UK Singles Chart

The UK Singles Chart (currently entitled Official Singles Chart) is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV (Official UK Top 40), is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums.[1] To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence.[2] The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.[3]

The OCC website contains the Top 100 chart.[4] Some media outlets only list the Top 40 (such as the BBC) or the Top 75 (such as Music Week magazine) of this list. The chart week runs from 00:01 Friday to midnight Thursday,[5] with most UK physical and digital singles being released on Fridays. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday.[6]

The Top 40 chart is first issued on Friday afternoons by BBC Radio 1 as The Official Chart from 16:00 to 17:45, before the full Official Singles Chart Top 100 is posted on the Official Charts Company's website.[7] A rival chart show, The Vodafone Big Top 40, is based on iTunes downloads and commercial radio airplay across the Global Radio network only, is broadcast on Sunday afternoons from 16:00 to 19:00 on 145 local commercial radio stations across the United Kingdom. The Big Top 40 is not officially regarded by the industry or wider media.[8] There is also a show called "Official KISS Top 40", counting down 40 most played songs on Kiss FM every Sunday 17:00 to 19:00.

The UK Singles Chart began to be compiled in 1952. According to the Official Charts Company's statistics, as of 1 July 2012, 1,200 singles have topped the UK Singles Chart.[9] The precise number of chart-toppers is debatable due to the profusion of competing charts from the 1950s to the 1980s, but the usual list used is that endorsed by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and subsequently adopted by the Official Charts Company. The company regards a selected period of the New Musical Express chart (only from 1952 to 1960) and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts (none official) coexisted side by side. For example, the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; many songs announced as having reached number one on BBC Radio and Top of the Pops prior to 1969 are not listed as chart-toppers according to the legacy criteria of the Charts Company.

The first number one on the UK Singles Chart was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino for the week ending date 14 November 1952. As of the week ending date 18 April 2019, the UK Singles Chart has had 1352 different number-one hits. The current number-one single is "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi.

UK Singles Chart logo
Official Chart kitemark icon

History

Early charts

Before the compilation of sales of records, the music market measured a song's popularity by sales of sheet music. The idea of compiling a chart based on sales originated in the United States, where the music-trade paper Billboard compiled the first chart incorporating sales figures on 20 July 1940. Record charts in the UK began in 1952, when Percy Dickins of the New Musical Express (NME) gathered a pool of 52 stores willing to report sales figures.[10][11] For the first British chart Dickins telephoned approximately 20 shops, asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs. These results were then aggregated into a Top 12 chart[nb 1] published in NME on 14 November 1952, with Al Martino's "Here in My Heart" awarded the number-one position.[10][11] The chart became a successful feature of the periodical; it expanded into a Top 20 format on 1 October 1954, and rival publications began compiling their own charts in 1955.[14] Record Mirror compiled its own Top 10 chart for 22 January 1955; it was based on postal returns from record stores (which were financed by the newspaper). The NME chart was based on a telephone poll.[15] Both charts expanded in size, with Mirror's becoming a Top 20 in October 1955 and NME's becoming a Top 30 in April 1956.[14][16] Another rival publication, Melody Maker, began compiling its own chart; it telephoned 19 stores to produce a Top 20 for 7 April 1956. It was also the first chart to include Northern Ireland in its sample.[11] Record Mirror began running a Top 5 album chart in July 1956; from November 1958 onwards Melody Maker printed the Top 10 albums.[17][14] In March 1960, Record Retailer began compiling an EP (album) chart and had a Top 50 singles chart.[17] Although NME had the largest circulation of charts in the 1960s and was widely followed,[11][18] in March 1962 Record Mirror stopped compiling its own chart and published Record Retailer's instead.[11] Retailer began independent auditing in January 1963, and has been used by the UK Singles Chart as the source for number-ones since the week ending 12 March 1960.[14][17] The choice of Record Retailer as the source has been criticised;[19][11] however, the chart was unique in listing close to 50 positions for the whole decade.[19] With available lists of which record shops were sampled to compile the charts some shops were subjected to "hyping" but, with Record Retailer being less widely followed than some charts, it was subject to less hyping. Additionally, Retailer was set up by independent record shops and had no funding or affiliation with record companies. However, it had a significantly smaller sample size than some rival charts.[11]

Before February 1969 (when the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) chart was established), there was no official chart or universally accepted source.[11][18][19] Readers followed the charts in various periodicals and, during this time, the BBC used aggregated results of charts from the NME, Melody Maker, Disc and (later) Record Mirror to compile the Pick of the Pops chart.[15] The Official Charts Company and Guinness' British Hit Singles & Albums, use as sources for the unofficial period, the NME before 10 March 1960 and Record Retailer until 1969.[14] However, until 1969 the Record Retailer chart was only seen by people working in the industry. The most widely circulated chart was the NME one, as used by Radio Luxembourg's legendary Sunday night Top 20 show, as well as by ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars, which had an audience of up to 6 million on ITV.

Official chart

Before 1969 there was no official singles chart.[11][18][19] Record Retailer and the BBC commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to compile charts, beginning 15 February 1969.[11][14] The BMRB compiled its first chart from postal returns of sales logs from 250 record shops.[14] The sampling cost approximately £52,000; shops were randomly chosen from a pool of approximately 6,000, and submitted figures for sales taken up to the close of trade on Saturday. The sales diaries were translated into punch cards so the data could be interpreted by a computer. A computer then compiled the chart on Monday, and the BBC were informed of the Top 50 on Tuesday in time for it to be announced on Johnnie Walker's afternoon show. The charts were also published in Record Retailer (rebranded Record & Tape Retailer in 1971 and Music Week in 1972)[20] and Record Mirror.[11] However, the BMRB often struggled to have the full sample of sales figures returned by post. The 1971 postal strike meant data had to be collected by telephone, but this was deemed inadequate for a national chart; by 1973, the BMRB was using motorcycle couriers to collect sales figures.[11] In May 1978, the singles chart was expanded from a Top 50 to a Top 75. A World in Action documentary exposé in 1980 revealed corruption within the industry; stores' chart-returns dealers would frequently be offered bribes to falsify sales logs.[21]

