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Wonderful Christmastime

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"Wonderful Christmastime"
Single by Paul McCartney
B-side"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae (Instrumental)"
Released16 November 1979 (1979-11-16)
Recorded30 August 1979
StudioLower Gate Farm (Sussex)
Genre
Length3:45
Label
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Eat at Home"
(1971)
"Wonderful Christmastime"
(1979)
"Coming Up"
(1980)
Music video
"Wonderful Christmastime" on YouTube

"Wonderful Christmastime" is a Christmas song by English musician Paul McCartney. Recorded during the sessions for his solo album McCartney II (1980), it was released in November 1979 following Wings' final album Back to the Egg earlier that year. It was McCartney's first solo single in over eight years since "Eat at Home" in 1971. "Wonderful Christmastime" has charted within the top 10 in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom as well as the top 20 in Canada, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. Despite being regarded as one of McCartney's weaker compositions by some music critics, it is a popular song during Christmas and has been covered throughout the years by numerous artists.

"Wonderful Christmastime" was added as a bonus track on the 1993 CD reissue of Back to the Egg[1] and on the 2011 "Special Edition" and "Deluxe Edition" reissue of McCartney II; a longer, unedited version was also included on the Deluxe Edition. The track was also mixed in 5.1 surround sound for inclusion on the 2007 DVD release The McCartney Years.

Background and recording[edit]

McCartney wrote the song in the key of B major, and recorded it entirely on his own during the sessions for his solo project McCartney II. Although the members of Wings are not on the recording, they do appear in the promotional music video,[2] which was filmed at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex.[3] It also includes footage filmed at the Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, where McCartney rehearsed his 1979 UK tour. [citation needed] Wings performed the song during their 1979 tour of the UK.[4]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Following its release as a stand-alone single in the United Kingdom, "Wonderful Christmastime" peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart on the week ending 5 January 1980.[5] In the United States, the single peaked at number 83 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart (week ending 12 January 1980) and at number 94 on the Record World Singles Chart (week ending 29 December 1979), but it did not initially make the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[6]

In the US "Wonderful Christmastime" first appeared on a Billboard magazine music chart in December 1984, when it peaked at number 10 for two straight weeks on the magazine's special Christmas Singles chart.[7] Its next appearance on a Billboard music came on the week ending 6 January 1996, when the song both debuted and peaked at number 29 on the magazine's weekly Hot Adult Contemporary chart.[7] "Wonderful Christmastime" finally debuted on the main Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 2018, at position number 47.[8] It peaked at number 26 on the week ending 6 January 2024.[9]

"Wonderful Christmastime" continues to receive substantial annual festive airplay, although some music critics consider it to be one of McCartney's mediocre compositions.[10][11][12] Beatles author Robert Rodriguez has written of "Wonderful Christmastime": "Love it or hate it, few songs within the McCartney oeuvre have provoked such strong reactions."[11]

Including royalties from cover versions, it was estimated in 2010 that McCartney makes $US400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings at over $US15 million.[13]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly chart performance for "Wonderful Christmastime"
Chart (1979–2024) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[14] 23
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[15] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[16] 26
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[17] 17
Croatia (HRT)[18] 16
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[19] 43
Denmark (Tracklisten)[20] 30
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[21] 67
France (SNEP)[22] 151
Germany (Official German Charts)[23] 7
Global 200 (Billboard)[24] 15
Hungary (Single Top 40)[25] 25
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[26] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[27] 8
Italy (FIMI)[28] 68
Latvia (LAIPA)[29] 10
Lithuania (AGATA)[30] 25
Luxembourg (Billboard)[31] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[32] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[33] 25
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[34] 35
Poland (Polish Streaming Top 100)[35] 40
Portugal (AFP)[36] 34
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[37] 32
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[38] 13
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[39] 19
UK Singles (OCC)[40] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 26
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[41] 29
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[42] 32
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[43] 15
US Cash Box Top 100[44] 83
US Rolling Stone Top 100[45] 21

