Music · Trivia

Stuck at 2: Elvis and the Beatles

Regular readers will know that I post from time to time about music trivia, including songs that were “Stuck at 2”. These are the songs that almost made it to #1 in the UK chart but were kept off by another release. There are full listings, right up to the current year, on the Trivia Menu. Click here to find links to previous articles and Menu items that list not just the acts and releases that were Stuck at 2 but also what kept them off the top. As far as I know this information is not available anywhere else on the web.

The two acts that have had the most #1s in UK chart history are, as you’d expect, Elvis Presley and the Beatles. From what I can see Elvis also had the most different releases that were Stuck at 2: 9 during his lifetime. He also had 17 #1s in his lifetime, and the 2002 remix of “A Little Less Conversation” (Elvis vs JXL) took his total to 18. It gets rather complicated after that. All of his previous 18 #1s were re-released in 2005, one per week. Three of these re-releases hit #1 and a further six were “Stuck at 2”, so you could say that Elvis was Stuck at 2 with 15 releases, even though six of these had previously reached #1.

The Beatles also had 17 #1s during the life of the band, but none after 1969. By contrast just five of their releases were Stuck at 2, including the following: the “Magical Mystery Tour EP” in 1967, which was kept off the top by another Beatles single, “Hello Goodbye”; and “Free as a Bird” in 1995, over 25 years after the band split up.

Here are the details for both acts

Stuck at 2: Elvis Presley and the songs that kept him off the top

Month Act, Title Weeks at #2 Act and song that kept it at #2
Jun-56 Elvis Presley, Heartbreak Hotel 2 Pat Boone, I’ll Be Home
Oct-56 Elvis Presley, Hound Dog 3 Frankie Laine, A Woman In Love
Oct-57 Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires, Party 1 Paul Anka, Diana
Nov-57 Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires, Party 3 The Crickets, That’ll Be The Day
Mar-58 Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires, Don’t 1 Perry Como, Magic Moments
Aug-58 Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires, Hard Headed Woman 2 The Everly Brothers, All I Have To Do Is Dream / Claudette
Oct-58 Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires, King Creole 1 Connie Francis, Carolina Moon / Stupid Cupid
Sep-60 Elvis Presley, A Mess Of Blues 2 The Shadows, Apache
Jul-69 Elvis Presley, In The Ghetto 3 Thunderclap Newman, Something In The Air
Jan-70 Elvis Presley, Suspicious Minds 1 Rolf Harris, Two Little Boys
Jan-05 Elvis Presley, A Fool Such As I / I Need Your Love Tonight 1 Ciara featuring Petey Pablo, Goodies
Feb-05 Elvis Presley, Are You Lonesome Tonight? (re-issue) 1 Eminem, Like Toy Soldiers
Feb-05 Elvis Presley, Wooden Heart (re-issue) 1 U2, Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Feb-05 Elvis Presley, Surrender (Torna Surriento) (re-issue) 1 Jennifer Lopez, Get Right
Mar-05 Elvis Presley, Good Luck Charm (re-issue) 1 McFly, All About You / You’ve Got A Friend
Apr-05 Elvis Presley, (You’re The) Devil In Disguise (re-issue) 1 Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay, Is This The Way To Amarillo
Apr-05 Elvis Presley, Crying In The Chapel (re-issue) 1 Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay, Is This The Way To Amarillo
Apr-05 Elvis Presley, Way Down (re-issue) 1 Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay, Is This The Way To Amarillo

Stuck at 2: The Beatles and the songs that kept them off the top

Month Act, Title Weeks at #2 Act and song that kept it at #2
Feb-63 Beatles, Please Please Me 2 Frank Ifield, Wayward Wind
Mar-63 Beatles, Please Please Me 1 Cliff Richard & The Shadows, Summer Holiday
Mar-67 Beatles, Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever 3 Engelbert Humperdinck, Release Me
Dec-67 Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour EP 3 The Beatles, Hello Goodbye
Mar-70 Beatles, Let It Be 1 Lee Marvin, Wand’rin’ Star
Dec-95 Beatles, Free As A Bird 1 Michael Jackson, Earth Song

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