Wham! hit biggest to miss top spot
Published 30/08/2010 | 17:22
It is a karaoke classic and an annual party favourite - now new figures show Wham!'s Last Christmas is the biggest hit ever to have failed to top the chart.
The group - whose singer George Michael was warned last week that he faces prison after his latest court appearance - stalled at number two when the single was released, despite being at the height of their popularity.
It is the only song in the top 20 all-time best-sellers which failed to make it to the top of the charts.
The figures were compiled for a Radio 2 show bringing together the top 100 million-plus selling singles.
Unsurprisingly the list was headed by Candle In The Wind by Sir Elton John which was a huge hit in 1997 when it was released following the death of Diana, Princess Of Wales. An earlier version first charted in 1974, reaching only number 11.
Wham!'s hit - a double A-side with Everything She Wants - has become one of the most festive tunes following its release at the end of 1984. The Radio 2 list - counted down today by Ken Bruce and compiled by the Official Charts Company - ranks it the 18th biggest seller
But it was held off the top spot due to the phenomenal appeal of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? single, which stayed at number one for five consecutive weeks and actually featured George Michael.
It became the biggest-selling single of the 80s and is at number two in the all-time big-seller list. Third place in the million-seller countdown is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody which has twice been the Christmas number one, while Wings' hit Mull Of Kintyre - a number one in 1977 - is at number four.
Sir Paul McCartney's Wings track far outstrips his chart successes with The Beatles, which only took two places in the top 20. She Loves You is at number eight, while I Want To Hold Your Hand is at 15.
Only one track from the past decade figures in the top 20 - Will Young's Evergreen/Anything Is Possible single from 2002, on the back of his Pop Idol win.