Music · Trivia

Stuck at 2: 1970, 1971, 1972

Last weekend, in this piece, I returned to the idea of “Stuck at 2”, singles that reached #2 in the UK charts but didn’t make it all the way to the top. It listed the songs from 1967 and 1983 that just missed out on a #1 place, and those that kept them off the top spot. My original “Stuck at 2” post from 2016, here, refers to “The Nation’s Favourite No 2 Single”, the results of a poll conducted by BBC Radio 2. The Top 3, counting down from 3 to 1, were “American Pie” (Don McLean, 1972), “Fairytale of New York” (The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, 1987) and “Vienna” (Ultravox, 1981).

I have taken another look at the Radio 2 poll, picked out the years that have the most entries (1970 and 1972, with 4 each) and created the following lists for the songs that were “Stuck at 2”. I have included 1971 as well, which only has one entry (The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar / Bitch / Let It Rock”).

Notes: “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley is listed on the BBC poll as a 1969 release. It reached #2 in 1970, so it appears below. So does “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition) which was not in the BBC poll. It reached #2 in December 1969 and was still there for three of the first four weeks of 1970. “Ride A White Swan” (T Rex) was released in 1970 and reached its highest position in January 1971. “Jean Genie” (David Bowie) was released in 1972, but it reached #2 in January 1973, so I have extended the list to include that month as well. Songs that feature in the BBC poll are highlighted in bold. As before, when a single was kept off #1 by more than one song, each one is listed, along with how many weeks it kept its rival at #2.

Stuck at 2: 1970 (and December 1969)

Month Act, Title

Weeks at #2

Act and song that kept it at #2
Dec-69 Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town

4

Rolf Harris, Two Little Boys
Jan-70 Elvis Presley, Suspicious Minds

1

Rolf Harris, Two Little Boys
Jan-70 Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town

1

Rolf Harris, Two Little Boys
Feb-70 Peter Paul & Mary, Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

1

Edison Lighthouse, Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)
Feb-70 Canned Heat, Let’s Work Together

1

Edison Lighthouse, Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)
Mar-70 Jackson 5, I Want You Back

1

Lee Marvin, Wand’rin’ Star
Mar-70 Beatles, Let It Be

1

Lee Marvin, Wand’rin’ Star
Apr-70 Mary Hopkin, Knock Knock Who’s There

1

Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water
May-70 Moody Blues, Question

1

England World Cup Squad, Back Home
Jun-70 Mr Bloe, Groovin’ With Mr Bloe

1

Mungo Jerry, In The Summertime
Jul-70 Free, All Right Now

4

Mungo Jerry, In The Summertime
Aug-70 Free, All Right Now

1

Elvis Presley, The Wonder Of You
Aug-70 Kinks, Lola

1

Elvis Presley, The Wonder Of You
Aug-70 Hotlegs, Neanderthal Man

2

Elvis Presley, The Wonder Of You
Oct-70 Desmond Dekker, You Can Get It If You Really Want

2

Freda Payne, Band Of Gold
Oct-70 Deep Purple, Black Night

2

Freda Payne, Band Of Gold
Oct-70 Clarence Carter, Patches

3

Matthews’ Southern Comfort, Woodstock
Dec-70 McGuinness Flint, When I’m Dead And Gone

2

Dave Edmunds, I Hear You Knockin’

Stuck at 2: 1971

Month Act, Title

Weeks at #2

Act and song that kept it at #2
Jan-71 T Rex, Ride A White Swan

1

Clive Dunn, Grandad
Feb-71 Mixtures, The Pushbike Song

4

George Harrison, My Sweet Lord
Mar-71 Paul McCartney, Another Day

1

Mungo Jerry, Baby Jump
Mar-71 Paul McCartney, Another Day

1

T.Rex, Hot Love
Apr-71 Ray Stevens, Bridget The Midget (The Queen Of The Blues)

3

T.Rex, Hot Love
May-71 Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar / Bitch / Let It Rock

3

Dawn, Knock Three Times
Jun-71 R Dean Taylor, Indiana Wants Me

1

Dawn, Knock Three Times
Jun-71 Tony Christie, I Did What I Did For Maria

1

Dawn, Knock Three Times
Jun-71 Tony Christie, I Did What I Did For Maria

1

Middle Of The Road, Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
Jul-71 Hurricane Smith, Don’t Let It Die

1

Middle Of The Road, Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
Jul-71 Sweet, Co-Co

2

Middle Of The Road, Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
Aug-71 New Seekers, Never Ending Song Of Love

2

T.Rex, Get It On
Aug-71 New Seekers, Never Ending Song Of Love

3

Diana Ross, I’m Still Waiting
Sep-71 Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, Did You Ever

1

The Tams, Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me
Oct-71 Middle Of The Road, Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum

1

Rod Stewart, Maggie May
Oct-71 Redbone, The Witch Queen Of New Orleans

3

Rod Stewart, Maggie May
Nov-71 Tom Jones, Till

1

Slade, Cos I Luv You
Nov-71 T Rex, Jeepster

1

Slade, Cos I Luv You
Dec-71 T Rex, Jeepster

4

Benny Hill, Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)

 

Stuck at 2: 1972 (and January 1973)

Month Act, Title

Weeks at #2

Act and song that kept it at #2
Jan-72 Neil Reid, Mother Of Mine

3

The New Seekers, I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing
Mar-72 Don McLean, American Pie

1

Chicory Tip, Son Of My Father
Mar-72 Don McLean, American Pie

2

Nilsson, Without You
Mar-72 New Seekers, Beg Steal Or Borrow

3

Nilsson, Without You
Apr-72 Ringo Starr, Back Off Boogaloo

2

The Pipes & Drums & Military Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Amazing Grace
May-72 Vicky Leandros, Come What May

1

The Pipes & Drums & Military Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Amazing Grace
May-72 David Cassidy, Could It Be Forever / Cherish

1

T.Rex, Metal Guru
Jun-72 Elton John, Rocket Man

1

T.Rex, Metal Guru
Jul-72 Gary Glitter, Rock And Roll (Parts 1 And 2)

3

Donny Osmond, Puppy Love
Jul-72 Dr Hook, Sylvias Mother

1

Donny Osmond, Puppy Love
Aug-72 Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs, Seaside Shuffle

2

Alice Cooper, School’s Out
Sep-72 T Rex, Children Of The Revolution

1

Slade, Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Sep-72 T Rex, Children Of The Revolution

2

David Cassidy, How Can I Be Sure
Oct-72 10CC, Donna

2

Lieutenant Pigeon, Mouldy Old Dough
Nov-72 Osmonds, Crazy Horses

3

Chuck Berry, My Ding-A-Ling
Dec-72 Slade, Gudbuy T’Jane

1

Chuck Berry, My Ding-A-Ling
Jan-73 T Rex, Solid Gold Easy Action

1

Little Jimmy Osmond, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
Jan-73 David Bowie, The Jean Genie

1

Little Jimmy Osmond, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool

Items in bold appear in the BBC Radio 2 list of “The Nation’s Favourite No 2 Single”.

To see the songs that were Stuck at 2 in 1967 and 1983 click here.

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