Will the oldies prove they're the best? It's a battle of the ages for Christmas No 1


A generational battle is set to rage around the Christmas tree, as music's crooners take on teen idols in the quest to be the seasonal bestseller.

The struggling record industry has become reliant on a December sales boost, as once-a-year purchasers sweep into HMV for CD gifts.

The race to the No 1 album spot at Christmas has already begun. The starting gun was fired with the release of Susan Boyle's collection of cover versions, Someone To Watch Over Me, expected to be bought by millions. The third album from the Scot, who has sold 15 million records in three years, swept to the top of Sunday's chart.

Other crooners are hoping to top the gift list. Bruce Forsyth, 83, has released an album of swing standards, while huge sales are expected for a Christmas songs album by the Canadian singer Michael Bublé. Simon Cowell creation Il Divo are expected to sell 500,000 copies of their latest collection of operatic crossover songs, Wicked Game.

But the grannies' favourites are being challenged by a wave of scream-inducing boybands and solo stars, who have persuaded the pre-teen download generation to actually pay for music.

Last year's X Factor finalists One Direction will release their debut album, Up All Night, next week on Simon Cowell's Syco label and it is projected to sell 700,000 copies over Christmas. They face competition from fellow X Factor alumni JLS, whose Jukebox is out on Monday, and from boyband The Wanted. Even the boybands may struggle to match the sales of Justin Bieber, whose popularity shows no sign of being harmed by allegations that he has fathered a child. The 17-year-old sensation's Under The Mistletoe album is likely to prompt screams from parents and children, albeit for different reasons.

Paul Williams, head of business analysis at Music Week, said: "The bulk of sales for the industry are produced in the final quarter, from people who don't buy music the rest of the year."

The wild card in the Christmas schedule is Amy Winehouse's posthumous release Lioness, a compilation of unheard recordings, released next month.

Westlife's farewell greatest hits, Rihanna, Take That and Adele will also continue to sell well over Christmas, Mr Williams predicted, although live performances on The X Factor will be vital in reaching a wide audience.

Rihanna, 23, is launching her sixth album since 2005, but the record, Talk That Talk, is just 35 minutes long.

The X Factor winner, when named on 11 December, will also make their annual bid for the Christmas No 1 single position.

Simon Cowell is likely to be the winner whoever tops the charts, as he has interests in former X Factor contestants Cher Lloyd, Rebecca Ferguson, Olly Murs and Matt Cardle as well in Susan Boyle, One Direction and Il Divo.

Generation Game: The Hopefuls

Joe McElderry

Age: 20

Having won The X Factor in 2009 he was odds-on to claim the Christmas number one single spot that year, before the Rage Against The Machine campaign juggernaut crushed all in its path. He is now back with a album of Christmas tunes, named Classic Christmas, to be released on 28 November.


Age: 23

Talk That Talk is the Barbadian-born R&B star's sixth album since 2005. With a string of hits behind her, as well as several awards, it is sure to sell in huge numbers when it is released on 21 November

The Saturdays

Age: From 22 to 30

The band, who have had 10 top-10 hits since they first released a single in 2008, launch their third album On Your Radar on 21 November.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Age: 63

Phantom Of The Opera At The Royal Albert Hall will be released on 14 November to mark the 25th anniversary of the Lloyd Webber-penned West End stalwart.


Age: 48

Seal's singing career has lasted two decades. His latest, Soul 2, is set for release on 21 November

Bee Gees

Age: 65 (Barry), 61 (Robin)

The band synonymous with the disco era releases another greatest hits collection on 5 December.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own