Merry Xmas Everybody... Everywhere

Slade’s festive hit reaches furthest corners of the planet and clocks up 5.5 continuous weeks of UK radio airtime! 

Slade band credit to Barry Plummer
Above: Slade credit Barry Plummer 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Slade’s Christmas hit single Merry Xmas Everybody, first topping the UK chart 50 years ago on 15 December 1973, PRS for Music reveals the legendary band’s seasonal classic continues to be a firm favourite around the world, notching up plays in 139 countries.

So here it is… Merry Xmas Everybody is most popular in its home nation of the United Kingdom, with listeners in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark following close behind. Everybody's having fun in Japan, Brazil, Iceland and The Bahamas too.

Based on data provided by PRS for Music, the organisation which represents the rights of over 165,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, the song has been streamed, downloaded, broadcast and performed in countries as far-reaching as Peru and Djibouti.

Earning the UK Christmas Number 1 slot in December 1973, Merry Xmas Everybody, co-written by Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea, was the rock band’s sixth Number 1 hit, after beating Wizzard's I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday to the top of the charts. Since its release 50 years ago, the track has regularly returned to the chart each December and clocked up 114 weeks on the UK Official Singles Chart overall.

Last year, during the festive period, Merry Xmas Everybody received over 3,376,507 seconds, or 5.5 continuous weeks, of UK radio airtime. Proving to be an enduring favourite with the British public, the song was most heard across the airwaves in Lincolnshire, Leicester, Stoke and Cornwall.

Over the last five decades, Merry Xmas Everybody has been covered numerous times, including a standout rendition from British rock band Oasis, who recorded an acoustic version in 2000 for the Christmas special of British sitcom The Royle Family, in the same year 90s dance-pop group Steps released a version and performed it on children's television series Live & Kicking.

German alternative rock punk band, Beatsteaks, put their spin on it in 2010. With Robbie Williams including it on his 2019 album The Christmas Present, where he enlisted the vocals of jazz aficionado Jamie Cullum to feature.

More recently, Girls Aloud’s rendition is featured in online retailer Very’s 2023 Christmas campaign Let’s Make It Sparkle.

Speaking to PRS for Music’s M Magazine back in 2011 about the Christmas hit, Noddy Holder said:


We cut [Merry Xmas Everybody] in the US at the end of the hot summer of 1973. The studio was in an office block and we sang the chorus in the stairwell next to the studio to get that echoey effect. Four English blokes singing about Christmas… the office workers must have thought we were mad!

Then we took it back to England and played it to Polydor, and they flipped. It went straight to number one and sold one million copies in the first week. It was up to that point the fastest-selling single ever in the UK. We knew we had a big hit when we wrote it, but for it to be still going strong so many years later… well, we never imagined

Noddy Holder

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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