Hull's Housemartins came within a whisper of bagging a Christmas number one with 'Caravan Of Love' in 1986.
33 years ago this week the band that included in its ranks a young Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, were sitting pretty at the top of the charts as Christmas neared, but they were pipped at the post in Christmas week by the re-release of Jackie Wilson's 1957 hit 'Reet Petite'.
A year before the Housemartins put their stamp on it, 'Caravan Of Love' was an R&B hit for Isley-Jasper-Isley, a splinter group of the Isley Brothers. The gospel-tinged tune was written by Chris Jasper who wrote and produced the majority of the Isley Brothers music.
'Caravan Of Love' was Isley-Jasper-Isley's biggest hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and 51 in the Billboard Hot 100.
The Housemartins' a capella version was a bigger international hit, reaching number one in the UK, Ireland and Sweden, as well as the top ten in many other countries.
It was only the second a capella recording to reach the top spot in the UK, after The Flying Pickets' 'Only You' in 1983.
'Caravan Of Love' was the Housemartins' only chart-topping single.Their only other top ten hit was 'Happy Hour' which peaked at number three earlier the same year.
Our top ten from 1986 is full of big hits. As well as 'Caravan Of Love' and 'Reet Petite', 'The Final Countdown', by Swedish rockers Europe, was also a UK number one, while both 'Livin' On A Prayer' and 'Open Your Heart' were chart-toppers on the US Billboard Hot 100 for Bon Jovi and Madonna respectively.
1 Caravan Of Love The Housemartins
2 Reet Petite Jackie Wilson
3 The Final Countdown Europe
4 Open Your Heart Madonna
5 Sometimes Erasure
6 The Rain Oran' Juice Jones
7 Shake You Down Gregory Abbott
8 So Cold The Night The Communards
9 Livin' On A Prayer Bon Jovi
10 Cry Wolf A-Ha