Electronic-age charts

From 1983 to 1990, the chart was financed by BPI (50 percent), Music Week (38 percent) and the BBC (12 percent).[22] On 4 January 1983 the chart compilation was assumed by the Gallup Organization, which expanded the chart with a "Next 25" in addition to the Top 75[nb 2] and began the introduction of computerised compilers, automating the data-collection process.[11][14] In July 1987, Gallup signed a new agreement with BPI, increasing the sample size to approximately 500 stores and introducing barcode scanners to read data.[24] The chart was based entirely on sales of vinyl single records from retail outlets and announced on Tuesday until October 1987, when the Top 40 was revealed each Sunday (due to the new, automated process).[25]

The 1980s also saw the introduction of the cassette single (or "cassingle") alongside the 7-inch and 12-inch record formats; in 1987, major record labels developed a common format for the compact disc single.[26] In May 1989, chart regulations kept Kylie Minogue's song "Hand on Your Heart" from entering at number one because sales from cassette singles were not included (they were sold for £1.99 – cheaper than allowed at the time). Following this, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reduced the minimum price for cassette singles to influence sales figures.[27] In September 1989, W H Smith began to send sales data to Gallup directly through electronic point of sale (EPoS) terminals.[24]

In January 1990, the BPI gave notice to Gallup, BBC and Music Week; on 30 June 1990, it terminated its contract with them because it "could no longer afford the £600,000 a year cost".[28][29] From 1 July 1990, the Chart Information Network (CIN) was formed by Spotlight Publications[nb 3] (publisher of Music Week), in cooperation with the BBC and the British Association of Record Dealers (BARD) – representing retailers, including W H Smith, Woolworths, HMV and Virgin – who agreed to exclusively supply sales data to the CIN.[24][31] A Chart Supervisory Committee (CSC) represented the BBC, CIN and retailers. The BPI were reluctant to join and "consider[ed] the option of launching a rival chart"[29] but in September an agreement was reached, and it joined the CSC.[32] For this period, the chart was produced by Gallup and owned by CIN and Music Week (who would then sell it to the BBC and BPI).[33]

In January 1991 the CIN became a joint venture between Link House Magazines (formerly Spotlight Publications, later Miller Freeman, Inc.)[34] and the BPI; they shared the revenue and costs (reportedly between £750,000 and £1 million).[24][33][35] During this time, other retailers (such as Woolworths and John Menzies) began submitting data using EPoS terminals.[24] In late 1991 the sample consisted of 500 stores scanning barcodes of all record sales into an Epson PX-4 computer, and 650 other stores providing sales data through their own EPoS computerised tills. These computers were to be telephoned six times a week, providing the data to Gallup.[36] In June 1991, the BPI reduced the number of eligible formats from five to four.[37]

In November 1990, the "Next 25" section of the UK singles chart (positions 76–100, with special rules) ceased to be printed in the trade magazine Music Week. In April 1991, Record Mirror ceased publication, along with the "Next 25".[20][38][39] Virgin installed JDA EPoS terminals in September 1993, and began providing sales data to Gallup.[40]

In February 1993 the research contract for the chart was put out to tender, with a new four-year contract beginning 1 February 1994 offered. Millward Brown, Research International and Nielsen Market Research were approached, and Gallup were invited to re-apply.[41] In May, it was announced that Millward Brown had been accepted as the next chart compilers, signing a £1-million-a-year contract.[24] Millward Brown took over compiling the charts on 1 February 1994, increasing the sample size;[14][42] by the end of the month each shop sampled used a barcode scanner linking via an Epson terminal with a modem to a central computer (called "Eric"), which logged data from more than 2,500 stores.[42] Gallup attempted to block Millward Brown's new chart by complaining to the Office of Fair Trading about the contractual clause in which BARD retailers exclusively supplied sales data to the CIN, but the interim order was rejected.[43] In June 1995 the case was dropped, after the clause allowing BARD retailers to supply sales information to other chart compilers was deleted; because CIN retained the copyright, other compilers could not use (or sell) the information.[44]

On 2 April 1995, the number of eligible formats was reduced from four to three.[37] The decision came after nine months of negotiations with BARD, which objected that it would adversely affect the vinyl record industry.[45] Although record labels were not prohibited from releasing singles in more than three formats, they were required to identify the three eligible formats.[37] This resulted in a reduction in the number of singles released in 7-inch format; the most common three formats were 12-inch single, cassette and CD, or a cassette and two CD versions.[46] The ruling resulted in the Oasis single "Some Might Say" charting twice in one week – at number 1 with sales from the three eligible formats, and at number 71 from sales in a fourth (12-inch) format.[47]

Subsequently, CIN sought to develop new marketing opportunities and sponsorship deals; these included premium-rate fax and telephone services and the chart newsletters Charts+Plus (published from May 1991 to November 1994) and Hit Music (published from September 1992 to May 2001). Beginning in May 1991 Charts+Plus featured singles charts with positions 76–200 (plus artist albums positions 76–150, Top 50 compilations, and several genre and format charts). In September 1992, a second newsletter was created: Hit Music, a sister publication of Music Week featuring (among other charts) the singles Top 75 and a revived "Next 25". In November 1994, Charts+Plus ceased publication; Hit Music expanded its chart coverage to an uncompressed (without special rules) Top 200 Singles, Top 150 Artists Albums and Top 50 Compilations. In November 1996, the Artist Albums chart extended to a Top 200. Hit Music ceased publication in May 2001 with issue number 439.[48]

