Last Christmas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Doctor Who episode, see Last Christmas (Doctor Who).
"Last Christmas"
Last Christmaswham.jpg
Standard artwork (UK vinyl single pictured)
Single by Wham!
from the album Music from the Edge of Heaven
Released 3 December 1984
Recorded 1984
  • 4:27
  • 6:45 (Pudding mix)
Writer(s) George Michael
Producer(s) George Michael
Wham! singles chronology
"Last Christmas"
"Everything She Wants"
Music video
"Last Christmas" on YouTube
Twenty Five track listing
"Careless Whisper"
"Last Christmas"
"A Different Corner"

"Last Christmas" is a song by English pop duo Wham!, released on Epic Records in 1984, on a double A-side with "Everything She Wants". Originally written and produced by George Michael, it has been covered by many artists since its original release.

Wham! (original) version

Commercial performance

United Kingdom

Wham! had already had two number ones in the UK Singles Chart in 1984 and news that they were planning a Christmas single meant that a battle for the coveted Christmas number one spot in the UK seemed set to be between Wham! and the year's other big act, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who had achieved a third number one in early December with "The Power of Love". However, the Band Aid project helmed by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, produced the number one single "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Wham!'s offering peaked at number two for much of the period, although George's involvement in Band Aid meant that Wham! still had an input. Wham! subsequently donated all of their "Last Christmas/Everything She Wants" royalties to the Ethiopian famine.

In subsequent years, the song managed to reach the middle echelons of the UK Singles Chart on a regular basis:

  • 1985: Reached number 2 (13 weeks)
  • 1986: Reached number 6 (7 weeks)
  • 1987: Reached number 45 (4 weeks)
  • 2007: Reached number 14 (5 weeks)
  • 2008: Reached number 26 (5 weeks)
  • 2009: Reached number 34 (4 weeks)
  • 2010: Reached number 53 (4 weeks)
  • 2011: Reached number 26 (4 weeks)
  • 2012: Reached number 34 (4 weeks)
  • 2013: Reached number 36 (4 weeks)
  • 2014: Reached number 28 (3 weeks)
  • 2015: Reached number 18 (5 weeks)
  • 2016: Reached number 7

"Last Christmas" has sold over 2 million copies as of January 2017 and is the biggest-selling single in UK chart history not to reach number one.[1]

Other countries and territories

The song gradually sold in Japan and became the best-selling single that did not reach that country's top 10 chart, selling more than 600,000 copies and peaking on the chart at number 12 in 1992.

In 2009, the song re-entered the Spanish Lista de Canciones (singles chart) at number 9.

In 2013, it was the most streamed single on Christmas Day (in the UK) according to Spotify.[2]

In Germany, the song is the most successful Christmas single of all time, having spent 124 weeks on the German Singles Chart and attained a peak position of number 4. It has charted every year since 1997.[3] In January 2008, the song fell from number 4 to number 64 there, also making it the biggest fall out of the top 10 on the singles chart.[4]

In the Netherlands, the song never reached number one, peaking at number 2 in January 1985 (behind Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?"). In the Dutch Singles Top 100 (one of three charts in the Netherlands that claims to be the "official" chart, but it's the only one that is not broadcast and remains unpublished except on its own official web page), the song has now entered on 16 different occasions, including every year since 2006. Its highest position after 1984 was number 5 (during the 2007 Christmas season).[5] In the Dutch Mega Top 50 (which was first published in 1993), the song re-appeared in 1997, 2000, 2007, 2008, and 2013.

In the United States, the song has also re-entered the Billboard Holiday Songs Chart on a regular basis. As of November 25, 2016, total US sales of the digital track stand at 751,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, placing it 10th on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in US SoundScan history.[6] The song debuted at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the chart dated January 7, 2017.[7]

Music video

The video to "Last Christmas" shows Wham! members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley accompanying girlfriends to see friends at an unspecified ski resort: the cable-car that can be seen in two shots is from Saas-Fee, Switzerland. It becomes clear early on that the character of Ridgeley's girlfriend (played by model Kathy Hill) was previously in a relationship with Michael, and that the song is aimed at her. She can easily be spotted throughout the video by the fact that she's usually wearing red, but everyone else is wearing more muted colors.

