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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 chart.
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.
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
The Wishbone Ash guitarist on how touring with The Who inspired one of their most enduring songs, and why they moved to America at the peak of their powers.
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).
Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind. Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand
, is a fan.