Ever since the music charts started 50 years ago, musicians have been consistently blighted by the nation's inexplicable penchant for "novelty" tracks such as Bob the Builder and Mr Blobby, or for the past several years, the X Factor beating them to one of the most coveted accolades of the year - the Chistmas Number One.
To document the greatest songs which never quite made it, personalized online radio we7 has compiled a playlist highlighting the most memorable Christmas Number 2’s.
Songs include lounge singer Mike Flowers’ spoof cover of Wonderwall by Oasis, beaten by Michael Jackson’s saccharine Earth Song (1995), Bachman Turner Overdrive’s rock classic You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet which fell at the last hurdle to Mud’s Lonely This Christmas in (1974) and Take That’s Patience, robbed of its glory by Leona Lewis’s A Moment Like This (2006).
There are also a few surprises in the form of pop classic Last Christmas by Wham!, seasonal favourite Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl and cult classic Ice Ice Baby by US rapper Vanilla Ice.
With the recent announcement by the Official Charts Company who confirmed the Christmas Number One announced on Christmas Day itself, the competition is sure to be stiffer than ever.
We7: Christmas Near Misses Playlist
- Chuck Berry - My Ding-a-Ling (1972)
- Bachman Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet (1974)
- The Village People - YMCA (1978)
- Wham! - Last Christmas (1984)
- The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York (1987)
- Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (1990)
- Mike Flowers Pops - Wonderwall (1995)
- The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) (2003)
- Take That - Patience (2006)
- Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (2008)
And the songs which beat them to it
- Little Jimmy Osmond - Long Haired Lover from Liverpool
- Mud - Lonely This Christmas
- Boney M - Mary's Boy Child
- Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?
- The Pet Shop Boys - Always on My Mind
- Cliff Richard - Saviour's Day
- Michael Jackson - Earth Song
- Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules - Mad World
- Leona Lewis - A Moment Like This
- Alexandra Burke - Hallelujah
This is the first time for six years that Christmas Day will fall on Sunday - the traditional Official Chart unveiling day - and only the third time in 20 years.
Steve Purdham, CEO for WE7 commented: "The Christmas Number One is a time-honored tradition in our country and serves as a great way to unite people at this time of year.
"The aim of creating this playlist was to remind us all that some of the greatest Christmas songs ever recorded didn’t make it to number one despite their huge followings, and to demonstrate the wealth of choice represented by our 10 million song database.
"We are hoping perhaps this might even help Sir Attenborough in his effort to get to the number one spot this Christmas."
For the past few years, however, pressure groups and anarchists alike have attempted to divert the inevitable drudgery of Simon Cowell’s pop machine by rallying for unusually un-festive songs such as Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name and, most recently, John Cage’s Four and a Half Minutes of Silence or '4’33'.
The later, as the name suggests, contains no instruments, vocals or even any musical notes, which serves as a powerful message against the talent show juggernaut’s continued cycle of snagging the top spot at Christmas.
Winners of this year’s contest Little Mix are in danger of being held off the top spot by a Facebook campaign to catapult one of Britain’s best-loved broadcasters Sir David Attenborough to pole position, whose touching version of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World has captured the hearts and minds of the nation.
The online radio station acts as a personal DJ which learns your individual tastes, where users create radio stations and we7 automatically recommends similar artists in one seamless playlist that can be listened via a computer, tablet device or smartphone app. Simply type in the name of an artist, song or music genre and we7 will pull out a load of songs you’ll love.
The more listeners tell the service about their tastes, the better tailored the personalised radio stations become - for instance if you like Rihanna and Jay-Z, but you also like Foo Fighters and The Rolling Stones we7 will create a playlist specially to include your favourite artists, and also others you might like based on your choices.
To listen to the playlist log on to http://www.we7.com/listen/i/h2344895/radio