December 13th, 2014

Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1988

Cliff Richard - Mistletoe and Wine

"Mistletoe and Wine" is a song made famous as a single by Cliff Richard.

The song was written by Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan for a musical called Scraps, which was an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" set in Victorian London.

Scraps was first performed at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, London in 1976. The musical was renamed and adapted for television by HTV in 1987, and featured Roger Daltrey, Paul Daneman, Jimmy Jewel and Twiggy. As originally conceived, "Mistletoe and Wine" had a different meaning from that for which it has come to be known. The writers wanted a song that sounded like a Christmas carol, intending it to be sung ironically while the little matchgirl is kicked out into the snow by the unfeeling middle classes. By the time the musical transferred to television, the song had become a lusty pub song sung by the local whore, as played by Twiggy.

Cliff Richard liked the song, but changed the lyrics to reflect a more religious theme (which the writers accepted).

Richard's ninety-ninth single, it became his twelfth UK number one single, spending four weeks at the top in December 1988 - selling 750,000 copies in the process. It was the best-selling single of 1988 in the United Kingdom. In December 2007 the single entered at number 68 on the UK Singles Chart by virtue of downloads.

One of the record breaking statistics often cited about Cliff Richard is his achievement of number one hit singles in five consecutive decades, and Mistletoe and Wine is important to this record in being his only number one hit of the eighties.

Richard's version of the song was also used in a British public information film about drink driving. The film was part of the Drinking And Driving Wrecks Lives campaign, which films were shown during ad breaks over the Christmas period.

The boy singing a high solo in the end of the song is James Rainbird.

Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1989

Band Aid 2 - Do They Know It's Christmas

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 28 November 1984.

A new version was recorded under the name of Band Aid II in 1989, produced by the popular Hit Factory team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman and featuring a number of the year's most accessible artists, including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Lisa Stansfield, Cliff Richard, Jimmy Somerville, Wet Wet Wet and Bros. Bananarama also appeared, making Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward the only artists to appear on both versions.

The lyrics were rearranged for a more traditional "verse and chorus" structure, with the opening verse being split in two with a short repeat of the ending chorus being played at the end of both, followed by the "here's to you" section and a final lengthened version of the closing chorus (with commentary by Michael Buerk played over the closing in the music video).

The song again reached No. 1 for Christmas, raising more money and also making it the final number-one single of the 1980s. It was also the final song to be played on Top of the Pops in the Eighties.


Big Fun
Cathy Dennis
D Mob
Jason Donovan
Kevin Godley
Glen Goldsmith
Kylie Minogue
Chris Rea
Cliff Richard
Jimmy Somerville
Lisa Stansfield
Wet Wet Wet

This version I find is very rarely played on the radio and wasn't to be found on Christmas compilations - to the point that a lot of people don't know this version exists or that it reached no1! In the 1990's I found this record one of the harder singles to find because everyone was saying to me that they didn't know there had ever been a Band Aid 2!!
Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1990

Cliff Richard - Saviours Day

"Saviour's Day" is a song by Cliff Richard. It was written by Chris Eaton and produced by Cliff Richard and Paul Moessl. Eaton wrote the song in October 1989, and took his original version of the song with him to a Christmas party to show to Richard. Eaton had been warned that all of Richard's songs for the following year were already booked in and there wouldn't be any space for it. However, Eaton insisted that Richard listen to the tape he brought along, and so they left the party and listened to it in Richard's Rolls-Royce. Richard immediately liked the song and predicted that it could be a number one record.

It was the United Kingdom Christmas number one single in 1990, the second occasion Richard had a solo Christmas number one. It has subsequently been voted into lists of both the best and the most annoying Christmas songs.

The music video for "Saviour's Day" was filmed in Dorset, in the town of Swanage and at Durdle Door. The video was shot in September 1990. Richard and the extras in the video were asked to wear winter clothes for the Christmas song, but the day's filming took place on a warm September day with blue sky and sunshine. The video featured Richard and the extras singing together on top of the limestone arch of Durdle Door. Six years earlier, Tears for Fears shot part of the video for their 1984 single "Shout" at the famous Durdle Door landmark.

In the UK, "Saviour's Day" entered the UK Singles Chart on 8 December 1990 at number six. It went to number three the following week, and up a further spot in the week before Christmas. The song went to number one on the chart dated the week ending 29 December 1990, becoming that year's Christmas number one and replacing the previous week's UK number one by Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" A week later "Saviour's Day" dropped back down to number three, and spent only one more week in the top forty at twenty.