There is a brief flashback to "Last Christmas" showing Michael's character presenting her with a jewelled brooch. In the present time, Ridgeley is wearing the brooch, suggesting that the girl gave the same gift (perhaps by regifting it) to her new love after she and Michael parted ways. Interestingly, when the girl wears the brooch from Michael's character, it is "right side up" and when Ridgeley's character wears it, he wears it "upside down". On numerous occasions, Michael presents a thoughtful expression, suggesting his conflicting emotions.

Her seeming indifference to Ridgeley's open displays of affection makes the viewer wonder if Ridgeley's heart is the next to be broken. However, at the end of the video, everyone leaves properly "paired off" so perhaps it is suggested that Michael has worked out his confusion and now realizes he is after all with the right girl.

The video also featured the duo's erstwhile backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie and Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp, the boyfriend and future husband of Shirlie Holliman. The video also marks the last filmed appearance of a clean-shaven Michael, as he sported a beard in the video for "Everything She Wants", which he kept until his death in 2016.

Versions and mixes

The full original mix/vocal take of "Last Christmas" has never been released in its entirety. Two edits of it were released in 1984: one (the shorter of the two) on the regular 7" format and the other (the longer of the two, though missing a verse) on the original Japanese 12" and promotional Spanish 7". A remixed version with partly re-recorded and additional vocals was used for the regular 12" format and entitled the "Pudding Mix". When the single was re-released in 1985, an edited version of the Pudding Mix was used for the regular 7" and this version has been used on all subsequent re-releases. It is the 1985 7" version (the edit of the 1984 12" Pudding Mix) that is now the most common to find on "various artists" compilation albums (as well as George Michael's Twenty Five hits compilation) and the most widely known version. The full Pudding Mix has been featured on several compilations (including the Wham! hits compilation albums The Final and If You Were There (The Best of Wham). The edits of the original 1984 recording are less widely available, although the longer version was used in early 1985 on the second regular 12" format of the "Last Christmas/Everything She Wants" double "A" sided single (once the latter started becoming the focus of promotion, following the end of the Christmas season) and has occasionally been used on "various artists" compilation albums. The shorter edit (as used on the original 7") has not been released since and therefore has never appeared on the compact disc format.

Track listings

Original 1984 release

First 7": Epic / GA 4949 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (Original 1984 7" mix) – 4:24
  2. "Everything She Wants" (Album version) – 5:07

First 12": Epic / TA 4949 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (Pudding mix) – 6:47
  2. "Everything She Wants" (Album version) – 5:07

Second 7": Epic / QA 4949 (UK)

  1. "Everything She Wants" (Remix) – 5:32
  2. "Last Christmas" (Original 1984 7" mix) – 4:24

Second 12": Epic / QTA 4949 (UK)

  1. "Everything She Wants" (12" remix) – 6:34
  2. "Last Christmas" (Pudding mix) – 6:47

Note: "Last Christmas" and "Everything She Wants" were a double "A" side for these releases.
The second 7" and 12" were released in early 1985.
In some countries, the longer edit of "Last Christmas" from 1984 (duration listed as 4:34) was used on side two of the second 12".

1985 reissue

7": Epic / WHAM 1 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (1985 edit of Pudding mix) – 4:24
  2. "Blue (Armed with Love)" (Live in China) – 5:43

12": Epic / WHAM T1 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (Pudding mix) – 6:47
  2. "Blue (Armed with Love)" (Live in China) – 5:43
  3. "Everything She Wants" (Remix) – 5:31

1986 reissue

7": Epic / 650269 7 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (1985 edit of Pudding mix) – 4:24
  2. "Where Did Your Heart Go?" – 5:45

12": Epic / 650269 6 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (Pudding mix) – 6:47
  2. "Where Did Your Heart Go?" – 5:45

1988–89 reissues

7": Epic / EPC 653185 7 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (1985 edit of Pudding Mix) – 4:24
  2. "Everything She Wants" (Album version) [Mislabelled as "Recorded live in China"] – 5:07

12": Epic / EPC 653185 6 (UK)

  1. "Last Christmas" (Pudding mix) – 6:47
  2. "Everything She Wants" (Album version) – 5:07

Note: The only difference between the 1988 and 1989 reissues is the text on the back of the record sleeves which reads "Christmas '88" and "Christmas '89" respectively.

