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Last Christmas by Wham!
Album: Music From The Edge Of HeavenReleased: 1984Charted:
This song is actually about a failed relationship; only the phase "Last Christmas," when the relationship came to head, refers to the festive season. Despite this it has become an annual Christmas standard on UK radio stations.
This was a charity record with its proceeds going to famine relief in Ethiopia. Apart from "Do They Know It's Christmas
," which prevented this from reaching #1, it is the biggest selling Christmas song in the UK. (George Michael features on both songs).
Numerous artists have covered this song including Ashley Tisdale, Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World and Taylor Swift, who reached #28 on the Billboard country with her version. In 2009 a version by the cast of Fox-TV's Glee finally took the song into the Hot 100 when their rendition debuted at #63.
The song never charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 as it was released only as a promotional, not commercially available, 7-inch single in 1984.
Two chart facts:
"Last Christmas" is the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach #1.
In Japan it has sold over 600,000 copies, making it the best-selling single that did not reach that country's Top 10.
The song's music video sees George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley accompanying girlfriends to see friends at their home in a ski resort. The duo's backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie also star in the clip along with Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp, the boyfriend and future husband of Shirlie Holliman.
The songwriters of Barry Manilow's hit single "Can't Smile Without You
" sued George Michael for plagiarism in the mid-'80s, claiming that this song lifted its melody from their tune. The case was settled out of court with Michael giving his first year's royalties to Band Aid.
The song's music video was the last time that George Michael was filmed without a beard.
Antenne Carinthia presenter Joe Kohlhofer started his 8 a.m. show on December 18, 2015 by telling his Austrian listeners that he felt people in the area were not in the Christmas spirit. He then proceeded to play "Last Christmas" on loop for almost two hours
as a "Christmas protest."
Kohlhofer blockaded the studio door with a wooden chair, locking out his co-host Patricia Jordan and the station producers. The Austrian DJ eventually stopped playing the Wham! tune only after his 4-year-old daughter was put on the line. She told her father that she didn't like the song.