Music · Trivia

Stuck at 2: the whole of the 1990s

For the third time this month I have posted a list containing a decade’s worth of “Stuck at 2” songs on the Trivia Menu. These are songs that almost made it to #1 in the UK chart but missed out by one place. Today’s list, which you can see here, is for the whole of the 1990s.

Earlier pieces looked at the 1970s (listed here, and analysed here) and the 1980s (listed here, and analysed here).

Today’s list covers January 1990 (Jason Donovan, When You Come Back To Me, kept at #2 by Band Aid II, Do They Know It’s Christmas?) to December 1999 (Artful Dodger featuring Craig David, Re-Rewind The Crowd Say Bo Selecta, kept at #2 by Cliff Richard, The Millennium Prayer) As in earlier pieces, 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.

Here are a few observations about the songs and artists that were Stuck at 2 in the 1990s.

Longest sequences

The longest sequence of songs that were stuck at 2 in the 1990s was 14 weeks. This happened twice, from 27 July to 26 October 1991 (when Bryan Adams was at #1 with (Everything I Do) I Do It For You) and from 11 June to 10 September 1994 (when Wet Wet Wet were at #1 with Love is All Around).

The songs that were stuck at #2 and never made it to #1 were:

27 July to 26 October 1991

  • Heavy D & The Boyz, Now That We Found Love (1 week)
  • Extreme, More Than Words (2 weeks)
  • Right Said Fred, I’m Too Sexy (6 weeks)
  • Salt-N-Pepa featuring Psychotropic, Let’s Talk About Sex (2 weeks)
  • Scorpions, Wind Of Change (2 weeks)
  • 2 Unlimited, Get Ready For This (1 week)

[Only two of these acts ever had a UK #1, Right Said Fred with Deeply Dippy in 1992 and 2 Unlimited with No Limit in 1993.]

11 June to 10 September 1994

  • Big Mountain, Baby I Love Your Way (3 weeks)
  • All-4-One, I Swear (7 weeks)
  • Let Loose, Crazy For You (2 weeks)
  • Red Dragon with Brian & Tony Gold, Compliments On Your Kiss (1 week)
  • Kylie Minogue, Confide In Me (1 week)

[Only one of these acts has ever had a UK #1, Kylie Minogue. She has had 7 so far, the most recent being Slow in 2003.]

The longest sequence of #2s where every #2 song also reached #1 at some point was 9 weeks (25 March to 20 May 1995), with these releases:

  • Outhere Brothers, Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) (1 week)
  • Cher, Chrissie Hynde & Neneh Cherry with Eric Clapton, Love Can Build A Bridge (1 week)
  • Outhere Brothers, Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) (4 further weeks)
  • Take That, Back For Good (1 week)
  • Oasis, Some Might Say (1 week)
  • Livin’ Joy, Dreamer (1 week)

Longest run at #2 for a song that didn’t make it to #1 (the 1990s)

  • All-4-One, I Swear holds the record for most weeks at #2, with 7. No other release has spent 7 weeks at #2 without getting to #1. [In 2018 These Days by Rudimental/Glynne/Macklemore also spent 7 weeks at #2 and then climbed to #1.]

Only two other releases spent more than 3 weeks Stuck at 2 in the 1990s:

  • Right Said Fred, I’m Too Sexy (6 weeks)
  • Michael Jackson, Heal The World (5 weeks)

101 acts who hit #2 in the 1990s and never had a #1

There are 101 acts who have never had a UK #1 but were Stuck at 2 in the 1990s.The following acts had more than one song that was Stuck at 2: Def Leppard, Kula Shaker, Natalie Imbruglia, Pulp, Toni Braxton, Sash, Supergrass  and Warren G.

Here’s the full list, in chronological order according to each act’s first #2 hit.