In February 1997, CIN and BARD agreed to a new 18-month deal for the charts.[49] In 1998 the CSC agreed to new rules reducing the number of tracks on a single from four to three, playing time from 25 minutes to 20 and the compact disc single minimum dealer price to £1.79.[50] This particularly affected the dance music industry which had previously released CD's full of remixes, with some labels having to edit or fade out remixes early in order to fit them on a CD single. On 1 July 1998, BARD and BPI took over management of the chart from the CIN (a Miller Freeman and BPI venture) with new company Music Industry Chart Services (Mics);[51] however, in August they decided to return to compiling the charts under the name CIN.[52]

In 1999, Millward Brown began "re-chipping" some retailers' machines, in anticipation of the millennium bug.[53] However, some independent retailers lost access to the record-label-funded Electronic Record Ordering System (Eros); it was "too costly to make it Year 2000 compliant".[54] Towards the end of the 1990s companies anticipated distributing singles over the Internet, following the example of Beggars Banquet and Liquid Audio (who made 2,000 tracks available for digital download in the US).[55] In November 2001, Chart Information Network (CIN) changed its name to "The Official UK Charts Company".

Internet era

Nobel Peace Price Concert 2009 Westlife2
Irish boy band Westlife achieved the first number one on the UK Singles Downloads Chart with "Flying Without Wings" in September 2004.

In January 2004, MyCokeMusic launched as the "first significant download retailer".[56] Legal downloading was initially small, with MyCokeMusic selling over 100,000 downloads during its first three months. In June the iTunes Store was launched in the UK, and more than 450,000 songs were downloaded during the first week.[57] In early September the UK Official Download Chart was launched, and a new live recording of Westlife's "Flying Without Wings" was the first number-one.[58]

In 2005, Wes Butters presented his final UK Top 40 show, concluding his tenure at Radio 1. The chart show was then rebranded for the chart week ending 16 April, and the first singles chart combining physical-release sales with legal downloads began. Several test charts (and a download-sales chart) were published in 2004; this combination (within the official singles chart) reflected a changing era in which sales of physical singles fell and download sales rose. On 17 April 2005, hosts JK and Joel commented during their BBC Radio 1 broadcast that the incorporation of download sales resulted in an approximate doubling of singles sales for the week. For the first week's combined chart the impact of this doubling was not readily apparent at the top of the chart, although a few singles in the middle positions benefited.

Initially, the British Association of Record Dealers was concerned that the popularity of downloading would siphon business from the High Street. It also complained that including singles not available physically would confuse customers and create gaps in stores' sale racks. However, it agreed to the new rules provided that digital sales were only included to a single's sales tally if there was a physical equivalent sold in shops at the time. Since there was no rule governing a minimum number of pressings, Gorillaz released only 300 vinyl copies of their single "Feel Good Inc." on 12 April 2005 (a month before its general release). This allowed it to debut in the chart at number 22 (eventually reaching number 2), and remain in the Top 40 for a longer period.

After pressure from elsewhere in the music industry a second compromise was reached in 2006, which now allowed singles to chart on downloads the week before their physical release. The first song to make the Top 40 on downloads alone was "Pump It" by The Black Eyed Peas, which charted at number 16 on 12 March 2006. Three weeks later, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley became the first song to top the charts on download sales alone. As part of the revised rules, singles would now be removed from the chart two weeks after the deletion of their physical formats; "Crazy" left the chart 11 weeks later from number 5 and a subsequent chart-topper, Nelly Furtado's "Maneater", disappeared from number 10. This was in addition to the existing rule that to be eligible for the chart, the physical single had to have been released within the last twelve months, supporting the general view that the chart reflected the top-selling "current" releases.

Over the coming months digital sales continued to increase whilst physical sales continued to fall; more artists entered the top 40 early, and fewer singles entered the chart directly at number 1. Whilst initially the proportion of digital sales to physical sales in the combined tally was relatively low, a majority of singles by 2012 saw more than 50 percent of their sales coming from online. Sales through mobile phones are also counted.

On 1 January 2007 the integration of downloaded music into the charts became complete when all downloads – with or without a physical equivalent – became eligible to chart, redefining the UK singles chart by turning it into a "songs" chart. This saw a few singles gain publicity: "Crazy" and "Maneater" (still selling strongly on downloads some time after their physical equivalents had been withdrawn) returned to the chart with several others which had been removed in the preceding months. "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol returned at a Top 10 position (number 9, just three places below the peak it had reached the previous September), while "Honey to the Bee" by Billie Piper (following a tongue-in-cheek promotional push by Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles to test the new chart rules) reappeared at number 17 (nearly eight years after its original appearance on the charts).

The second song to return to the Top 40 several years after its first hit run was "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, which reappeared at number 32 a decade after it originally topped the chart. The impetus this time was Puff Daddy's recent performance of a new version of the track at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium. Two months later Luciano Pavarotti's "Nessun Dorma" returned to the chart at number 24 during the week following his death (17 years after it was first a hit), climbing to number 12. A drumming gorilla in a Dairy Milk television advertisement helped "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins to climb to number 14, 26 years after it was first a hit and 19 years since its last chart appearance as a remix. None of these songs had been officially re-issued.

"Blag, Steal and Borrow" by Koopa became the first song to chart without being released physically (and the first by an unsigned band to do so). Later they would do it again twice, with "One Off Song for the Summer" and "The Crash" reaching No. 21 and No. 16 respectively (while the band remained unsigned until the following year).

Following the cancellation of its physical release, "Say It Right" by Nelly Furtado was the first Top 10 hit to pass through its chart career without a single copy appearing in a shop. "Lord Don't Slow Me Down" by Oasis became the second, "Violet Hill" by Coldplay the third, and "Disturbia" by Rihanna the fourth; "Candyman" by Christina Aguilera had a chart run that took it into the Top 20 (number 17) entirely on downloads.

The first number-one hit never released physically was "Run" by Leona Lewis, the 11th song in total to reach number one on downloads alone. Unlike the previous 10, it did not receive a physical release in subsequent weeks (although it was released physically overseas, notably in Germany).

