All you need is love (and maybe a Christmas number one or two!)

All you need is love (and maybe a Christmas number one or two!)

Who’s got the biggest haul of Christmas number ones?

Only the biggest band of all time. The Beatles are the only act to have had four Christmas number ones – three of which were in consecutive years starting from 1963.

Impressive? That’s not all. In 1963 and 1967, the Beatles held both the Christmas number one and the number two spot. They’re still the only act to have achieved this record-breaking festive feat.

Let’s look back at those classic Christmas hits:

Christmas 1963

Number One:

Number Two:  She Loves You

Christmas 1964

Number One:

Christmas 1965

Number One:  “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out”

Christmas 1967

Number One:  “Hello, Goodbye”

Number Two: “Magical Mystery Tour” (EP)


They’re great songs, of course, but they’re not exactly Christmassy.

Although the Beatles did cut a series of festive tracks for their fanclub, these were mostly chat. It wasn’t until the 1970s that it became standard for a festive-themed song to take the number one spot, as glam rock heavyweights like Wizzard and Slade embraced the trend. According to many Brits, you’re not allowed to eat a mince pie until you’ve heard Noddy Holder bellowing ‘It’s Chriiiiistmas’ in a shopping centre.

The trend continued through the 80s, with Band Aid, Shakin’ Stevens and Cliff Richard all hitting number one on December 25th.

Festive full circle

The era of the festive-themed Christmas number one wasn’t to last, however. In the 2000s, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke created a new tradition: the X Factor winner who automatically gets the top spot.

These days, the Christmas charts are dominated by a different trend: the big budget TV advertising campaign. Though the songs themselves aren’t Christmassy, their popularity is certainly tied to warm festive feelings.

In fact, the Beatles clearly had it right all along.

John Lewis, the king of Christmas ads, used the last official song ever recorded by the Beatles for their 2014 campaign. ‘Real Love’ was performed by British singer-songwriter Tom Odell, accompanying Monty the penguin’s touching search for love.

They liked it so much they did it again in 2017: Moz the under-the-bed monster was backed up by Elbow’s cover of Golden Slumbers, a track from the Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road.

The Christmas number one has gone full circle, returning to that 1960s fondness for a song you really like, not just one that’s got sleigh bells in.

All Together Now

Why not share some of that Beatles Christmas magic with your loved ones this year? Tickets make a great Christmas present.

Beatlemania are one of the UK’s leading Beatles tribute bands, and this February you can catch them live on stage at the Bramall as part of their UK-wide tour.

We can’t promise they’ll be playing Golden Slumbers, but you’ll be treated to all their biggest hits: Yesterday, Help, I Feel Fine, Yellow Submarine and many more.

Book your tickets today for the Beatlemania show on Thursday 7th February 2019.

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