Milby on Music: Let battle start for the festive No 1

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The most eagerly awaited chart battle is almost upon us.

Now that the X Factor lot don’t release the winner’s single a week before Christmas we have an exciting tussle on our hands once again for the festive number one.

This year there are several superstar heavyweights versus the usual offering of novelty and one-off charity singles.

Let’s start with the big names. Robbie Williams is flying high at the moment. His new single Different is the second cut from his number one album ‘Take The Crown.

It’s got a big chorus and is classic Robbie. It could do very well.

Williams has been Christmas number one before with his 2001 duet with Nicole Kidman ‘Something Stupid.’

Kylie Minogue has been celebrating 25 years in the pop business.

She has rerecorded some of her best known hits with a full orchestra and releases a slowed down and incredibly stylish version of On A Night Like This in time for Christmas.

When asked to name their favourite Christmas song, shed-loads of people would say The Pogues and Kirsty MacCall Fairytale Of New York. Can you believe that song never made number one? Well that wrong may be righted this year. It’s being reissued to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Every year a certain department store does an advert that is on telly all the time. I think you know the one I’m talking about. I’m not sure I really understand the latest one with the snowman.

Gabrielle Aplin has recorded a haunting version of the old Frankie Goes To Hollywood song Power Of Love for the commercial.

The song has already been in the top 10 but with so much exposure on TV it has the potential to climb to the top of the pile.

There is a big charity song this year which looks likely to do really well in the charts. With all the recent revelations about the Hillsborough disaster some massive names from Liverpool have recorded He Ain’t Heavy….He’s My Brother.

They are raising money for a fresh inquest into the tragedy.

Stars singing on the record include all of Merseyside’s finest and other big names including Sir Paul McCartney, Melanie C, Robbie Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Holly Johnson, Paloma Faith, Andy Brown (Lawson), Mick Jones (The Clash), Dave McCabe (The Zutons), Paul Heaton (Beautiful South), John Power (Cast), Shane McGowan (The Pogues), Beverley Knight and Gerry Marsden (Gerry And The Pacemakers), among others.