I Know That Song! The One About What Happened Last Christmas

Today’s Christmas song was released in 1984 as the flipside to one of this duo’s many #1 singles. The songwriting half of this duo went on to massive solo success but back in 1984 while visiting his parents he wrote this song while sleeping in his childhood bedroom. 

A movie of the same name is streaming right now that was inspired by and features his music. The lead character, a disillusioned Christmas store worker, still his posters plastered across her childhood bedroom. 

As the movie Love Actually reminds us, scoring a Christmas #1 in the UK is a really big deal. Unfortunately, this song didn’t give this band that honor. It stalled at #2, and to this day it has the distinction of being the highest-selling UK single of all time to not reach #1.

The song has been covered a million times: Taylor Swift, Jimmy Eat World, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande and the cast of Glee

This song wasn’t released as a commercial single in the United States, and therefore it wasn’t eligible for the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, Billboard changed its rules in 1998, and in the wake of this lead singer’s unexpected death on Christmas Day 2016, the song finally made its Hot 100 debut. In December 2018, it reentered the charts and peaked at #25.

In the mid-1980s, the writers of “Can’t Smile Without You,” (CLIP) made famous by The Carpenters and Barry Manilow, among others, sued this duo for plagiarism, BUT, according to Chris Porter, the recording engineer on “today's song” the suit was dismissed after a musicologist presented 60-plus songs that have a similar chord progression and melody.

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