Saturday, 10 December 2011

Wham's Last Christmas! (1984)

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"Last Christmas" by British pop duo Wham! was released on Epic Records in 1984, on a double A-side with "Everything She Wants". It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo. The song has been covered by many artists throughout the years.

Wham! had been a dominant force in the UK Singles Chart in 1984 and news that they were planning a Christmas single meant that a battle for the coveted Christmas No1 spot in the UK seemed set to be between Wham! and the year's other big act, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who had achieved a third No1 in early December with "The Power of Love". However, the Band Aid project, helmed by Bob Geldof, produced the No1 single. Wham!'s offering peaked at No2 for much of the period, although George's involvement in Band Aid meant that Wham! still had an input. Wham! subsequently topped the monies raised by Band Aid by donating all of their "Last Christmas/Everything She Wants" royalties to the Ethiopian Famine appeal.

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"Last Christmas" did make No1 in various other countries.

The single sold well over a million copies and became the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach No1. A year later, it was re-issued for Christmas again (this time without a billed flip-side) and got to No6. A second re-issue at Christmas 1986 - by which time Wham! had split - stalled outside the top 40.

The song gradually sold in Japan, and finally became the best-selling single that did not reach that country's top-10 chart, selling more than 600,000 copies and peaking on the chart at No12 in 1992.

Since 1997, the song enters the German Single charts every year and peaked at No4 in 2007. In the airplay charts the songs enters every year the Top 5.

In 2007, the track re-entered the UK Top 20 and hit the UK iTunes Top 10.

In 2008, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart again, this time at No36 and peaked at No26.

In 2009, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at No39.

In 2009, the song re-entered the Spanish Lista de Canciones (Singles Chart) at No9.

In Germany, the song is the most successful Christmas single of all time with 94 weeks on the German Singles Chart and a peak position of No. 4. In January 2008, the song fell from No. 4 to No. 64 there, making it the biggest fall out of the top ten of the German Singles Chart.

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