The second occurrence was on 20 December 2009, when "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine became the first song that was not a new release to reach No. 1 on downloads alone. This was the result of a Facebook campaign urging people to download the song in a bid to prevent The X Factor winning song from becoming the Christmas No. 1 single again after four consecutive years. The song originally peaked at No. 25 in 1992.[59]

New rules were added to the chart on 16 September 2007 to include one-track CD singles (with a limit of 15 minutes) and to retail at a minimum of 40p per one-track CD single.

A notable effect of the new chart rules is to demonstrate the enduring appeal of many downloads, especially if a physical copy is no longer (or never has been) available. Despite a seven-week gap in its chart run in late 2006 while ineligible under the old rules, Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" clocked 108 weeks on the chart, a record bettered by only one single in chart history ("My Way" by Frank Sinatra with 124 weeks). Numerous other hits are on for more than 40 weeks.

Jeff Buckley's 1994 cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" charted at number 2 on 21 December 2008 on downloads alone, following the formation of a 110,000-strong protest group on Facebook to get it above (winner of The X Factor 2008) Alexandra Burke's version for the Christmas number one.

Another consequence of the chart rules is that in the event of a new album release by a well-known artist, all (or most) of its tracks could appear on the singles chart due to buyers downloading individual songs rather than the complete album. There was no significant example of this until early October 2007, with the cast of High School Musical 2 placing six of its songs in the Top 75 (although these were credited to their individual performers) and a further four just outside. A month later, Leona Lewis placed five tracks from her album Spirit simultaneously on the singles chart. Another example was anticipated with the arrival of The Beatles' catalogue online, with forecasters predicting the entire top 10 being taken up by Beatles songs.[60][61] This chart domination never occurred; only four Beatles songs re-entered the Top 75, the highest-placed being "Let It Be" at number 38.

Yet another effect of the new rules was the reappearance in the chart of a number of seasonal favourites during Christmas 2007. A total of 19 achieved this without being officially re-issued (on downloads alone). Two of these (by Mariah Carey and The Pogues), reached the Top 5. Eleven Christmas hits returned to the Top 75 for Christmas 2008, nine in 2009, eight in 2010 and twelve in 2011, with the Mariah Carey and Pogues songs faring best each year.

The first unsigned artist to break the top 5 was Alex Day, who reached number 4 with his single "Forever Yours" in the Christmas chart, beating Coldplay and Olly Murs,[62] following a large-scale social media campaign. In February 2013, unsigned artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis topped the chart with "Thrift Shop".[63]

The death of Michael Jackson on 25 June 2009 triggered a surge in sales of his recordings; this was the first time in the download era that the effect of a major star's death on the chart could be observed. During the week beginning 28 June, a total of 16 of his solo hits (plus four more by The Jackson 5) re-entered the chart. The following week, the momentum continued; 27 Jackson titles charted in the Top 75 (21 solo, one with his sister Janet and five by The Jacksons) with "Man in the Mirror" charting the highest, at number 2. The second chart invasion of the download era resulting from the death of a major artist was observed in late July 2011 following the death of Amy Winehouse, with seven former singles charting and one other song appearing for the first time.

It was announced in June 2014 that as of Sunday, 29 June, audio streams from services such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks, Xbox Music, Sony Unlimited and rara would be counted towards the Official Singles Chart, in order to reflect changing music consumption in the United Kingdom.[64] The final number one on the UK Singles Chart to be based on sales alone was "Gecko (Overdrive)" by Oliver Heldens featuring Becky Hill.[65] On Sunday 6 July 2014, the Official Charts Company announced that Ariana Grande had earned a place in UK chart history when her single "Problem" featuring Iggy Azalea became the first number-one single based on sales and streaming data.[66]

On 7 December 2014, Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" became the first single to reach number one as a direct result of streaming inclusion. Despite Union J's "You Got It All" topping the Sales Chart that week, "Thinking Out Loud" was streamed 1.6 million times in the same week, resulting in an overall lead of 13,000 chart sales.[67]

On 10 March 2017, Ed Sheeran claimed 9 of the top 10 positions in the chart when his album ÷ was released.[68] The large number of tracks from the album on the singles chart, 16 in the top 20, led to a change in how the chart is compiled with tracks from a lead artist eligible for entry limited to three.[69]

Comparison of singles charts (1952–1969)

With no official chart before 1969, a number of periodicals compiled their own charts during the 1950s and 1960s. The five main charts (as used by BBC's Pick of the Pops) were:

  • New Musical Express (NME) (1952–1988): The first singles chart, a major source until March 1960, widely followed throughout the 1960s
  • Record Mirror (1955–1962): The second singles chart; compiled the first album chart, published Record Retailer chart from 1962. The Pick of the Pops average stopped using Record Mirror after 21 May 1960, due to the paper changing its weekly publication day
  • Melody Maker (1956–1988): The third singles chart, major source for album charts from 1958 onwards
  • Disc (1958–1967): The fourth singles chart
  • Record Retailer (1960–1969): The fifth singles chart; a trade paper, regarded as a major source from its inception; jointly formed BMRB chart in 1969. Not included in the Pick of the Pops average until 31 March 1962.

Inclusion criteria

The full regulations may be downloaded from the Official Charts Company website (see "External links", below).

