Now That's What I Call Music! The U.K. XMAS!

Christmas Music is a pretty big deal across the pond, maybe even a bigger deal than here in the States.  Every year at Christmas, there is fierce competition by labels and artists on the UK Singles charts to determine which artist gets to lay claim to the hallowed "Christmas Number One" even though many times the single itself has nothing to do with the winter holiday season other than it was released at the right time to sell more copies than any other single, often for the entire year.

Between 1952 (when the charts began) and 1972, only one Christmas themed song claimed the spot: Harry Belafonte's "Mary's Boy Child" in 1957.  Since 1973 and Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody", there have been ten Holiday themed Christmas Number Ones including "Do They Know It's Christmas?", which made it a record-setting three times by three different configurations of the all-star group known as Band Aid in 1984, 1989 and 2004.


The Beatles share the record with the Spice Girls as being the only acts to be Number One at Christmas three years in a row: the lads took it from 1963-1965 while the gals claimed the title from 1996-1998, beginning with the track below: 

The Beatles quite possibly could have been at the top for five years running had they released a Christmas single in 1966 as they also claimed the top spot for Christmas 1967 with the song featured in the promotional video below:

Even "Mary's Boy Child", the Reason for the Season, made a return appearance in 1978 in a Christmas Number One version by the Frank Farian production Boney M.  They are the only group to have two of the top ten best selling singles in UK Singles Chart history.  If you are in the mood for an album of slightly different versions of traditional Christmas music, try their 1981 Christmas Album.

Unlike their Stateside counterparts, Now Music in the UK has regularly issued and re-issued massive, multidisc Christmas compilations: 
Now! The Christmas Album 
[1985, 1CD, 18 tracks]

Now! The Christmas Album 
[2000, 2CD, 41 tracks]

Now XMAS: Massive Christmas Hits 
[2005, 1CD, 22 tracks]

Now That's What I Call XMAS! 
[2009, 3CD, 60 tracks]

Now That's What I Call XMAS! 
[2011, 3CD, 64 tracks]

Now That's What I Call Christmas! 
[2012, 3CD, 63 tracks] 

Just about every track for the above listed albums can be found in the handy-dandy Spotify playlist below compiled by now-music themselves.

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