The long tradition in England of honouring the number one record on Christmas day has been under assault over the last few years by fans trying to push alternative songs into the top spot.Over the years, the Beatles have had the Christmas Number 1 four times (I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963), I Feel Fine (1964), Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out (1965), Hello, Goodbye (1967)) with Paul McCartney adding one more in 1977 (Mull of Kintyre / Girl’s School). Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is the only record to do it twice (1975 and 1991) while two different versions of Band Aid took different takes of Do They Know It’s Christmas? to the top in 1984 and 2004.
Since 2002, though, the majority of the Christmas Number Ones have gone to the winner of The X-Factor including Shayne Ward, Leonna Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke. All of the focus on a reality show winner at the holidays led to a backlash from different groups who have tried, in recent years, to upset the expected recording with an alternative.
The groups were successful in 2009 when they put Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name at the top but that is the only campaign that has worked. This year, a Facebook page has been put up that is touting AC/DC’s Highway to Hell as the alternative to this years X-Factor winner. So far, 106,000 people have “liked” the page in five days, leading oddsmakers in the U.K. to give the song 3-to-1 odds of being the Christmas Number 1.
The record trails the eventual X-Factor winner which is at odds of 8-to-11. Others that are possibilities include Lily Allen’s Somewhere Only We Know and Susan Boyle and Elvis Presley’s O Come, All Ye Faithful.