Believe it or night, this past Thursday (November 5) I was driving in my car and “Wonderful Christmastime” came on the air. Since October 1, the app for WCBS-FM (www.radio.com) has a HD channel of “Christmas Classics”, but hearing “Wonderful Christmastime” on a traditional FM radio station in the first week of November was a first for sure. I was actually astonished and thought I would re-post my blog article from 2014.
As is the case each year during the holiday season, Paul’s Christmas song “Wonderful Christmastime” is in heavy rotation on the airwaves. This McCartney solo song was recorded in 1979 during the recording of McCartney II, with Paul laying down all the tracks himself at the home studio on his farm. Though not a Wings single, all of the members of the final configuration of Wings appeared in the video which was filmed at The Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex.
To say that it is a McCartney “solo” song is an understatement. He both wrote and produced the song in addition to providing vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, guitars, bass, and drums.
“Wonderful Christmastime” reached # 6 on the UK Singles Chart, but did not chart on The Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. Since its debut during the 1979 holiday season, it was estimated by Forbes magazine that the song has earned Paul $20 million dollars. Each holiday season the song rakes him in excess of $450,000.
Beatles fans will remember that McCartney performed “Wonderful Christmastime” on Saturday Night Live on December 15, 2012.
In addition, Beatles fans will remember that there was never an official Christmas song released by the Fab Four. However, members of the official Beatles Fan Club received a record of Christmas song in 1967 that was not released commercially. “Christmas Time Is Here Again” lived on in bootleg records and became more accessible with the advent of YouTube.com.
Ironically, Paul can be heard on Side B of the monstrously successful 1984 charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid. This song knocked out Wings’ “Mull of Kintyre” from having the distinction of being the biggest selling single in the history of the UK. It was on top of the UK Singles Charts in Christmas 1977. For whatever reason, “Mull of Kintyre” was a flop in the U.S., only reaching # 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and cracking the Top 40 for only that one week. “Mull of Kintyre” was a massive international hit that topped the charts in countless countries. Paul has never performed the song in a concert in the U.S. due to its bad performance there; however, there have been instances over the years in which he does a concert one night in the U.S. without performing “Mull of Kintyre” and then two nights later adds it to the playlist for a concert in Canada.
“Mull of Kintyre” still remains the biggest selling non-charity single in UK history. In 1984 people were urged to buy multiple copies of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to support African famine relief, so “Mull of Kintyre” retains its unique place in history.
Check out the songs below…….