The ruinations of the UK singles chart since the download rules were altered are well documented and have been thrown into sharp context this festive season with the top 40 invaded by, this week, ten Christmas songs from previos years in the top 40 and 24 in the top 100. No wonder they're referred to as an artist's pension plan. The highest placed, at all of 4, is Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You.
All I Want For Christmas Is You. When did this become the be-all and end-all of Christmas songs? As far as most people we're aware of are concerned there's still the standard orthodoxy of Slade, Wizzard, Pogues, Lennon and Lewie; the more musically aware mention a favourite from A Christmas Gift To You From Phil Spector; know-alls like us drop in a Low or Sufjan. And yet this year, of all the options on iTunes and even before it got the inevitable kicking on X Factor last night it's been Mariah's Spectorish rip, which while officially "better than her usual wailing" we've never seen listed at the top end of those MORI-like polls you occasionally see around this time and indeed was voted second worst holidays hit in a recent survey and in America is as routinely laughed at as Bing and Bowie's Little Drummer Boy is here ("Mr Mottola lets me use his mixing desk when he's away"? No?), that's proving the populist effort. It doesn't really get that much more Christmas playlist play than most others. Anyone?