The 1980s

Stuck at 2: the 1980s

The table below lists every song that reached #2 in the UK charts during the 1980s, but did not make it to the top. When a single was kept off #1 by more than one song, each one is listed, along with how many weeks it kept its rival at #2.

Month Act, Title Weeks at #2 Act and song that kept it at #2
Dec-79 Abba, I Have A Dream 4 Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall
Jan-80 Billy Preston & Syreeta, With You I’m Born Again 2 The Pretenders, Brass In Pocket
Feb-80 Whispers, And The Beat Goes On 1 Kenny Rogers, Coward Of The County
Apr-80 Liquid Gold, Dance Yourself Dizzy 1 The Jam, Going Underground / Dreams Of Children
Apr-80 Liquid Gold, Dance Yourself Dizzy 1 The Detroit Spinners, Working My Way Back To You
May-80 Paul McCartney, Coming Up 1 Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Geno
May-80 Hot Chocolate, No Doubt About It 1 Johnny Logan, What’s Another Year
May-80 Hot Chocolate, No Doubt About It 2 Mash, Theme From MASH (Suicide Is Painless)
Jun-80 Lipps Inc, Funkytown 2 Don McLean, Crying
Aug-80 Leo Sayer, More Than I Can Say 1 Odyssey, Use It Up And Wear It Out
Aug-80 Diana Ross, Upside Down 2 Abba, The Winner Takes It All
Sep-80 Randy Crawford, One Day I’ll Fly Away 1 Kelly Marie, Feels Like I’m In Love
Sep-80 Randy Crawford, One Day I’ll Fly Away 1 The Police, Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Oct-80 Stevie Wonder, Masterblaster (Jammin’) 1 The Police, Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Oct-80 Ottawan, D.I.S.C.O. 2 The Police, Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Oct-80 Ottawan, D.I.S.C.O. 1 Barbra Streisand, Woman In Love
Nov-80 Status Quo, What You’re Proposing 2 Barbra Streisand, Woman In Love
Jan-81 John Lennon, Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir, Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (re-entry) 1 John Lennon, Imagine
Jan-81 Adam & The Ants, Antmusic (EP) 2 John Lennon, Imagine
Feb-81 Phil Collins, In The Air Tonight 1 John Lennon, Woman
Feb-81 Ultravox, Vienna 1 John Lennon, Woman
Feb-81 Ultravox, Vienna 3 Joe Dolce Music Theatre, Shaddap You Face
Mar-81 Adam & The Ants, Kings Of The Wild Frontier 1 Roxy Music, Jealous Guy
Mar-81 Kim Wilde, Kids In America 2 Shakin’ Stevens, This Ole House
Apr-81 Ennio Morricone, Chi Mai (Theme From TV Series The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George) 2 Bucks Fizz, Making Your Mind Up
May-81 Starsound, Stars On 45 1 Adam & The Ants, Stand & Deliver
May-81 Shakin’ Stevens, You Drive Me Crazy 4 Adam & The Ants, Stand & Deliver
Jun-81 Kate Robbins & Beyond, More Than In Love 1 Smokey Robinson, Being With You
Jul-81 Starsound, Stars On 45 2 The Specials, Ghost Town
Aug-81 Stevie Wonder, Happy Birthday 1 Shakin’ Stevens, Green Door
Aug-81 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra arranged and conducted by Louis Clark, Hooked On Classics 2 Shakin’ Stevens, Green Door
Oct-81 Police, Invisible Sun 1 Adam & The Ants, Prince Charming
Oct-81 Tweets, Birdie Song (The Birdie Dance) 1 Adam & The Ants, Prince Charming
Oct-81 Tweets, Birdie Song (The Birdie Dance) 1 Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, It’s My Party
Oct-81 Laurie Anderson, O Superman 1 Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, It’s My Party
Oct-81 Altered Images, Happy Birthday 2 Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, It’s My Party
Nov-81 Altered Images, Happy Birthday 1 The Police, Every Liitle Thing She Does Is Magic
Dec-81 Cliff Richard, Daddy’s Home 4 The Human League, Don’t You Want Me
Feb-82 Stranglers, Golden Brown 2 The Jam, A Town Called Malice/Precious
Mar-82 Toni Basil, Mickey 2 Tight Fit, The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Apr-82 Imagination, Just An Illusion 1 The Goombay Dance Band, Seven Tears
Apr-82 Chas & Dave, Ain’t No Pleasing You 1 Bucks Fizz, My Camera Never Lies
May-82 Bardo, One Step Further 1 Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder, Ebony & Ivory
May-82 England World Cup Squad, This Time (We’ll Get It Right) / England We’ll Fly The Flag 1 Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder, Ebony & Ivory
