Britain just had its weirdest Christmas #1 single in years.

For decades, the British have gone berserk betting on which single would finish at #1 at Christmas. It’s a thing peculiar to Her Majesty’s Kingdom.

Yes, it’s a big marketing ploy, a way of getting people to buy music for Christmas. And most of the time the “winner” is pretty innocuous: Spice Girls, something from one of Simon Cowell’s talent shows, your standard hot single.

But then there the outliers. In 2009, a grassroots campaign designed to head off more Simon Cowell pap pushed Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” to the top just in time for Christmas. Back in 2000, this was the champ.

Cute, but weird. This 1993 winner was just plain weird.

And things turned weird again in 2018 with a guy by the name of LadBaby reaching the toppermost of the poppermost with a parody of the 1985 hit by Starship, “We Built This City.” He called his single “We Built This City on Sausage Rolls.”

No, really.

Some backstory is required. LadBaby is a daddy blogger, YouTuber, and father of two named Mark Hoyle. He’s been documenting his transformation from a yob lad into a responsible father since 2016. He’s managed to attract 467,000 subscribers to his channel.

Although Mark had never sung before–not even karaoke–he decided to write “Sausage Rolls as a gift to his wife. It was released on December 14 and quickly blew up on YouTube, prompted by Hoyle’s promise to give all proceeds to a food bank charity. People went bonkers.

For a while, it looked like LadBaby was going to be locked out of the top spot by Ariana Grande’s monster “Thank U, Next.” But fans rallied, pushing the “Sausage Rolls” to #1 in time for when the charts closed for the week.

LadBaby is thrilled. Ariana Grande fans? Not so much.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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 “Britain just had its weirdest Christmas #1 single in years.

  • December 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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    If memory serves me right, The Flying Pickers were a Christmas #1 in the 1980’s, with their cover of only you. They dressed up as snowmen on top of the pops!

    Reply

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