  1. Technotronic featuring Ya Kid K, Get Up (Before The Night Is Over)
  2. Various Artists, The Brits 1990
  3. B52s, Love Shack
  4. Alannah Myles, Black Velvet
  5. Paula Abdul with The Wild Pair, Opposites Attract
  6. Adventures Of Stevie V, Dirty Cash
  7. Luciano Pavarotti, Nessun Dorma
  8. Craig McLachlan & Check 1-2, Mona
  9. DNA featuring Suzanne Vega, Tom’s Diner
  10. Deacon Blue, Four Bacharach And David Songs EP
  11. Deee-Lite, Groove Is In The Heart / What Is Love
  12. Londonbeat, I’ve Been Thinking About You
  13. Bobby Vinton, Blue Velvet
  14. Gazza & Lindisfarne, Fog On The Tyne (Revisited)
  15. Kim Appleby, Don’t Worry
  16. Seal, Crazy
  17. Nomad, (I Wanna Give You) Devotion
  18. James, Sit Down
  19. Crystal Waters, Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee)
  20. Amy Grant, Baby Baby
  21. Heavy D & The Boyz, Now That We Found Love
  22. Extreme, More Than Words
  23. Salt-N-Pepa featuring Psychotropic, Let’s Talk About Sex
  24. Scorpions, Wind Of Change
  25. Temptations, My Girl (re-issue)
  26. Shanice, I Love Your Smile
  27. Ce Ce Peniston, Finally (re-issue)
  28. Def Leppard, Let’s Get Rocked, When Love and Hate Collide
  29. SL2, On A Ragga Tip
  30. Guns ‘N’ Roses, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  31. Shut Up & Dance, Raving I’m Raving
  32. Kris Kross, Jump
  33. Smart Es, Sesame’s Treet
  34. Freddy Mercury & Montserrat Caballë, Barcelona
  35. Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson with special guests BBD & Ralph Tresvant, The Best Things In Life Are Free
  36. Undercover, Baker Street
  37. Dr Alban, It’s My Life
  38. Arrested Development, People Everyday
  39. Snow, Informer
  40. Janet Jackson, That’s The Way Love Goes
  41. Haddaway, What Is Love
  42. 4 Non Blondes, What’s Up
  43. Urban Cookie Collective, The Key The Secret
  44. Bitty McLean, It Keep Rainin’ (Tears From Eyes)
  45. M People, Moving On Up
  46. Cappella, U Got 2 Let The Music
  47. Toni Braxton, Breathe Again, Un-Break My Heart
  48. Bruce Springsteen, Streets Of Philadelphia
  49. Crash Test Dummies, Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
  50. Big Mountain, Baby I Love Your Way
  51. All-4-One, I Swear
  52. Let Loose, Crazy For You
  53. Red Dragon with Brian & Tony Gold, Compliments On Your Kiss
  54. Corona, The Rhythm Of The Night
  55. Bon Jovi, Always
  56. MC Sar & The Real McCoy, Another Night
  57. Stone Roses, Love Spreads
  58. N-Trance, Set You Free (remix)
  59. Annie Lennox, No More I Love Yous
  60. MN8, I’ve Got A Little Something For You
  61. Alex Party, Don’t Give Me Your Life
  62. Pulp, Common People, Mis-Shapes / Sorted For E’s And Wizz
  63. Supergrass, Alright / Time, Richard III
  64. Diana King, Shy Guy
  65. Original, I Luv U Baby (remix)
  66. Mike Flowers Pops, Wonderwall
  67. Bluetones, Slight Return
  68. 3T, Anything, Why
  69. Robert Miles, Children
  70. Mark Snow, The X-Files
  71. Underworld, Born Slippy
  72. Los Del Rio, Macarena
  73. Kula Shaker, Hey Dude, Hush
  74. Warren G featuring Adina Howard, What’s Love Got To Do With It, I Shot The Sheriff [credited to Warren G]
  75. No Mercy, Where Do You Go
  76. Sash, Encore Une Fois, Ecuador, Stay, Mysterious Times [and also Adelante in 2000]
  77. Cardigans, Lovefool
  78. Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli, Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)
  79. Gala, Freed From Desire
  80. Chumbawamba, Tubthumping
  81. Dario G, Sunchyme
  82. Natalie Imbruglia, Torn, Big Mistake
  83. Bamboo, Bamboogie
  84. Busta Rhymes, Turn It Up / Fire It Up
  85. Brandy & Monica, The Boy Is Mine
  86. Mousse T vs Hot ‘N’ Juicy, Horny
  87. Fat Les, Vindaloo
  88. Pras Michel featuring Ol’ Dirty B******d introducing Mya, Ghetto Superstar That Is What You Are
  89. Stardust, Music Sounds Better With You
  90. T-Spoon, Sex On The Beach
  91. Brandy featuring Mase, Top Of The World
  92. Terrorvision, Tequilla
  93. Cartoons, Witch Doctor
  94. Phats & Small, Turn Around
  95. Wiseguys, Ooh La La
  96. DJ Jurgen presents Alice DeeJay, Better Off Alone
  97. Shaft, (Mucho Mambo) Sway
  98. DJ Jean, The Launch
  99. Ann Lee, 2 Times
  100. Tin Tin Out featuring Emma Bunton, What I Am
  101. Artful Dodger featuring Craig David, Re-Rewind The Crowd Say Bo Selecta

 The following 4 acts were also stuck at 2 but are not included in the above list for the reasons shown:

  1. KLF with Tammy Wynette, Justified And Ancient [Both KLF and Tammy Wynette reached #1 in their own right.]
  2. Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting, All For Love [Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart have had solo UK #1s and Sting had #1 hits with The Police.]
  3. East 17 featuring Gabrielle, If You Ever [Both East 17 and Gabrielle have had #1 releases in their own right.]
  4. Puff Daddy featuring Jimmy Page, Come With Me [Puff Daddy had a UK #1 in 1997 with I’ll Be Missing You and has also reached #1 as P Diddy, and as Diddy.]

Other points of note

  • Two different songs called Crazy For You reached #2, Madonna in 1991 and Let Loose in 1994.
  • Mysterious Girl, originally released as Peter Andre featuring Bubbler Ranx, made it to #2 in 1996 but reached #1 on re-issue in 2004, credited to Peter Andre.


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