Music · Trivia

Stuck at 2: reflections on 2020 and 2021 so far

“Stuck at 2” is a recurring theme on this Blog: there are posts and menu items here which list all the songs that made it to #2 in the UK chart but did not make it to #1. As far as I can tell, this Blog is the only place on the  web where you can find a complete record of these titles along with the releases that kept them off the top of the chart.

My two most recent reflections on this theme were about the songs that rewrote chart history in the weeks either side of Christmas last year: “All I want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey and then “Last Christmas” by Wham! Both songs made it to #1 having repeatedly been Stuck at 2, as far back as 1984 in the case of the latter.

I continue to update the “Stuck at 2” list for the 2020s (which you can find here). Currently “Girls Want Girls” by Drake featuring Lil Baby is being kept off the top by Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits”, which also kept “Stay” (by Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber) at #2 for a total of 7 weeks. “Stay” is one of three songs that have been Stuck at 2 this year that share their titles with previous #1s: it was also the title of Shakespear’s Sister’s 1992 chart-topper. The other two titles are “Without You” (2021 #2 for Kid Laroi, #1 in two different versions for Harry Nilsson in 1972 and Mariah Carey in 1994) and “Holiday” (2021 #2 for KSI and a #1 for Dizzee Rascal 2009). Just to complete this little diversion there have been other Stuck at 2 songs that share two of these titles: “Stay” (1997, Sash featuring La Trec) and “Holiday” (1985, Madonna).

So far this year there have been 11 different releases spending a total of 23 weeks Stuck at 2. By contrast, 2020 set a new record for the fewest different songs that were Stuck at 2 in a complete calendar year (4), spending a total of 9 weeks at #2. This is one week fewer than the record set in 1959 for the fewest weeks when songs were Stuck at 2 (8). I have just spent an hour spinning out my Excel lists into a Pivot Table, something I had not done before. I am likely to get carried away with this but in the meantime, here are the lists for 1959 and 2020, showing how few weeks were spent by artists who were Stuck at 2.

1959 (5 songs Stuck at 2, for a total of 8 weeks)

Month Act, Title Weeks at #2 Act and song that kept it at #2
Jan-59 Little Richard, Baby Face 1 Jane Morgan, The Day The Rains Came
Jan-59 Teddy Bears, To Know Him Is To Love Him 2 Elvis Presley, One Night / I Got Stung
Jul-59 Marty Wilde, A Teenager In Love 2 Bobby Darin, Dream Lover
Jul-59 Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group, Battle Of New Orleans 1 Bobby Darin, Dream Lover
Aug-59 Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group, Battle Of New Orleans 1 Cliff Richard & The Drifters, Living Doll
Oct-59 Everly Brothers, (Til) I Kissed You 1 Bobby Darin, Mack The Knife

2020 (4 songs Stuck at 2, for a total of 9 weeks)

Month Act, Title Weeks at #2 Act and song that kept it at #2
Jan-20 Roddy Ricch, The Box 1 Eminem Ft Juice Wrld, Godzilla
Feb-20 Roddy Ricch, The Box 2 The Weeknd, Blinding Lights
May-20 Doja Cat, Say So 1 Drake, Toosie Slide
May-20 Doja Cat, Say So 1 DaBaby Ft Roddy Ricch, Rockstar
Oct-20 Headie One / AJ Tracey / Stormzy, Ain’t It Different 1 24KGoldn FT Iann Dio, Mood
Oct-20 Headie One / AJ Tracey / Stormzy, Ain’t It Different 1 Internet Money/ Gunna/ Toliver, Lemonade
Nov-20 Billie Eilish, Therefore I am 2 Ariana Grande, Positions

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