PEAK POSITION: Number 2
SALES: 1.82 million (December 2017)
YEAR OF RELEASE: December 1984
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES?: January 1985
This double A-side single remains the biggest-selling single in the UK never to hit Number 1 in the UK Official Singles Chart. It was the second million seller not to do so, after Acker’ Bilk’s ‘Stranger On The Shore’ in 1962.
Wham! had had a superb year in 1984 with two successive Number 1s (‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ and ‘Freedom’). Their third release was certain to be another Number 1 until the release of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’. The song reached Number 2 behind the Band Aid charity song. But Wham! agreed to donate their royalties from the song to the charity too. Of course, George Michael sings on the Band Aid record as well!
The arrival of Last Christmas on the chart represents the first time that both Number 1 and Number 2 were both new entries at the same time. Also, with ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ at Number 1 and Last Christmas at Number 2, this was the only time that the top two singles had the word ‘Christmas’ in their titles.
Knowing that Last Christmas would become obsolete sales-wise from Boxing Day onwards, it was coupled with a B-side remix of ‘Everything She Wants’. So after New Year’s Day the chart reversed the A-side credits and the success of the single continued into 1985.
It was re-reissued the following December and it reached Number 6. Another re-release in 1986 also charted. Since the digital era, the song has returned to the chart annually.
Sales were reported as 1.8 million.
Last Christmas reached its highest position since 1984 over Christmas 2016 when it reached Number 7 in the chart. This was particularly poignant as George Michael died on Christmas Day 2016. For the few days after Christmas it was the highest streamed song and various other George Michael and Wham! songs re-entered the chart. Due to the massive streaming over Christmas, the single peaked at Number 7 on the chart on 5th January 2017! On the chart announced on the 6th January the single fell from Number 7 to below Number 200. This would be a new record, but for the slightly greater fall from Number 5 by Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You!
In December 2017 sales were confirmed as 1.82 million.