PPL Reveals Most-Played Christmas Songs of 2015

Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas has emerged victorious as the most-played Christmas song of 2015, according to data released today by music licensing company PPL.

The multi-platinum 1994 hit was the most-played track across TV and radio during last year’s festive season, pipping to the post Last Christmas by Wham! to take the top spot.  An all-British line-up completed the top five with Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring the late Kirsty MacColl at Number 3 and Welsh rocker, Shakin’ Stevens, at Number 4 with Merry Christmas Everyone. East London boyband, East 17, claimed the fifth spot with Stay Another Day, the 1994 track which went on to become their biggest ever hit single and only track to reach Number 1 in the UK Official Singles Chart.

Other entries in the Top 20 include Christmas Wrapping (Number 17) by the American new wave band, The Waitresses, and Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Number 16) by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir.

The PPL most-played Christmas Chart is fast-becoming an annual industry tradition, adding to the excitement in anticipating the season’s top Christmas hits year-on-year.

Commenting on the Christmas Chart, PPL CEO, Peter Leathem, said,

“Music is ubiquitous with Christmas, traditionally going hand-in-hand with the festive season. At this time of the year, classic tracks and sing-a-long hits nurture nostalgia and entertain radio and TV audiences across the UK. PPL’s chart shows how Christmas-themed music can transcend genres with pop, new wave, rock and roll and gospel music featuring. Christmas airplay is well underway this year and we’ll be keeping an eye on it to see what proves popular in 2016.”

Mariah also reigned supreme on the radio where All I Want for Christmas Is You was the most-played radio hit throughout the Christmas period. The top three songs in the radio-only chart mirrored the overall most-played Christmas tracks on the airwaves with Wham! and The Pogues taking second and third position again.

However, it was Michael Bublé’s version of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) that proved most popular on TV. The original rock and roll version performed by Darlene Love claimed the Number 2 spot on the TV-only chart, which reveals the most-played Christmas songs on TV. The success of both versions may be attributable to the heavy rotation of the track on the Sky Network last year.

PPL data also revealed the most popular dates last year for Christmas music across TV and radio.  Unsurprisingly, the most popular day was Christmas Day, followed very closely by Christmas Eve while 50 per cent of the Christmas music broadcast on TV and radio was played in the week leading up to Christmas. 

In 2015, the first day where a spike in Christmas music was recorded was 14th November, coinciding with the launch of Smooth Xmas on radio. A second spike was recorded on 27th November where Christmas airplay increased across a range of sources.

Methodology

The chart is based on PPL data from Radio & TV broadcasters covering the period of 1st January – 31st December 2015. Both number of plays and total played duration are used to rank the tracks in the charts.

Chart 1: Most-Played Christmas Songs 2015

Pos.

Track

Artist

2014 Pos.

1

All I Want for Christmas is You

Mariah Carey

                3

2

Last Christmas

Wham!

                5

3

Fairytale of New York

The Pogues (Ft. Kirsty MacColl)

                2

4

Merry Christmas Everyone

Shakin’ Stevens

                8

5

Stay Another Day

East 17

              12

6

Merry Xmas Everybody

Slade

                7

7

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

Wizzard

                6

8

Do They Know It’s Christmas

Band Aid

              14

9

Driving Home For Christmas

Chris Rea

                4

10

Wonderful Christmas Time

Paul McCartney

              10

11

Step Into Christmas

Elton John

              11

12

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Michael Bublé

              43

13

I Believe In Father Christmas

Greg Lake

              15

14

Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)

The Darkness

              26

15

Stop The Cavalry

Jona Lewie

              16

16

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir

              13

17

Christmas Wrapping

The Waitresses

              18

18

Thank God It’s Christmas

Queen

              20

19

One More Sleep

Leona Lewis

              17

20

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Darlene Love

              73

 

Chart 2: Top 10 Most-Played Christmas Songs on TV Only

Pos.

Track

Artist

2014 Pos.

1

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Michael Bublé

48

2

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Darlene Love

32

3

Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)

The Darkness

9

4

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey

7

5

Stay Another Day

East 17

74

6

Fairytale Of New York

The Pogues (Ft. Kirsty MacColl)

17

7

Merry Christmas Everyone

Shakin’ Stevens

6

8

Last Christmas!

Wham!

23

9

Merry Xmas Everybody

Slade

11

10

Underneath The Tree

Kelly Clarkson

27

 

 Chart 3: Top 10 Most-Played Christmas Songs on Radio Only

Pos.

Track

Artist

2014 Pos.

1

All I Want for Christmas is You

Mariah Carey

               3

2

Last Christmas

Wham!

               4

3

Fairytale of New York

Pogues (Ft. Kirsty MacColl)

               2

4

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

Wizzard

               5

5

Driving Home For Christmas

Chris Rea

               6

6

Do They Know It's Christmas?

Band Aid

            14

7

Merry Xmas Everybody

Slade

               7

8

Merry Christmas Everyone

Shakin’ Stevens

               9

9

Stay Another Day

East 17

            12

10

Wonderful Christmas Time

Paul McCartney

            10