May-82 Yazoo, Only You 1 Nicole, A Little Peace
Jun-82 Soft Cell, Torch 1 Adam Ant, Goody Two Shoes
Jul-82 Steve Miller Band, Abracadabra 1 Captain Sensible, Happy Talk
Jul-82 Steve Miller Band, Abracadabra 1 Irene Cara, Fame
Jul-82 Trio, Da Da Da 1 Irene Cara, Fame
Sep-82 Duran Duran, Save A Prayer 1 Survivor, Eye Of The Tiger
Sep-82 Dire Straits, Private Investigations 1 Survivor, Eye Of The Tiger
Sep-82 Jam, The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow) 1 Survivor, Eye Of The Tiger
Oct-82 Jam, The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow) 1 Musical Youth, Pass The Dutchie
Oct-82 Fat Larrys Band, Zoom 1 Musical Youth, Pass The Dutchie
Oct-82 Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Annie I’m Not Your Daddy 1 Culture Club, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Nov-82 Dionne Warwick, Heartbreaker 2 Eddy Grant, I Don’t Wanna Dance
Nov-82 Human League, Mirror Man 1 Eddy Grant, I Don’t Wanna Dance
Dec-82 Human League, Mirror Man 2 The Jam, Beat Surrender
Dec-82 Shakin’ Stevens, The Shakin’ Stevens EP 2 Renee & Renato, Save Your Love
Jan-83 David Essex, A Winter’s Tale 1 Phil Collins, You Can’t Hurry Love
Feb-83 Eddy Grant, Electric Avenue 1 Men At Work, Down Under
Mar-83 Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 1 Michael Jackson, Billie Jean
Apr-83 Culture Club, Church Of The Poison Mind 2 David Bowie, Let’s Dance
Apr-83 F R David, Words 2 Spandau Ballet, True
May-83 Human League, (Keep Feeling) Fascination 1 Spandau Ballet, True
May-83 Heaven 17, Temptation 1 Spandau Ballet, True
Jun-83 Wham!, Bad Boys 2 Police, Every Breath You Take
Jun-83 David Bowie, China Girl 1 Police, Every Breath You Take
Jul-83 Irene Cara, Flashdance… What A Feeling 1 Rod Stewart, Baby Jane
Jul-83 Freeez, I.O.U. 3 Paul Young, Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)
Aug-83 Spandau Ballet, Gold 2 KC & The Sunshine Band, Give It Up
Sep-83 Madness, Wings Of A Dove 1 UB40, Red Red Wine
Sep-83 Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack, Tonight I Celebrate My Love 1 UB40, Red Red Wine
Oct-83 David Bowie, Modern Love 1 Culture Club, Karma Chameleon
Oct-83 Tracey Ullman, They Don’t Know 2 Culture Club, Karma Chameleon
Oct-83 Lionel Richie, All Night Long (All Night) 1 Culture Club, Karma Chameleon
Nov-83 Lionel Richie, All Night Long (All Night) 2 Billy Joel, Uptown Girl
Nov-83 Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson, Say Say Say 2 Billy Joel, Uptown Girl
Dec-83 Paul Young, Love Of The Common People 1 Billy Joel, Uptown Girl
Dec-83 Paul Young, Love Of The Common People 2 Flying Pickets, Only You
Dec-83 Slade, My Oh My 3 Flying Pickets, Only You
Jan-84 Howard Jones, What Is Love 1 Paul McCartney, Pipes Of Peace
Feb-84 Cyndi Lauper, Girls Just Want To Have Fun 1 Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Relax
Feb-84 Queen, Radio Gaga 2 Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Relax
Mar-84 Kool & The Gang, Joanna / Tonight 2 Nena, 99 Red Balloons
Mar-84 Weather Girls, It’s Raining Men 1 Lionel Richie, Hello
Apr-84 Shakin’ Stevens, A Love Worth Waiting For 2 Lionel Richie, Hello
Apr-84 Thompson Twins, You Take Me Up 1 Lionel Richie, Hello
Apr-84 Phil Collins, Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) 1 Lionel Richie, Hello
May-84 Phil Collins, Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) 2 Duran Duran, The Reflex
Jun-84 Deniece Williams, Let’s Hear It For The Boy 2 Wham!, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Jun-84 Nik Kershaw, I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (re-issue) 1 Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Two Tribes
Jul-84 Neil, Hole In My Shoe 3 Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Two Tribes
Aug-84 Black Lace, Agadoo 2 George Michael, Careless Whisper
Sep-84 Ray Parker Jr, Ghostbusters 3 Stevie Wonder, I Just Called To Say I Love You
Oct-84 Culture Club, The War Song 1 Stevie Wonder, I Just Called To Say I Love You
Oct-84 Paul McCartney, No More Lonely Nights 1 Wham!, Freedom
