THE NEW X Factor single could be about to make chart history – with two versions of the classic song fighting it out for the Christmas number one.
An online campaign was set up last week by fans of Buckley, and their efforts were rewarded when the American singer-songwriter’s version entered the charts at number 30.
But this week has seen the campaign gather momentum and the Buckley cover – which is widely held as the definitive version – now looks destined for at least a top three position.
It would be the first time ever that the same song by two different artists has held the top two chart positions.
Alexandra Burke beat off stiff competition from boy band JLS to win the X Factor crown on Saturday evening.
And the last few years has seen the Christmas number one going to the competition’s winner – although this year’s race for the coveted position is the closest for years with former-X Factor winner Leona Lewis also in the running with her cover of Snow Patrol’s Run.
But, according to the midweek sales figures, Buckley is just one place behind Lewis in the race to the top of the charts.
HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo said: “Alexandra’s cover of Hallelujah has to be a massive favourite for the Christmas No.1 – the track has already been downloaded over 150,000 times, and it remains hmv.com’s fastest-ever seller, but it’s been such a bizarre year that I always thought that there could be some kind of twist.
“And it looks as if this may come in the guise of Jeff Buckley’s classic cover version of the same song. An internet and media campaign to get people to download it seems to be bearing fruit, and the track has climbed into the provisional midweek charts.
“It’s now just behind Leona Lewis, at no.3, and we suddenly have the very real prospect of two different covers of the same song occupying the no.1 & 2 slots in the Official UK charts. I don’t think this has ever happened in UK Charts history, and certainly not for Christmas.
“Leonard Cohen must think Christmas has come early.”