Inclusion on 1991 single

12" (US and UK) "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (featuring Elton John)

  1. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (Michael, John)
  2. "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)" (Stevie Wonder, Yvonne Wright)
  3. "Last Christmas" (1985 edit of Pudding Mix) (Michael)

2007 reissue

7", 12", CD: Tent / PD45579

  1. "Last Christmas" (Remix) – 5:13
  2. "Everything She Wants" (Remix) – 6:01
  3. "Last Christmas" (Pudding mix) – 6:47
  4. "Everything She Wants" – 6:29

Charts and certifications

Plagiarism allegations

On behalf of the writers of the song "Can't Smile Without You" by The Carpenters, publishing company Dick James Music sued Michael for plagiarism in the mid-1980s, claiming that"Last Christmas" lifted its melody from the former. The case was settled out of court.[39][40]

Whigfield version

"Last Christmas"
Whigfield - Last Christmas.png
Single by Whigfield
from the album Whigfield and Whigfield II
Released 3 December 1995
Recorded 1995
Genre Pop
Length 4:16
Label Various labels internationally
Writer(s) George Michael
Producer(s) George Michael
Whigfield singles chronology
"Close to You"
"Big Time/Last Christmas"
"Sexy Eyes"
Music video
"Last Christmas" on YouTube

In the UK, the following single planned after "Close to You" was "Big Time"; however, it was suggested that Whigfield should record a version of "Last Christmas" to go with the release of "Big Time", as a double A-side single. The single was also released as a double A-side single in Germany with "Close to You". In other countries, "Last Christmas" was released on its own with various remixes. The single reached number 21 in the UK, which was Whigfield's final release on Systematic Records. It also features on various Special Edition versions of her debut album Whigfield and also on Whigfield II. The EP was released on 10 November 1995 in Australia. A UK single was released on 3 December 1995.

Official versions

  1. "Last Christmas" (Major version)
  2. "Last Christmas" (Minor version)
  3. "Last Christmas" (Major Mild EQ version)
  4. "Last Christmas" (K David version)
  5. "Last Christmas" (David version)
  6. "Last Christmas" (MBRG version)
  7. "Last Christmas" (MBRG radio edit)


Chart (1995) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[41] 38
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles) 38
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[42] 12
Ireland (IRMA) 24
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[43] 34
Spain (AFYVE)[44] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[45] 53
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 21

Billie Piper version

"Last Christmas"
Billie Piper - Last Christmas.png
Single by Billie Piper
Released 1999
Genre Pop
Length 4:27
Label Innocent
Writer(s) George Michael
  • Jim Marr
  • Wendy Page
Billie Piper singles chronology
"She Wants You"
"Last Christmas"
"Honey to the Bee"

Billie Piper originally recorded a cover of the song as a B-side of her single "She Wants You". It was released as CD single in limited areas of Europe, and did not chart in any country. The single was also released as a promotional vinyl single in the UK, limited to 500 copies and therefore could not chart there.

Track listings

European CD single
  1. "Last Christmas"
  2. "She Wants You" (album version)
  3. "She Wants You" (Sharp Ballrom Remix)
UK promo vinyl
  1. "Last Christmas" (edit)
  2. "She Wants You" (radio edit)

Jimmy Eat World version

"Last Christmas"
Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas.png
Single by Jimmy Eat World
Released 10 December 2001
Genre Alternative rock
Length 10:29
Label Better Looking
Producer(s) Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World singles chronology
"The Middle"
"Last Christmas"

"Last Christmas" was released as a single by Jimmy Eat World in 2001, following the band's breakthrough hit album Bleed American. The B-side was a cover of "Firestarter", by The Prodigy.

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Last Christmas" (Wham! cover) 4:00
2. "Firestarter" (The Prodigy cover) 6:29

Hilary Duff

Listed as the first track off of her debut album, Santa Claus Lane.


