Music · Trivia

Stuck at 2: the lists are complete, and a BBC Top 40 revisited

At various times in the last three years I have posted pieces about songs that were “Stuck at 2”. They made it to #2 in the UK charts but no further. The original piece, from June 2016, is here. Over the last year I have been posting lists of the songs that were “Stuck at 2”. These lists also show which records kept them off the top of the chart. Initially there were pieces for a year or two (like this piece for 1967 and 1983) but last autumn I began to compile lists for every decade in UK chart history. They are all on the Trivia Menu, in the “Stuck at 2” sub-Menu. There are also links to each list on this page.

Earlier today I posted this list, for the 1950s. It completes the set. The “Stuck at 2” sub-Menu now lists every hit that was kept at #2 in the UK chart along with the songs that held them off the top. The page for the current decade goes up to June 2019. I will update it from time to time. There are also pieces, such as this one for the 1970s, that offer some analysis, concentrating on the acts that have never had a UK #1.

My original piece from 2016 refers to this page on the BBC website, “The Nation’s Favourite No 2 Single: The Top 40”. It contains the “definitive chart of the nation’s favourite number 2 records”. As I noted in 2016, the chart doesn’t tell you what kept each song off the top of the charts. Using the pages in the “Stuck at 2” sub-Menu you can now find out for yourself, but to save you the bother here is the Top 40 of “the nation’s favourite number 2 records” showing how long they were at #2, and the records that kept them off the top spot.

1 Ultravox, Vienna (1981)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by John Lennon, Woman and for 3 weeks by Joe Dolce Music Theatre, Shaddap You Face

2 The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl, Fairytale Of New York (1987)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by The Pet Shop Boys, Always On My Mind

3 Don McLean, American Pie (1972)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Chicory Tip, Son Of My Father and for 2 weeks by Nilsson, Without You

4 James, Sit Down (1991)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by Chesney Hawkes, The One And Only

5 The Stranglers, Golden Brown (1982)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by The Jam, A Town Called Malice/Precious

6 The Kinks, Waterloo Sunset (1967)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by The Tremeloes, Silence Is Golden

7 The Beatles, Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever (1967)
Kept at #2 for 3 weeks by Engelbert Humperdinck, Release Me

8 Queen, We Are The Champions (1977)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by Abba, Name Of The Game and for 1 week by Wings, Mull Of Kintyre/Girls’ School

9 The Beach Boys, God Only Knows (1966)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by The Beatles, Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby

10 A-ha, Take On Me (1985)
Kept at #2 for 3 weeks by Jennifer Rush, The Power Of Love

11 Free, All Right Now (1970)
Kept at #2 for 4 weeks by Mungo Jerry, In The Summertime and for 1 week by Elvis Presley, The Wonder Of You

12 The Who, My Generation (1965)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by The Seekers, The Carnival Is Over

13 Oasis, Wonderwall (1995)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Robson & Jerome, I Believe / Up On The Roof
[Note: the Mike Flowers Pops version of Wonderwall was also kept at #2 for 1 week in 1995, by Michael Jackson, Earth Song]

14 The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony (1997)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (featuring 112), I’ll Be Missing You

15 Squeeze, Up The Junction (1979)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Tubeway Army, Are Friends Electric?

16 Pulp, Common People (1995)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by Robson & Jerome, Unchained Melody / (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs Of Dover

17 The Sex Pistols, God Save The Queen (1977)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Rod Stewart, I Don’t Want To Talk About It / First Cut Is The Deepest

18 Wham!, Last Christmas / Everything She Wants (1984)
Kept at #2 for 5 weeks by Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
[Note: in December 2017 Last Christmas was also kept at #2 by Ed Sheeran, Perfect]

19 Wheatus, Teenage Dirtbag (2001)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by Atomic Kitten, Whole Again

20 Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Oliver’s Army (1979)
Kept at #2 for 3 weeks by The Bee Gees, Tragedy

21 Take That, Rule The World (2007)
Kept at #2 for 4 weeks by Leona Lewis, Bleeding Love

22 Sparks, This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us (1974)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by The Rubettes, Sugar Baby Love

23 David Bowie, The Jean Genie (1972)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Little Jimmy Osmond, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool

24 The Beatles, Let It Be (1970)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Lee Marvin, Wand’rin’ Star

25 The Osmonds, Crazy Horses (1972)
Kept at #2 for 3 weeks by Chuck Berry, My Ding-A-Ling

26 T.Rex, Ride A White Swan (1970)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Clive Dunn, Grandad

27 Elvis Presley, Suspicious Minds (1969)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Rolf Harris, Two Little Boys

28 Pet Shop Boys/Dusty Springfield, What Have I Done To Deserve This (1987)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up

29 Rod Stewart, The Killing Of Georgie (1976)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by Abba, Dancing Queen

30 The B-52’s, Love Shack (1990)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Beats International featuring Lindy Layton, Dub Be Good To Me and for 2 weeks by Snap, The Power

31 The Kinks, Lola (1970)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Elvis Presley, The Wonder Of You

32 Petula Clark, Downtown (1964)
Kept at #2 for 3 weeks by The Beatles, I Feel Fine

33 Cliff Richard & The Drifters, Move It (1958)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Connie Francis, Carolina Moon / Stupid Cupid
[Note the Cliff Richard 2006 release 21st Century Christmas / Move It was also kept at #2 for 1 week by Take That, Patience]

34 Adele, Rolling In The Deep (2011)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Bruno Mars, Grenade

35 Nat ‘King’ Cole, When I Fall In Love (1957)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Johnnie Ray, Yes Tonight Josephine

36 Carpenters, Yesterday Once More (1973)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Gary Glitter, I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am) and for 1 week by Donny Osmond, Young Love

36= Madonna, Ray Of Light (1998)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by All Saints, Under The Bridge / Lady Marmalade

37 Manic Street Preachers, A Design For Life (1996)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Mark Morrison, Return Of The Mack

37= Elton John, Rocket Man (1972)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by T Rex, Metal Guru

38 The Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar / Bitch / Let It Rock (1971)
Kept at #2 for 3 weeks by Dawn, Knock Three Times

39 Spandau Ballet, Gold (1983)
Kept at #2 for 2 weeks by KC & The Sunshine Band, Give It Up

40 Heaven 17, Temptation (1983)
Kept at #2 for 1 week by Spandau Ballet, True

To see the “Stuck at 2” page, with links to other “Stuck at 2” pieces, and the lists by decade, please click here.

 

 

 

 

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