To qualify for inclusion in the UK singles chart, a single must be available in one or more of the following eligible formats:

  • Digital audio download music track of up to 15 minutes
  • Digital audio stream music track of up to 15 minutes
  • Digital single bundle of up to four tracks with a maximum of 25 minutes playing time
  • CD with up to two tracks
  • CD, DVD or other digital memory device with up to four tracks with a maximum of 25 minutes playing time
  • 7 inch vinyl with up to three tracks or 12 inch vinyl with up to four tracks, and up to 25 minutes playing time
  • One song and any number of remixes up to a maximum playing time of 40 minutes

There are minimum sales prices for all formats apart from on demand digital streams which may be from subscription or advertising funded providers. The streams were initially counted at 100 streams equivalent to one paid download or physical sale, but changed to 150 to 1 in January 2017.[70] Starting with charts published 7 July 2017, tracks by a lead artist eligible for entry in the top 100 would be limited to three. The streams-to-sales ratio for tracks whose sales (including streams) have declined for three consecutive weeks and have charted for at least ten weeks is changed to 300:1 to accelerate removal of older songs.[71]

Chart broadcasts

The BBC aired Pick of the Pops on its Light Programme radio station on 4 October 1955.[11] Initially airing popular songs, it developed an aggregated chart in March 1958. Using the NME, Melody Maker, Disc and Record Mirror charts, the BBC averaged them by totalling points gained on the four charts (one point for a number one, two for a number two, etc.) to give a chart average; however, this method was prone to tied positions.[11] Record Retailer was included in the average on 31 March 1962, after Record Mirror ceased compiling its chart.[11] David Jacobs and Alan Freeman both had stints presenting the Pick of the Pops chart.[72] Freeman took Pick of the Pops to its regular Sunday afternoon slot in early 1962.[73] Freeman (along with Pete Murray, David Jacobs and Jimmy Savile) was one of the four original presenters on Top of the Pops, which first aired 1 January 1964 on BBC One (then known as BBC TV).[72][74] Top of the Pops, like Pick of the Pops, used a combination of predominant periodicals until the formation of the BMRB chart in 1969.[11]

From 30 September 1967 BBC Radio 1 was launched along with BBC Radio 2, succeeding the Light Programme,[75] and the Top-20 Pick of the Pops chart was simulcast on both stations.[76] Freeman continued to present the show until 1972, and was succeeded by Tom Browne.[73][77] Simon Bates took over from Browne, and under Bates it became a Top-40 show in 1978.[77][78] Bates was succeeded by Tony Blackburn, who presented the show for two-and-a-half years; Tommy Vance, who presented for two years, Bates returned in January 1984 and presented the show until September that year, then Richard Skinner for eighteen months.[77][79][80] Bruno Brookes took over in 1986[81] and, in October 1987, automated data collection allowed the countdown to be announced on the Sunday chart show (instead of on Tuesdays).[25]

In 1990, Brookes was replaced as presenter by Mark Goodier, but returned 18 months later. Goodier took over from Brookes once more in 1995 and continued presenting the show until 2002.[81] In February 2003 Wes Butters hosted the chart show; two years later his contract was not renewed, and he was replaced by JK and Joel.[77][82] The duo were made redundant by Radio 1 in September 2007; Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates replaced them at the helm of the chart show.[83] Cotton left in September 2009, and until 2012 the chart show was hosted by Yates.[84] Yates left Radio 1 at the end of 2012, because he wanted to spend more time with his family, as well as focusing more on television. Jameela Jamil took over from him in January 2013, becoming the first woman to host, alone, the BBC Chart show[85] before being replaced by Clara Amfo. On 10 July 2015, Greg James took over from Amfo, when the new chart announcement was moved to Friday afternoons.[86]

Midweek chart updates

From March 2010 Greg James hosted a half-hour show at 3:30 pm on Wednesdays, announcing a chart update based on midweek sales figures previously only available to the industry. The chairman of the Official Charts Company said it would provide "insight into how the race for number one is shaping up".[87] Scott Mills became the host of the Chart Update from April 2012, due to schedule changes which saw Mills host what was Greg's early afternoon show.[88] When the chart moved to Fridays in July 2015, the chart update moved to 5:30 pm on Mondays.[89] The show was then once again hosted by Greg James and the top ten songs are quickly overviewed with the top three being played in full before Newsbeat at 5:45. It is currently presented by Nick Grimshaw due to his swap of times with Greg James.

Sponsorship

In 1999, the chart was sponsored by worldpop.com with the company receiving name recognition during the BBC programme. However, the deal ended when the website went out of business in late 2001. As part of an agreement with Billboard to publish the UK chart in section of their magazine, Billboard required the chart to have a sponsor. In 2003, it was announced that Coca-Cola had signed a two-year contract with the Official Charts Company beginning 1 January 2004. Although the amount was not publicly disclosed, it was believed to be between £1.5 million and £2 million. Since advertising on the BBC is prohibited under the BBC Charter and the government was attempting to reduce childhood obesity, the decision was widely criticised. Coca-Cola was restricted to two on-air mentions during the chart show, with the BBC justifying the deal by saying it did not negotiate or benefit financially.[90] A few days into the contract, the BBC agreed to drop on-air mentions of the brand.[91]

Records and statistics

Most number-one singles

The artists credited as a named artist on the most UK number-one singles are:[92]

Most weeks at number one

The songs which spent the most weeks at number 1 are:[93]

Note: Songs denoted with an asterisk (*) spent non-consecutive weeks at number one.

Best-selling singles

Year Song[94] Artist Number
sold[95]
1997 "Candle in the Wind 1997" Elton John 4,935,426
1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid 3,802,066
1975
1991
"Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen 2,540,604
1977 "Mull of Kintyre" / "Girls' School" Wings 2,086,183
1978 "You're the One That I Want" Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta 2,072,035
1984 "Relax" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 2,066,230
1978 "Rivers of Babylon" / "Brown Girl in the Ring" Boney M. 2,032,656
2013 "Happy" Pharrell Williams 1,930,000[94]
1963 "She Loves You" The Beatles 1,922,275
1994 "Love Is All Around" Wet Wet Wet 1,898,790

See also

Chart magazines
Rival charts
Chart books

Notes

  1. ^ The first Top 12 contained fifteen records due to tied positions at numbers 7, 8 and 11.[12] The method of numbering was replaced with the more "familiar" method by October 1953 – two records tied at number six and the next listed position appeared as number eight.[13]
  2. ^ The expansion was not a Top 100, per se, as records were excluded from positions 76–100 if their sales had fallen in two consecutive weeks and if their sales had fallen by 20 per cent compared to the previous week.[23]
  3. ^ Spotlight Publications is a subsidiary of United Newspapers[30]

References

Footnotes
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Sources

External links

I Believe (Frankie Laine song)

"I Believe" is a popular song written by Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl and Al Stillman in 1953.