Nov-84 Duran Duran, Wild Boys 1 Chaka Khan, I Feel For You
Dec-84 Wham!, Last Christmas / Everything She Wants 5 Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Jan-85 Prince, 1999 / Little Red Corvette (re-issue) 1 Foreigner, I Want To Know What Love Is
Feb-85 King, Love And Pride 3 Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson, I Know Him So Well
Mar-85 Alison Moyet, That Ole Devil Called Love 2 Philip Bailey (duet with Phil Collins), Easy Lover
Apr-85 Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Welcome To The Pleasure Dome 2 Philip Bailey (duet with Phil Collins), Easy Lover
Apr-85 Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants To Rule The World 2 USA For Africa, We Are The World
May-85 Duran Duran, A View To A Kill 3 Paul Hardcastle, 19
Jun-85 Marillion, Kayleigh 1 The Crowd, You’ll Never Walk Alone
Jun-85 Madonna, Crazy For You 1 Sister Sledge, Frankie
Jul-85 Harold Faltermeyer, Axel F 3 Sister Sledge, Frankie
Aug-85 Madonna, Holiday (re-entry) 1 Madonna, Into The Groove
Sep-85 Bonnie Tyler, Holding Out For A Hero 3 David Bowie & Mick Jagger, Dancing In The Street
Oct-85 A-Ha, Take On Me 3 Jennifer Rush, The Power Of Love
Jan-86 Dire Straits, Walk Of Life 1 A-Ha, The Sun Always Shines On TV
Feb-86 Nana Mouskouri, Only Love 1 A-Ha, The Sun Always Shines On TV
Feb-86 Madonna, Borderline 1 Billy Ocean, When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going
Feb-86 Su Pollard, Starting Together 1 Billy Ocean, When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going
Mar-86 Bangles, Manic Monday 1 Diana Ross, Chain Reaction
Mar-86 David Bowie, Absolute Beginners 1 Diana Ross, Chain Reaction
Apr-86 Sam Cooke, Wonderful World (re-issue) 1 Cliff Richard & The Young Ones, featuring Hank Marvin, Living Doll
May-86 Madonna, Live To Tell 1 Falco, Rock Me Amadeus
May-86 Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald, On My Own 3 Spitting Image, The Chicken Song
Jun-86 Simply Red, Holding Back The Years 2 Doctor & The Medics, Spirit In The Sky
Jun-86 Nu Shooz, I Can’t Wait 1 Wham!, Edge Of Heaven
Jul-86 Rod Stewart, Every Beat Of My Heart 1 Madonna, Papa Don’t Preach
Aug-86 Sinitta, So Macho / Cruising 1 Chris De Burgh, The Lady In Red
Aug-86 Sinitta, So Macho / Cruising 1 Boris Gardiner, I Want To Wake Up With You
Sep-86 Jermaine Stewart, We Don’t Have To… (Take Our Clothes Off To Have A Good Time) 2 Communards, Don’t Leave Me This Way
Oct-86 Five Star, Rain Or Shine 1 Communards, Don’t Leave Me This Way
Oct-86 Five Star, Rain Or Shine 1 Madonna, True Blue
Nov-86 Status Quo, In The Army Now 1 Nick Berry, Every Loser Wins
Nov-86 Kim Wilde, You Keep Me Hangin’ On 2 Berlin, Take My Breath Away
Dec-86 Erasure, Sometimes 1 Europe, The Final Countdown
Feb-87 Pepsi & Shirlie, Heartache 2 Aretha Franklin & George Michael, I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
Feb-87 Percy Sledge, When A Man Loves A Woman (re-issue) 2 Ben E. King, Stand By Me
Apr-87 Judy Boucher, Can’t Be With You Tonight 4 Madonna, La Isla Bonita
May-87 Tom Jones, A Boy From Nowhere 1 Starship, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
Jun-87 Johnny Logan, Hold Me Now 1 Whitney Houston, I Want To Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Jul-87 Bruce Willis, Under The Boardwalk 2 The Pet Shop Boys, It’s A Sin
Aug-87 Spagna, Call Me 1 Michael Jackson, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You
Aug-87 Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield, What Have I Done To Deserve This 2 Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up
Sep-87 Fat Boys & The Beach Boys, Wipeout 1 Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up
Oct-87 Abigail Mead & Nigel Goulding, Full Metal Jacket (I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor) 1 MARRS, Pump Up The Volume
Oct-87 Abigail Mead & Nigel Goulding, Full Metal Jacket (I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor) 1 The Bee Gees, You Win Again
Oct-87 Jan Hammer, Crockett’s Theme 1 The Bee Gees, You Win Again
Oct-87 George Michael, Faith 2 The Bee Gees, You Win Again
