Mariah Carey and Wham! have set a new record for the earliest chart appearance of a Christmas song.
Picture the scene.
It’s not even halfway through November and you’re minding your own business.
Then it happens.
It starts with a slight twitch near your earlobe, an early warning sign that your ears are going to be assaulted once more.
And then it’s all over. It bursts through the door, like Jack in The Shining, and you’re left powerless, screaming like Wendy in the bathroom – all the while knowing in your heart of hearts that nothing can be done. It’s all over. Christmas is apparently already here. And so is Mariah.
Yes, the 2023 Christmas bell has apparently been rung. And it cannot be un-rung.
The Yuletide season has come early to the UK singles chart as the hits by Mariah Carey and Wham! have begun their yearly (read: inexorable) march back up the podium.
While the Beatles’ ‘ Now And Then‘ holds the No. 1 spot on the Official UK Singles Chart, 60 years after their last chart-topping hit, the two holiday earworms ‘All I Want For Christmas For You’ (aka: the literal end for anyone who works in retail) and ‘Last Christmas’ have re-entered the Singles Chart, respectively at No. 40 and 37.
According to the Official Charts Company, this sets a record for the earliest appearance of a Christmas song on the tally. Last year, Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ re-entered the national chart in the third week of November.
Take that, 2022 Mariah.
Both songs will likely now remain in the charts in the lead up to Christmas over the coming weeks.
Currently there are no other Christmas songs in the Top 100.
Released in 1994, ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ returned to the charts in 2008, and earned its first No. 1 spot in December 2020. As for ‘Last Christmas’ – originally a No. 2 hit in 1984 – the song reappeared in the chart every year since 2008, eventually earning its first No. 1 position in January 2021.
While Mimi’s festive hit is a favourite to many, excitement for the early 2023 success of the song may be a bit more tempered than usual, as the artist has been served with a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement over ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’.
Songwriter Andy Stone wrote a similar song of the same name and released it with his group Vince Vance & the Valiants in 1989. Stone’s lawyers allege “the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook was a greater than 50% clone of (Stone’s) original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions… Carey has, without licensing, palmed off these works with her incredulous origin story, as if those works were her own.”
Carey has not publicly responded to the lawsuit. But you can bet she’s continuing to embrace the song’s popularity.
She’s about to embark on a Christmas tour in the US, which begins on 15 November.
Just wait until The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ comes a’knocking… Then it’s truly all over and we can attempt to survive yet another year of hearing that Love Actually -featuring track.
Good luck everyone. This year’s festive season will feel – sorry, sound – longer.