Number Ones: #29


  • WHAM! Last Christmas (Epic)
  • Week Ending 29th December 1984
  • 1 Week at #1


The first year of my personal Top 40s ended with a modern festive classic at #1, and the second single written and performed by George Michael to reach the summit. 1984 had also seen two other Wham! tracks make the Top 5 (Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go hit #2 in May, while Freedom peaked at #5 in between the release of Careless Whisper and Last Christmas). Despite all this, and my love of 1983’s seminal summer smash Club Tropicana, I still hadn’t considered buying either the Fantastic! or Make It Big albums.

George Michael’s transformation into a genuine craftsmen of traditional pop tunes was as swift as it was convincing; in less than two years he’d gone from Young Guns and Wham! Rap to a more sophisticated (if almost self-consciously mature) style of songwriting. Wake Me Up… and Freedom plundered retro bubblegum pop and Motown respectively, as he sought to establish his own voice; a process which Careless Whisper – free of the need to operate within the Wham! branding – helped to accelerate.

Last Christmas became famous for being the best-selling #2 hit in the history of the UK charts, issued on the same day as the Band Aid record and fated to understandably remain in its commercial shadow. It would chart again at the end of 1985, as well as at Christmas 1986, and in the digital age has made an almost annual return to the upper reaches of whatever passes for the Official Singles Chart these days.

The original single was officially a Double-A Sided affair, paired with Make It Big‘s outstanding moment Everything She Wants. Which leads us nicely into 1985…..

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