Nov-87 George Harrison, Got My Mind Set On You 4 T’Pau, China In Your Hand
Dec-87 Rick Astley, When I Fall In Love / My Arms Keep Missing You 1 T’Pau, China In Your Hand
Dec-87 Rick Astley, When I Fall In Love / My Arms Keep Missing You 1 The Pet Shop Boys, Always On My Mind
Dec-87 Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, Fairytale Of New York 2 The Pet Shop Boys, Always On My Mind
Jan-88 Terence Trent D’Arby, Sign Your Name 1 Belinda Carlisle, Heaven Is A Place On Earth
Feb-88 Bros, When Will I Be Famous 1 Tiffany, I Think We’re Alone Now
Feb-88 Bomb The Bass, Beat Dis 2 Kylie Minogue, I Should Be So Lucky
Mar-88 Rick Astley, Together Forever 2 Kylie Minogue, I Should Be So Lucky
Mar-88 Bros, Drop The Boy 2 Aswad, Don’t Turn Around
Apr-88 Bros, Drop The Boy 2 The Pet Shop Boys, Heart
Apr-88 Climie Fisher, Love Changes Everything 1 The Pet Shop Boys, Heart
May-88 Kylie Minogue, Got To Be Certain 3 Wet Wet Wet / Billy Bragg, With A Little Help From My Friends / She’s Leaving Home
Jul-88 Fat Boys & Chubby Checker, The Twist (Yo Twist) 1 Bros, I Owe You Nothing
Jul-88 Fat Boys & Chubby Checker, The Twist (Yo Twist) 1 Glenn Medeiros, Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You
Jul-88 Salt-N-Pepa, Push It / Tramp 3 Glenn Medeiros, Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You
Aug-88 Kylie Minogue, The Loco-Motion 4 Yazz & Plastic Population, The Only Way Is Up
Sep-88 Brother Beyond, The Harder I try 1 Yazz & Plastic Population, The Only Way Is Up
Sep-88 Brother Beyond, The Harder I try 1 Phil Collins, A Groovy Kind Of Love
Oct-88 Bobby McFerrin, Don’t Worry Be Happy 1 Whitney Houston, One Moment In Time
Oct-88 Kylie Minogue, Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi 3 Enya, Orinoco Flow
Nov-88 Yazz, Stand Up For Your Love Rights 1 Robin Beck, First Time
Nov-88 INXS, Need You Tonight 1 Robin Beck, First Time
Dec-88 Bros, Cat Amongst The Pigeons / Silent Night 1 Robin Beck, First Time
Jan-89 Erasure, Crackers International EP 3 Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan, Especially For You
Jan-89 Mike & The Mechanics, The Living Years 3 Marc Almond with Gene Pitney, Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart
Feb-89 Michael Ball, Love Changes Everything 1 Simple Minds, Belfast Child
Mar-89 Michael Jackson, Leave Me Alone 1 Simple Minds, Belfast Child
Mar-89 Michael Ball, Love Changes Everything 1 Jason Donovan, Too Many Broken Hearts
Apr-89 Simply Red, If You Don’t Know Me By Now 3 The Bangles, Eternal Flame
Jun-89 Cliff Richard, The Best Of Me 2 Jason Donovan, Sealed With A Kiss
Jul-89 Prince, Batdance 1 Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler, Back To Life (How Ever Do You Want Me)
Jul-89 Beautiful South, Song For Whoever 1 Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler, Back To Life (How Ever Do You Want Me)
Jul-89 London Boys, London Nights 1 Sonia, You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You
Jul-89 Bros, Too Much 1 Sonia, You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You
Aug-89 Kylie Minogue, Wouldn’t Change A Thing 2 Jive Bunny, Swing The Mood
Aug-89 Lil’ Louis, French Kiss 1 Jive Bunny, Swing The Mood
Aug-89 Alice Cooper, Poison 1 Jive Bunny, Swing The Mood
Sep-89 Jason Donovan, Every Day (I Love You More) 1 Black Box, Ride On Time
Sep-89 Richard Marx, Right Here Waiting 2 Black Box, Ride On Time
Oct-89 Technotronic featuring Felly, Pump Up The Jam 2 Black Box, Ride On Time
Oct-89 Milli Vanilli, Girl I’m Gonna Miss You 2 Jive Bunny, That’s What I Like
Nov-89 Milli Vanilli, Girl I’m Gonna Miss You 1 Lisa Stansfield, All Around The World
Nov-89 Phil Collins, Another Day In Paradise 1 Lisa Stansfield, All Around The World
Dec-89 Linda Ronstadt featuring Aaron Neville, Don’t Know Much 2 New Kids On The Block, You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Dec-89 Jason Donovan, When You Come Back To Me 1 Jive Bunny, Let’s Party
Jan-90 Jason Donovan, When You Come Back To Me 1 Band Aid II, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Jan-90 Jason Donovan, When You Come Back To Me 1 New Kids On The Block, Hangin’ Tough