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[46] Gold 35,000
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[47] Platinum 90,000
Germany (BVMI)[48] Gold 250,000
New Zealand (RMNZ)[49] Gold 15,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] 2× Platinum 1,200,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Kylie Minogue version[edit]

"Wonderful Christmastime"
Single by Kylie Minogue and Mika
from the album Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition
Released9 December 2016 (2016-12-09)
Recorded2016
GenreChristmas
Length3:43
LabelParlophone
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)Steve Anderson
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"At Christmas"
(2016)
"Wonderful Christmastime"
(2016)
"Dancing"
(2018)
Mika singles chronology
"Hurts (Remix)"
(2016)
"Wonderland Christmastime"
(2016)
"It's My House"
(2017)
Audio video
"Wonderful Christmastime" on YouTube

Australian singer Kylie Minogue and British singer-songwriter Mika covered the song for Minogue's reissue Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition (2016). The song was released as the album's second single on 9 December 2016 by Parlophone.[51]

The song was performed on 6 December 2016 by Minogue and Mika on the Italian programme Stasera Casa Mika.[52]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Flanders)[53] 23

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Italy 9 December 2016 Contemporary hit radio Warner Music Group [51]

Other cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewhine, "Paul McCartney/Wings Back to the Egg (Bonus Tracks)", Allmusic (retrieved 30 December 2012)
  2. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4), p. 251.
  3. ^ Sawday, Alastair (6 December 2007). "Top 10 cosy pubs". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  4. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4), p. 254.
  5. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 333. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  7. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 48. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
  8. ^ "John Lennon & Paul McCartney Holiday Classics Hit Hot 100 at Last, Among 20 Seasonal Songs on the Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Paul McCartney Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  10. ^ Craig Outhier, "Paul McCartney's Worst Songs", Phoenix New Times, 25 March 2010 (retrieved 30 December 2012).
  11. ^ a b Robert Rodriguez, Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970–1980, Backbeat Books (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2010; ISBN 978-1-4165-9093-4), p. 191.
  12. ^ Alan Clayson, Paul McCartney, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-486-9), pp 192–93.
  13. ^ Greenburg, Zack O'Malley (23 December 2010). "Paul McCartney Continues to Have a Wonderful (Financial) Christmas Time". Forbes. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  14. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. 1 January 2024. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  17. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  18. ^ "ARC 100 - Week 52 (25.12.2023.)". HRT. 25 December 2023. Archived from the original on 27 December 2023. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  19. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 202152,53 into search. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Track Top-40 Uge 51, 2020". Hitlisten. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Europe Official Top 100". 1 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Top Singles (Week 52, 2023)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  23. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  25. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  26. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 52" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Mūzikas patēriņa tops gadu mijā" (in Latvian). LAIPA. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  30. ^ "2023 52-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. 29 December 2023. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  31. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Luxembourg Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  32. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  33. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 2 January 2023. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  34. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  35. ^ "OLiS – oficjalna lista sprzedaży – single w streamie" (Select week 22.12.2023–28.12.2023.) (in Polish). OLiS. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  36. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  37. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 202153,53 into search. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  38. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  39. ^ "Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  40. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  41. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  42. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  43. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  44. ^ "USA Cashbox Charts Summaries". popmusichistory. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  45. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. 24 December 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  46. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2023 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  47. ^ "Danish single certifications – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  48. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Paul McCartney; 'Wonderful Christmastime')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  49. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  50. ^ "British single certifications – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  51. ^ a b "Kylie Minogue – Wonderful Christmastime (with MIKA) (Radio Date: 09-12-2016)". 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  52. ^ "Mika, per Natale duetto con Kylie Minogue e poi a Stasera Casa Mika". tvzap.kataweb.it/. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  53. ^ "Kylie Minogue & Mika – Wonderful Christmastime" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  54. ^ "Paul McCartney, Straight No Chaser Tackle 'Wonderful Christmas Time'". Rolling Stone. 16 October 2013.

External links[edit]