Monday, December 3, 1984

Wham! “Last Christmas” released

Last Christmas


Writer(s): George Michael (see lyrics here)

Released: December 3, 1984

First Charted: December 15, 1984

Peak: 4 US, 2 AC, 40 A40, 1 MR, 13 UK, 3 CN, 3 AU, 9 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 3.0 UK, 9.52 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 890.0 video, 1158.09 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley formed Wham! in 1981 in England. Their debut album, Fantastic, was released in 1983 and topped the UK charts, thanks to four top-ten hits. In the United States, Wham! didn’t really take off until their sophomore album, 1984’s Make It Big. That album gave the duo #1 hits in the UK and United States with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and Michael’s solo turn on “Careless Whisper.”

In the UK, the third single from Make It Big was “Everything She Wants.” It was released in December 1984 and would top the Billboard Hot 100. The single was technically a double A-side paired with “Last Christmas” and peaked at #2 in the UK behind the Band Aid charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which featured Wham! and other UK acts.

“Last Christmas” was a non-album seasonal song which became a perennial favorite charting in nineteen different years in the UK from 1984 to 2022. It eventually reached #1– thirty six years later on January 7, 2021. That set the record for the longest time in the UK between a single’s release and reaching #1. WK It became the second most-played Christmas song of the 21st century in the UK after “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

The song wasn’t released commercially as a single on its own in the United States until 2014. It got its official debut on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2017 and has regularly recharted at Christmastime since, finally reaching its #4 peak in January 2023.

The song originated in 1983 when Michael and Ridgely were visiting Michael’s parents. Ridgely said, “We'd had a bite to eat and were sitting together relaxing with the television on in the background when, almost unnoticed, George disappeared upstairs for an hour or so. When he came back down, such was his excitement, it was as if he had discovered gold which, in a sense, he had.” SF It was recorded in August 1984 with Michael performing, producing, and playing all the instruments. The song isn’t really about Christmas; it simply uses the phrase “last Christmas” to refer to a failed relationship.


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First posted 7/23/2023.

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