If pop trivia is not your thing then read no further. If pop trivia is your thing, here are a few facts and challenges for the weekend about songs that have made it to #1 in the UK charts.
Same Artist and Song Name at #1
We’re not looking here for an artist releasing a single that shares their own name (like “Doop” by Doop, for example, which topped the charts in 1994, or “Rich Kids” by Rich Kids, which only got to #24) but for chart-topping singles that share their names with an artist or band that also got to #1.
It last happened in the summer of 2015 when a song by Charlie Puth (featuring Meghan Trainor) got to #1. The song was “Marvin Gaye”, who was also a chart-topping artist (“Heard it through the grapevine”, 1969). This has happened on at least four other occasions, when a chart-topping single has also been the name of a chart-topping artist. On these other occasions the song titles have not been about the artist in question, unlike Charlie Puth’s song (which mentions the real Marvin Gaye). Can you name any of these other titles? Answers appear at the end of this post but if you need a clue, two of the names appear in this earlier bit of #1 Trivia. All four of the acts we’re looking for had only one chart-topping single each. Three of them were in the years 1976-1982, the other artist reached #1 in 2004.
Same Title, Different Song
Some song titles, like “Angel” and “Tonight” have been used many times by many different artists. Different songs called “Angel” have been hits for 11 different artists (but only Shaggy featuring Rayvon got to #1, in 2001). There have been six top 40s called “Tonight”, but none of them got to #1. A select group of words and phrases have been #1 more than once, as different songs with the same title. The most recent was “Hello” (#1 for Adele in 2015 and Lionel Richie in 1984). There are at least seven others. Can you name any? Again, answers are at the end of this post. [A further seven, taking us to 14 in total, appear in the Postscripts.]
The answers: Same Artist and Song Name at #1
In addition to Marvin Gaye there are:
The Real Thing
- The Real Thing got to #1 with “You to me are everything” in 1976, “The Real Thing” was a #1 for Tony di Bart in 1994.
- Wings had their only #1 in 1977 with “Mull of Kintyre” / “Girls’ School”, “Wings” was a 2012 #1 for Little Mix.
- Survivor had a #1 in 1982 with “Eye of the tiger”, Destiny’s Child had a #1 with “Survivor” in 2001.
- Michelle had her only #1 in 2004 with “All this time”, The Overlanders had a #1 in 1966 with “Michelle” (their only hit single).
Or, to summarize:
2015 Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor – Marvin Gaye – Heard it through the grapevine 1969
1994 Tony di Bart – The Real Thing – You to me are everything 1976
2012 Little Mix – Wings – Mull of Kintyre 1977
2001 Destiny’s Child – Survivor – Eye of the Tiger 1982
1966 The Overlanders – Michelle – All this time 2004
Note: “Wings” is also the title of the first Oscar Winner for Best Picture (1927). Other Best Picture winners which share their titles with chart-topping acts are: “Tom Jones” (1963) and “Chicago” (2002).
The answers: Same Title, Different Song
In addition to “Hello” you could have:
“Tears on my pillow” (Johnny Nash in 1975, Kylie Minogue in 1990)
“All around the world” (Lisa Stansfield in 1989, Oasis in 1998)
“Let’s Dance” (David Bowie in 1983, 5ive in 2001)
“Breathe” (The Prodigy in 1996, Blue Cantrell featuring Sean Paul in 2003)
“Diamonds” (Jet Harris and Tony Meehan in 1963 [an instrumental], Rihanna in 2012)
“Burn” (Usher in 2004, Ellie Goulding in 2013)
“Sing” (Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring Military Wives in 2012, Ed Sheeran in 2014)
If there are any more, I haven’t found them yet.
Postscripts, 1 May 2018 and 16 September 2020
I missed these three in my original piece:
“My Love” (Westlife in 2000, Route 94 featuring Jess Glynne in 2014)
“Sorry” (Madonna in 2006, Justin Bieber in 2015)
“Closer” (Ne-Yo in 2008, Chainsmokers featuring Halsey in 2016)
And, shortly after this piece was originally published, we had the following addition to the list:
“Perfect” (Fairground Attraction in 1988, Ed Sheeran in 2017)
Note: “Perfect” was also a #2 hit for One Direction in 2015, so it came very close to being a #1 title with three different songs.
In April 2018 we had another addition to this list:
“These Days” (Rudimental featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen in 2018, Take That in 2014)
Another addition to this list, from September 2018:
“Promises” (Calvin Harris and Sam Smith in 2018, Nero in 2011)
And this one, from December 2019:
“River” (Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran in 2018, Ellie Goulding in 2019)