Chart (2011) Peak
South Korea (Gaon)[46] 133
Chart (2012) Peak
South Korea (Gaon)[47] 68

Ashley Tisdale

"Last Christmas"
Ashley Tisdale - Last Christmas.png
Promotional single by Ashley Tisdale
  • 11 November 2006 (2006-11-11) (US radio)
  • 21 November 2006 (2006-11-21) (digital download)[48][49]
Recorded 2006
  • 3:55 (main version)
  • 3:39 (2007 radio edit)
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) George Michael
Producer(s) Mark Hammond

"Last Christmas" was recorded in 2006 for Warner Bros. Records by Ashley Tisdale. The song was released to US radios on 11 November 2006 and as a digital download on 21 November 2006. This song was the first single released by Ashley Tisdale in her deal with Warner Bros. Records and became her official first holiday single. Tisdale performed the single in 2007 on Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas in Rockefeller Center, and in 2009 in the Citadel Outlets of Los Angeles, California. The song was one of the B-sides on the European CD singles of Tisdale's first single "Be Good to Me" and Tisdale's second single "He Said She Said", from the album Headstrong.[50] The song has been included on several compilation albums, including A Very Special Christmas 7 and Disney Channel Holiday.

Track listings

Digital download[49]
  1. "Last Christmas" (single version) – 3:55


Chart (2011) Peak
US Billboard Holiday/Seasonal Songs[51] 47

Crazy Frog

"Last Christmas"
Crazy Frog - Last Christmas.png
Single by Crazy Frog
from the album Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits Ultimate Edition
Released December 2006
Recorded 2006
Length 4:27
Label Ministry of Sound
Crazy Frog singles chronology
"We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)"
"Last Christmas"
"Crazy Frog in the House (Knightrider)"

"Last Christmas" was covered in 2006 by Crazy Frog and released as a Christmas single. In Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and France, "Last Christmas" was released 12 months before in other countries.

Track listings

CD single
  1. "Last Christmas" (radio edit)
  2. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
  3. "Last Christmas" (club mix)
  4. "Nellie the Elephant"
  5. "Last Christmas" (video)


Chart (2006) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[52] 30
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart[52] 19
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart[52] 6
Dutch Singles Chart[52] 48
French Singles Chart[52] 19
Irish Singles Chart[53] 16
New Zealand Singles Chart[52] 19
UK Singles Chart[53] 16

Cascada version

"Last Christmas"
Cascada - Last Christmas.png
Single by Cascada
from the album It's Christmas Time
Released 21 November 2007
Recorded 2007
Length 3:27
Producer(s) George Michael
Cascada singles chronology
"Ready for Love"
"Last Christmas"
"What Hurts the Most"

"Last Christmas" was recorded in 2007 by Cascada. It was released on iTunes in November 2007. The single had only a digital release but six days later, it was released on the single "What Hurts the Most" which was the first single from their second album.

In the UK, despite it being a B-side track, the song is regularly played throughout music channels during the festive season. The two official music videos got more than 50 million views on YouTube.

It was released as part of their Christmas album, It's Christmas Time.

iTunes download
  • "Last Christmas" – 3:52


Chart (2007) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts)[54] 83
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[55] 63
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[56] 111*
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[57] 22

* Based on downloads alone, but did chart at number 10, as it was the B-side to "What Hurts the Most".

Alcazar version

"Last Christmas"
Alcazar - Last Christmas.png
Single by Alcazar
from the album Disco Defenders – Special Edition
Released 20 November 2009
Format Digital download
Recorded 2009
Genre Pop
Length 3:33
Label Love No Limit
Writer(s) George Michael
Alcazar singles chronology
"From Brazil with Love"
"Last Christmas"

The song was covered by Alcazar from Sweden as the sixth single to be released from their third studio album Disco Defenders, released in 2009. The single was only released digitally in Germany. It was included as a bonus track on the Swedish special edition version of Disco Defenders, released on 18 November 2009.[58]

Music video

A music video was produced to promote the single.

