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Formula for perfect Christmas number one found

By | Published on Tuesday 11 December 2018


Tech driven record label Ostereo has analysed every Christmas number one from the last 50 years and come up with a formula for the perfect festive chart topper. So, if you get to work now, you could be quids in this time next year.

OK, are you ready? You’ll need to write a song that is three minutes and 57 seconds long, in the key of G major, 114 beats per minute, about something other than Christmas, and performed by a 27 year old. Yeah, turns out that the best placed artists to have Christmas songs are also the ones most likely to be recently tragically dead.

Meanwhile, if you can’t write songs but fancy a hit, don’t worry, Ostereo also notes that most Christmas number ones are covers.

Testing out this hypothesis, Ostereo says the Christmas number one that gets closest to this magical formula is ‘Always On My Mind’ by the Pet Shop Boys. It’s a cover and not about Christmas, so got off to a great start. It’s also in G major, although its BPM is 125 and Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe were 33 and 28 respectively when they recorded it.

You can’t have everything, I guess. And maybe this means that the biggest and most perfect Christmas hit is still ahead of us.

“I think we’re a long way from an algorithmically-generated Christmas number one”, says Ostereo founder Howard Murphy. “But certain characteristics do make a song more likely to resonate with audiences at Christmas”.

Looking at this year’s contenders for Christmas number one, none of them seems to tick more than one or two boxes.

The closest looks like being a group of 40 firefighters, going by the name of The Fire Tones, with a cover of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed The World)’. It doesn’t have it all, but it’s a cover and gets relatively close elsewhere, being 115BPM and three minutes and 39 seconds long. Plus the song, in various Band Aid forms, has been Christmas number one three times before. Place your bets now.