Music · Trivia

Double A Sides at #1

When I was growing up it was easy to understand how the UK singles chart was compiled. It was based on the sale of vinyl records. There were stories about how the charts could be manipulated because sales figures came from a sample of record shops and these shops could be targeted by pluggers or record companies to produce distorted figures. Irrespective of how much of a difference this made, the charts were still based on sales of vinyl.

As time passed, other formats contributed towards sales figures (cassette singles, CD singles). In the last 20 years digital downloads (since 2005) and streaming (since 2014) have been included in chart calculations. These changes mean the demise of a common feature of the charts during their first 60 years: the Double A Side.

In recognition of this I offer here a list of the 49 times that the UK #1 was a Double A Side. There are 47 different releases here. Elvis Presley’s “One Night” / “I Got Stung” made it to #1 in 1959 and again in 2005. “Under the Bridge” / “Lady Marmalade” by All Saints had two non-consecutive weeks at the top in 1998. Some of the releases listed here featured different artists on each side, like the 1988 charity single that combined Billy Bragg’s version of “She’s Leaving Home” with Wet Wet Wet’s “With a little help from my friends”.

The last three items in this list are all releases by McFly. This gives them the honour of being the last act to have a Double A Sided chart-topper in the UK. Unless the rules for calculating the charts change dramatically, “Baby’s Coming Back” / “Transylvania” will remain as the last Double A Side to make it to #1.

Title Artist(S) Year Wks
Gamblin’ Man/Putting On The Style Lonnie Donegan 1957 2
All I Have To Do Is Dream/Claudette Everly Brothers 1958 7
Carolina Moon/Stupid Cupid Connie Francis 1958 6
One Night/I Got Stung Elvis Presley 1959 3
A Fool Such As I/I Need Your Love Tonight Elvis Presley 1959 5
Walk Right Back/Ebony Eyes Everly Brothers 1961 3
Reach For The Stars/Climb Ev’ry Mountain Shirley Bassey 1961 1
(Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame/Little Sister Elvis Presley 1961 4
Rock A Hula Baby/Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley 1962 4
The Next Time/Bachelor Boy Cliff Richard & The Shadows 1963 3
Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out Beatles 1965 5
Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby Beatles 1966 4
What A Wonderful World/Cabaret Louis Armstrong 1968 4
Reason To Believe/Maggie May Rod Stewart 1971 5
Daydreamer/The Puppy Song David Cassidy 1973 3
I Don’t Want To Talk About It/First Cut Is The Deepest Rod Stewart 1977 4
Mull Of Kintyre/Girls’ School Wings 1977 9
Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl In The Ring Boney M 1978 5
Going Underground/Dreams Of Children Jam 1980 3
The Model/Computer Love Kraftwerk 1982 1
A Town Called Malice/Precious Jam 1982 3
The Edge Of Heaven/Where Did Your Heart Go Wham! 1986 2
Pump Up The Volume / Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) M/A/R/R/S 1987 2
With A Little Help From My Friends/She’s Leaving Home Wet Wet Wet/Billy Bragg 1988 4
Sacrifice/Healing Hands Elton John 1990 5
Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives Queen 1991 5
Please Don’t Go/Game Boy KWS 1992 5
Unchained Melody/(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) White Cliffs Of Dover Robson Green & Jerome Flynn 1995 7
I Believe/Up On The Roof Robson Green & Jerome Flynn 1995 4
What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted/Saturday Night At The Movies/You’ll Never Walk Alone Robson Green & Jerome Flynn 1996 2
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door/Throw These Guns Away Dunblane 1996 1
Mama/Who Do You Think You Are Spice Girls 1997 3
Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle In The Wind 97 Elton John 1997 5
Under The Bridge/Lady Marmalade All Saints 1998 1
Under The Bridge/Lady Marmalade All Saints 1998 1
Heartbeat/Tragedy Steps 1999 1
She’s The One/It’s Only Us Robbie Williams 1999 1
I Have A Dream/Seasons In The Sun Westlife 1999 4
Holler/Let Love Lead The Way Spice Girls 2000 1
Eternity/The Road To Mandalay Robbie Williams 2001 2
Anything Is Possible/ Evergreen Will Young 2002 3
The Long And Winding Road/Suspicious Minds Will Young & Gareth Gates/Gareth Gates 2002 2
With A Little Help From My Friends/Measure Of A Man Sam & Mark 2004 1
Thunderbirds/3am Busted 2004 2
My Place/Flap Your Wings Nelly 2004 1
One Night/I Got Stung Elvis Presley 2005 1
All About You/You’ve Got A Friend McFly 2005 1
Don’t Stop Me Now/Please, Please McFly 2006 1
Baby’s Coming Back/Transylvania McFly 2007 1

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