"I Believe" was commissioned and introduced by Jane Froman on her television show, and became the first hit song ever introduced on TV. Froman, troubled by the uprising of the Korean War in 1952 so soon after World War II, asked Drake, Graham, Shirl and Stillman to compose a song that would offer hope and faith to the populace. Froman's commercial recording reached No. 11 in the Billboard charts during a 10-week stay. "I Believe" has been recorded by many others, and has become both a popular and religious standard.

Frankie Laine's version spent eighteen non-consecutive weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart. Laine also had the most successful version in the USA, where he reached #2 for three weeks.

I Remember You (1941 song)

"I Remember You" is a popular song about nostalgia with music by Victor Schertzinger and words by Johnny Mercer, and first released by Jimmy Dorsey in December 1941.The song was one of several introduced in the film The Fleet's In (1942). It was sung in the film by Dorothy Lamour.

It's Only Make Believe

"It's Only Make Believe" is a song written by Jack Nance and American country music artist Conway Twitty, and produced by MGM Records' Jim Vienneau, released by Twitty as a single in July 1958. The single topped both U.S. and the UK Singles Chart, and was Twitty's only #1 single on the pop charts of either country. On a segment of Pop Goes The Country, Twitty states the single was a hit in 22 different countries and sold over 8 million copies. It is believed that Twitty wrote his part of the song while sitting on a fire escape outside his hotel room, to escape the summer heat, in Hamilton, Ontario. Twitty had gone to Canada on the advice of another American singer, Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins, because Hawkins had told Twitty that Canada was the 'promised land' for music.Twitty recorded many subsequent versions of "It's Only Make Believe", including a 1970 duet with Loretta Lynn on their very first collaborative album, We Only Make Believe. Twitty joins in on the last verse in a 1988 uptempo cover by Ronnie McDowell, which was a #8 hit on the country music charts. Additionally, Twitty contributed to an alternative cover by McDowell.

List of UK Singles Chart Christmas number ones

In the United Kingdom, Christmas number ones are singles that are top of the UK Singles Chart in the week in which Christmas Day falls. Novelty songs, charity songs or songs with a Christmas theme have regularly been at the top of Christmas charts. Traditionally the volume of record sales in the UK peaks at Christmas, with the Christmas number one being considered especially prestigious, more so than any other time of year. Many of the Christmas number ones were also the best-selling song of the year. Due to the common practice of dating a chart by the date on which the week ends, the Christmas chart is dated the end of the week before 25 December, but comprises sales for the week before that. The most recent Christmas number one single is "We Built This City" by LadBaby.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 1950s

The UK Singles Chart is the official record chart in the United Kingdom. Record charts in the UK began life in 1952 when Percy Dickins from New Musical Express (NME) imitated an idea started in American Billboard magazine and began compiling a hit parade. Prior to this, a song's popularity was measured by the sales of sheet music. Initially, Dickins telephoned a sample of around 20 shops asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs. These results were then aggregated to give a Top 12 chart published in NME on 14 November 1952. The number-one single was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino.

According to The Official Charts Company and Guinness' British Hit Singles & Albums, the NME is considered the official British singles chart before 10 March 1960. However, until 15 February 1969, when the British Market Research Bureau chart was established, there was no universally accepted chart. Other charts existed and different artists may have placed at number one in charts by Record Mirror, Disc or Melody Maker. Alternatively, some considered BBC's Pick of the Pops, which averaged all these charts, to be a better indicator of the number-one single.In terms of number-one singles, Frankie Laine, Guy Mitchell and Elvis Presley were the most successful artists of the 1950s having four singles reach the top spot. The longest duration of a single at number one was eighteen weeks achieved by Frankie Laine's "I Believe". As of July 2010, "I Believe" still holds the record for the most (non-consecutive) weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart. Although official music recording sales certifications were not introduced until the British Phonographic Industry was formed in 1973, Disc introduced an initiative in 1959 to present a gold disc to records that sold over one million units. Prior to that it is believed that the three best-selling records of the decade—Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock", Paul Anka's "Diana" and Harry Belafonte's "Mary's Boy Child"—all sold over one million copies.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 1960s

The UK Singles Chart is the official record chart in the United Kingdom. Prior to 1969 there was no official singles chart; however, The Official Charts Company and Guinness' British Hit Singles & Albums regard the canonical sources as New Musical Express (NME) before 10 March 1960 and Record Retailer from then until 15 February 1969 when Retailer and the BBC jointly commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to compile the charts. The choice to use Record Retailer as the canonical source for the 1960s has been contentious because NME (which continued compiling charts beyond March 1960) had the biggest circulation of periodicals in the decade and was more widely followed. As well as the chart compilers mentioned previously, Melody Maker, Disc and Record Mirror all compiled their own charts during the decade. Due to the lack of any official chart the BBC aggregated results from all these charts to announce its own Pick of the Pops chart. One source explains that the reason for using the Record Retailer chart for the 1960s was that it was "the only chart to have as many as 50 positions for almost the entire decade". The sample size of Record Retailer in the early 1960s was around 30 stores whereas NME and Melody Maker were sampling over 100 stores. In 1969, the first BMRB chart was compiled using postal returns of sales logs from 250 record shops.In terms of number-one singles, The Beatles were the most successful group of the decade having seventeen singles reach the top spot. The longest duration of a single at number-one was eight weeks and this was achieved on three occasions: "It's Now or Never" by Elvis Presley in 1960; "Wonderful Land" by The Shadows in 1962 and "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies in 1969. The Beatles' song "She Loves You" became the best-selling single of all time in 1963, a record it held until 1977 when band member Paul McCartney's new band, Wings, surpassed it with "Mull of Kintyre". "She Loves You" was the best-selling song of the decade and one of fourteen songs believed to have sold over one million copies in the 1960s.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 1970s

