And the UK Xmas #1 Is…Not Nirvana

Since the 1950s, the UK has had an inexplicable fascination with which song finishes at #1 on the singles charts on the last chart leading up to Christmas.  The last decade has been dominated by Simon Cowell wretchedness, only to be interrupted by Rage Against the Machine and “Killing in the Name” in 2009.

This year there was a grassroots campaign to push Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to #1 in time for Christmas in honour of Nevermind’s 20th anniversary, but that fell flat.  Instead, the winner is “Wherever You Are” by the Military Wives Choir.

For those unfamiliar with the song, it’s just like it sounds:  a tribute to servicemen from a choir made up of military wives.  Not only did it make the #1 slot on the official British singles charts, it did it grand style, selling 556,000 copies in just one week.  That’s more than the rest of the Top 12 combined.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “And the UK Xmas #1 Is…Not Nirvana

  • December 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I guess all of England finally has a copy of Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" by now!?

    Look it up, there's a story behind this.


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