The fight for Christmas number one has always been fierce. In recent years with the advent of the X Factor, the competition has become an entirely different beast, one between the mainstream of commercially produced music via a TV talent show, and 'alternative' music. This year there's a new spin on the whole thing with a charity single in aid of the 1969 Hillsborough disaster campaign.
The group who have been recording the single, which is a cover of the Hollies' song 'He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother', have called themselves The Justice Collective, and today Paul McCartney revealed he's in the group. He tweeted: "Paul has been working with The Justice Collective on the Hillsborough tribute single 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' released 17th Dec." The lyrics of the single, speak about strength in relationships, saying "I'm strong, strong enough to carry him, he ain't heavy, he's my brother", an apt tribute to the work still going on surrounding the disaster.
From 2005 to 2008 the X Factor hogged the Xmas #1 spot. But Rage Against the Machine got to the top in 2009, and last year the Military Wives, also singing for charity, snatched it from the X Factor winners Little Mix. Bookies this year think that the Hillsborough single will top the chart, according to the BBC. Other artists involved in the single are Rebecca Ferguson, Paloma Faith, Beverley Knight, Holly Johnson, Glenn Tilbrook, Paul Heaton, Gerry Marsden and Mick Jones.