Music · Trivia

Stuck at 2: every complete decade of the UK singles chart (1960-2010)

Here in the UK there have been five complete decades of chart history, from the 1960s through to the 2000s. The first official singles chart was in 1952, so the 1950s are incomplete. So is the current decade, the 2010s, at least until December.

A few months ago I was preoccupied with the concept of songs that were “Stuck at 2”, the ones that made it to #2 but never topped the charts. My first look at this idea was back in 2016, here. During the autumn of 2018 I created several tables that list the songs that were Stuck at 2, how many weeks they were there, and which songs kept them off the top. As far as I know this information is not easily available anywhere else on the web. I started with two specific years (1967 and 1983), then a further three years (1970-72) and finally compiled lists of whole decades, which are all in the Trivia Menu (links at the end of this piece). In recent weeks I have returned to the theme and have just posted this piece for the 2000s, the last complete decade’s worth of songs that were Stuck at 2.

For the decades that I am most familiar with there are lists (links are here: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s) and pieces that analyse those lists (further links here: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s). For the 1960s there is just this list. In the weeks ahead I hope to return to this theme and offer some analysis of the songs and artists that so nearly made it to #1 in the 1960s and the 2000s. I’ll need to do a bit more research though. There are many songs from the the latter decade that I have never heard. By contrast, I am familiar with every #2 from the 1970s and almost every #2 from the 1980s. Right now I wouldn’t be able to sing you any part of Too Much by Bros (from July 1989) or When You Come Back To Me by Jason Donovan, the last song to be stuck at 2 in 1989. Which is probably just as well.

Links to every “Stuck at 2” piece

For completeness, here are links to every “Stuck at 2” piece so far.

The original piece from June 2016: “More Pop Trivia: Stuck at 2”

Stuck at 2: 1967, 1983 (October 2018)

Stuck at 2: 1970, 1971, 1972 (October 2018)

The 70s analysed: “Stuck at 2: the whole of the 1970s” (November 2018)

The 80s analysed: “Stuck at 2: the whole of the 1980s” (November 2018)

The 90s analysed: “Stuck at 2: the whole of the 1990s” (November 2018)

Items on the Trivia Menu

The 1960s

The 1970s

The 1980s

The 1990s

The 2000s



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