Track listings

Digital download[59]

  1. "Last Christmas"
  2. "One Two Three Four"

Joe McElderry version

"Last Christmas"
Joe McElderry - Last Christmas.png
Single by Joe McElderry
from the album Classic Christmas
Released 4 November 2011 (2011-11-04)
Recorded October 2011
Genre Pop
Label Decca
Writer(s) George Michael
Joe McElderry singles chronology
"There's a Place for Us"
"Last Christmas"
"Here's What I Believe"
Music video
"Last Christmas" on YouTube

British singer Joe McElderry covered the song in 2011. This version was released as a single on 19 December 2011,[60] an EP was also released digitally in Ireland on 4 November 2011, and in the UK on 7 November 2011. Joe McElderry's version is taken from his third studio album, Classic Christmas, released 28 November 2011. 7th Heaven Remix & Production have done a remix for the song.

A short music video was made using footage which was filmed for the Classic Christmas's album advertising, it features McElderry outside in the snow, collecting logs and taking them to a large house preparing for a Christmas party, a similar video was made for McElderry's version of "O Come All Ye Faithful". The advert and both videos were directed by Steve Lucker.[61]

Track listings

EP 1[62]

  1. "Last Christmas" – 4:18
  2. "Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)" – 3:07
  3. "Silent Night" – 3:28

7th Heaven Remixes[63]

  1. "Last Christmas" (7th Heaven Remix) – 6:54
  2. "Last Christmas" (7th Heaven Remix Edit) – 3:47

Ariana Grande version

"Last Christmas"
Ariana Grande - Last Christmas (Official Single Cover).png
Single by Ariana Grande
from the album Christmas Kisses
Released 19 November 2013 (2013-11-19)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Length 3:24
Label Republic
Writer(s) George Michael
Ariana Grande singles chronology
"Right There"
"Last Christmas"
"Love Is Everything"

"Last Christmas" is a song by American singer Ariana Grande. The song serves as the lead single from Grande's Christmas Kisses EP. It was released on 19 November 2013 in the iTunes Store.[64]


Grande's cover draws primarily from pop music and contemporary R&B and also includes newly-written lyrics in place of some of the originals.[65][66] These lyrics reinterpret the song as a "woman done wrong" breakup song.[65] The verses have been described as "bouncier" than the original melody.[65]

Track listing

  • Digital download[64]
  1. "Last Christmas" – 3:24


Chart (2013–15) Peak
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[67] 73
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[68] 59
South Korea International Chart (Gaon)[69] 38
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[70] 92
US Billboard Hot 100[71] 96
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[72] 26
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[73] 32

Carly Rae Jepsen version

"Last Christmas"
Carly Rae Jepsen - Last Christmas single cover.jpg
Single by Carly Rae Jepsen
Released November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Format Digital download
Recorded November 2015[74]
Length 3:32
Writer(s) George Michael
Producer(s) Ben Romans
Carly Rae Jepsen singles chronology
"Your Type"
"Last Christmas"
"It Takes Two"

"Last Christmas" was covered by Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen in 2015 and was released to digital retailers on November 20, 2015 through 604 Records (in Canada) and Interscope Records and School Boy Records (internationally).[75][76] Jepsen's rendition was praised by critics for combining stylistic elements similar to the original with modern production.[77]

Track listing

Digital download – single[76]

  1. "Last Christmas" – 3:32

Critical reception

Bianca Gracie of Idolator described the song as "quintessential Carly" for highlighting Jepsen's unique vocals and synth production and wrote that her cover will "charm your... socks off."[78] Nolan Feeney of Time echoed those sentiments, noting that "Last Christmas" is "the kind of brokenhearted yet warm and sweet song [Jepsen] excels at."[79] Jackson McHenry of Vulture applauded Jepsen for her straightforward approach to the song and avoiding the "vocal gymnastics" that bog down some Christmas covers.[80]

A more critical review came from music blog Popcrush, who deemed the cover overproduced. "The slick production is a disservice to both Carly’s vocals and the original’s emotional heft," writes Samanth Vincenty.[81]

Live performances

Jepsen performed the song live at the annual NBC television special Christmas in Rockefeller Center, which aired on December 2, 2015.[82] She also performed the song on the episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden airing on December 16, 2015.[83]


Chart (2015–16) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[84] 21
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[85] 40
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[86] 100
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[87] 80
US Holiday Digital Songs (Billboard)[88] 43

Other cover versions


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