The UK Singles Chart is the official record chart in the United Kingdom. In the 1970s, it was compiled weekly by the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) on behalf of the British record industry with a one-week break each Christmas. Prior to 1969 many music papers compiled their own sales charts but, on 15 February 1969, the BMRB was commissioned in a joint venture by the BBC and Record Retailer to compile the chart. BMRB compiled the first chart from postal returns of sales logs from 250 record shops. The sampling cost approximately £52,000 and shops were randomly chosen and submitted figures for sales taken up to the close of trade on Saturday. The data was compiled on Monday and given to the BBC on Tuesday to be announced on Johnnie Walker's afternoon show and later published in Record Retailer (rebranded Music Week in 1972). However, the BMRB often struggled to have the full sample of sales figures returned by post. The 1971 postal strike meant that data had to be collected by telephone but this was deemed inadequate for a national chart, and by 1973 the BMRB was using motorcycle couriers to collect sales figures.In terms of number-one singles, ABBA were the most successful group of the decade having seven singles reach the top spot. The longest duration of a single at number-one was nine weeks and this was achieved on three occasions: "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen in 1975; "Mull of Kintyre" / "Girls' School" by Wings in 1977 and "You're the One That I Want" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in 1978. Thirteen records were released that sold over one-million copies within the decade and "Mull of Kintyre" also became the first ever single to sell over two-million copies. In doing so it became the best-ever selling single beating the benchmark set by The Beatles' song "She Loves You" in 1963. "Mull of Kintyre" was also the biggest selling song of the decade and was not surpassed in physical sales until 1984 when Band Aid released "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (which also featured McCartney).In 1973, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) was formed and they began certifying the sales of records at certain thresholds: "silver" (250,000 units), "gold" (500,000 units), and "platinum" (1,000,000 units). In 1977, the BPI held an awards ceremony at Wembley Conference Centre to mark the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The event cost £25,000, honoured music from the last 25 years and is considered to be the first BRIT Awards ceremony.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 1980s

The UK Singles Chart is the official record chart in the United Kingdom. Until 1983, it was compiled weekly by the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) on behalf of the British record industry with a two-week break each Christmas. The BMRB used motorcycle couriers to collect the sales figures taken up to the close of trade on Saturday. This data was compiled on Monday and given to the BBC on Tuesday to be announced on BBC Radio 1 at lunchtime and later published in Music Week. On 4 January 1983, the chart was taken over by Gallup who expanded the chart from the Top 75 to the Top 100 and began the introduction of computerised tills which automated the data collection process. The chart was based entirely on sales of physical singles from retail outlets and announced on Tuesday until October 1987, when the Top 40 was revealed each Sunday, due to the new automated process.During the 1980s there were a total of 191 singles which took the UK chart number 1 spot. In terms of number-one singles, Madonna was the most successful single act of the decade, as six of her singles reached the top spot. George Michael had significant involvement with eight number-one singles; with two number-one singles as a solo artist, four as a member of pop duo Wham!, one as a duet with Aretha Franklin and one as a member of charity supergroup Band Aid. The longest duration of a single at number one was nine weeks, achieved by Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Two Tribes" in 1984.The best-selling single of the decade was "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid, selling over 3.5 million copies, and passing "Mull of Kintyre" by Wings to become the best-selling single ever. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" is currently the second best-selling song after "Candle in the Wind 1997" by Elton John.The 1980s saw the introduction of the cassette single (or "cassingle") alongside the 7-inch and 12-inch record formats and in 1987 major record labels developed a common format for the CD single. For the chart week ending 3 May 1989, chart regulations confined Kylie Minogue's song "Hand on Your Heart" to number two. Minogue would have reached number one if sales from cassette singles were included but they were sold for £1.99 – cheaper than was allowed at the time. Following the debacle the British Phonographic Industry reduced the minimum price for cassette singles to become eligible towards sales figures.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 1990s

The UK Singles Chart is a record chart compiled on behalf of the British record industry. Until 1 February 1994, the chart was compiled each week by Gallup – after this date, it was managed by Millward Brown, who expanded the number of sales figures sampled, and extended the use of electronic point of sale machines. From July 1998 onwards, compilation of the chart was overseen by The Chart Information Network (CIN) and it was based entirely on sales of physical singles from retail outlets – airplay statistics are not used in compiling the official UK Singles Chart. The chart week ran from Sunday to Saturday, and the Top 40 was first revealed on BBC Radio 1 on a Sunday. Record companies began making singles available to radio stations much further in advance of their release dates and making greater use of direct marketing techniques in the 1990s. As a result, the number of singles that entered the charts at number one increased dramatically, and it became commonplace for singles to enter the charts at the top and then plummet down the listing soon after.During the decade, 206 singles reached the number-one position on the chart. "Hangin' Tough" by New Kids on the Block reached number one on the first new chart of the decade, replacing "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid II which had been number one on the last chart issued in 1989. The longest spell at the top was achieved by Bryan Adams's song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", which spent 16 weeks at number one in 1991, beating the record for the longest unbroken run at the top of the charts which had been held by Slim Whitman's "Rose Marie" since 1955. Wet Wet Wet and Whitney Houston also had runs of 10 or more weeks at number one during the 1990s. Although it only spent five weeks at number one, Elton John's 1997 single "Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" sold almost 5 million copies, becoming the biggest-selling single in UK history. Cher's song "Believe" spent 7 weeks at number-one at the end of 1998 and became the biggest-selling single by a female artist in UK history. Also, Cher is the female solo artist with the most number-one singles in the 1990s (a total of three) and the female solo artist with most weeks at number one (13). The final number one of the decade was the double A-side "I Have a Dream" / "Seasons in the Sun" by Westlife. Take That and the Spice Girls share the distinction of having achieved the most number-one hits in the 1990s, with eight each.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 2000s

