last album to spend at least five consecutive weeks at number one was The Greatest Showman soundtrack at the end of 2018 and into 2019. The last album to spend exactly five consecutive weeks at the top was Adele’s own 21 in 2011. That, though, was its second run at the top. For an album that spent exactly five consecutive weeks at number one and not other weeks at all, we need to go back to Take That’s Circus at the end of 2008 and into 2009. It was the new number one album in my very first chart commentary.

Ed Sheeran’s = spends another week at number two with Abba’s Voyage still not moving at number three. Michael Buble’s perennial Christmas album is at number four and Andre Rieu is at five with Happy Together.

With the usual lack of new releases immediately before Christmas, there is a corresponding lack of new entries. To be more accurate, there is a magnificent one. It should be noted that the word magnificent is used as a sarcastic comment on the numbers, not a comment on the quality of the album. The album concerned, which is far from magnificent if the artist’s previous output is any guide, is Roddy Ricch’s Live Life Fast at number 34.

Jamie Cullum’s The Pianoman At Christmas, released last year when it reached number eleven, re-enters at number 35. American comic Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs) returns at number 39 following a release on vinyl. The album spent seven weeks in the top ten earlier this year.

There will be no chart commentary from me next week. It will be back on Friday 7 January 2022 when there will be a flood of re-entries as all the Christmas songs drop out. In the meantime,

Happy Christmas
Nadolig Llawen
Feliĉan Kristnaskon
Joyeux Noel
Fröhe Weinachten
Hyvää Joulua
Häid Jõule
Nollaig Shona
Su Kalėdomis
Feliz Navidad
Vesel Božič
Весела Коледа
Crăciun fericit
Καλή Χριστούγεννα
Счастливые Рождество
Linksmų Kalėdų
Boldog Karácsonyt
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadelik Lowen
Published on: 2021-12-24 by Suedehead2 || 2156 Views
Comments (4)
The Sake
24 Dec 2021 - 18:03
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The last time the same song was at number one and number two in the chart was at Christmas 20??

Yes, I've forgotten what year that was as well!
24 Dec 2021 - 18:41
BuzzJack Legend
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Oops, forgot to look that up!
King Rollo
24 Dec 2021 - 20:49
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Merry Christmas Suedehead.

There is one more instance worth mentioning. Tommy Steele's version of Singing The Blues replaced Guy Mitchell's version at number 1 in 1957 before Guy Mitchell got the number 1 back the following week.
24 Dec 2021 - 23:07
BuzzJack Legend
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Thanks Rollo. I missed the Singing The Blues example in my quick skim through, even though I'm sure I mentioned it in a bit about songs returning to number one a few years ago.
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