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the British record industry. In the 2000s the chart week ran from Sunday to Saturday, and the top 40 singles were revealed each Sunday on BBC Radio 1. Before the advent of music downloads, it was based entirely on sales of physical singles from retail outlets, but since 2005 permanent downloads have been included in the chart compilation.During the 2000s, 275 singles reached the number-one position on the chart. Over this period, Westlife were the most successful group and music act at reaching the top spot, with 11 number-one singles. Rihanna and Jay-Z's song "Umbrella" spent 10 weeks at number one in 2007, the longest spell at the top of the charts since Wet Wet Wet's 1994 hit "Love Is All Around", which topped the charts for 15 weeks. The Internet allowed music to be heard by vast numbers of people on social networking sites such as YouTube and Myspace; it also increased piracy.

This and the introduction of the UK Singles Downloads Chart in 2004 led to a decrease in record sales and a reduction in the number of copies sold of a number-one record on the singles chart. Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" became the first song to reach the top of the charts based on downloads alone in 2006, remaining at number one for nine consecutive weeks.

Physical single sales had been falling for more than a decade but digital single sales finally turned the trend around in 2008 with combined physical and digital single sales growing 33% over the previous year. Lily Allen made herself known on the Internet through her Myspace page, and following this exposure, her debut single "Smile" peaked at number one. Three years later, her single "The Fear" topped the chart for four consecutive weeks, being the longest running number one single of 2009.

Reality television shows played an important, influential role on the charts during the decade. Hear'Say won the original series of Popstars in 2000 and topped the charts with their debut single "Pure and Simple". A trend developed as this feat was replicated by Pop Idol winners Will Young (2002) and Michelle McManus (2003), and runners-up Gareth Gates and Sam & Mark; 2002 Fame Academy winner David Sneddon, and the winner of the first series of The X Factor, Steve Brookstein, in 2005. Reality television winners did especially well during the Christmas season; every Christmas number one from 2005 to 2008 came from an X Factor winner. Shayne Ward reached number one in 2005 with "That's My Goal", and he was followed by Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke. Girls Aloud, the Popstars: The Rivals winners, also had the Christmas number one in 2002 with "Sound of the Underground." Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the first series of American Idol achieved her first UK number-one single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", in 2009.

The first number one of the decade, the double-A side "I Have a Dream" / "Seasons in the Sun" by Westlife, was a holdover from the end of 1999. "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine was the final number one of the decade.

In January 2005 a landmark was reached as Elvis Presley's "One Night" became the 1,000th song to reach number one in the singles chart.

List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 2010s

The UK Singles Chart is a weekly record chart compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the British record industry. As of 10 July 2015, the chart week runs from Friday to Thursday with the chart-date given as the following Thursday. Before this, the chart week ran from Sunday to Saturday, with the chart date given as the following Saturday. During the 2010s, a total of 232 songs have been number one on the UK Singles Chart. Joe McElderry was the first artist to top the chart in the decade, when "The Climb" replaced "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine.

Digital downloads made up the majority of music sales at the start of the decade. In 2011, singles sales hit an all-time high, a record that was then surpassed in 2012. From July 2014, as download sales began to decline, audio streaming began to be counted at a rate of 100 streams equivalent to a sale, later increased to 150 streams, and later still to 300 streams once a song had spent a certain time on the charts and its consumption had declined.The following singles have all been number one in the United Kingdom during the 2010s.

List of instrumental number ones on the UK Singles Chart

The UK Singles Chart is a record chart compiled on behalf of the British record industry. Since 1997, the chart has been compiled by the Official Charts Company (formerly The Official UK Charts Company and the Chart Information Network) and until 2005 (when digital downloads were included in the chart compilation), the chart was based entirely on sales of physical singles from retail outlets. The UK Singles Chart originated in 1952, when New Musical Express (NME) published the first chart of singles sales. The positions of all songs are based on week-end sale totals, from Sunday to Saturday, but pre-1987 the charts were released on a Tuesday because of the need for manual calculation.Since inception there have been more than 1,350 number ones; of these, instrumental tracks (i.e. those without any lyrics) have topped the chart on 26 occasions for a total of 85 weeks. The Shadows have had the most instrumental number ones, with five between 1960 and 1963. Three other artists have had more than one instrumental number one: Eddie Calvert (in 1954 and 1955), Winifred Atwell (in 1954 and 1956) and Russ Conway (both in 1959). Calvert's track "O Mein Papa" stayed at the top of the charts for nine weeks, longer than any other instrumental single. The single "Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)" has been an instrumental number one for two different artists (Calvert and Perez Prado) in 1955. To date, Martin Garrix is the most recent artist to have an instrumental number one, with "Animals" in November 2013.

List of posthumous number ones on the UK Singles Chart

The death of a popular musician, and likewise, the use of a dead musician's work in advertising, often causes a sharp increase in sales of the musician's recordings and associated products; this has led to a number of posthumous number one singles in the UK and elsewhere.

The phenomenon, a topic of discussion in both the media and academia, has occurred 19 times in the UK since 1959.

The UK Singles Chart is a record chart compiled on behalf of the British record industry based on sales of singles in the UK. Since 1997, the chart has been compiled by The Official Charts Company and was based entirely on sales of physical singles from retail outlets until 2005, when digital downloads were included in the chart compilation. The UK Singles Chart originated in 1952, when New Musical Express (NME) published the first chart of singles sales. The positions of all songs are based on week end sale totals, from Sunday to Saturday, but pre-1987, the charts were released on a Tuesday due to the need for manual calculation.The first deceased artist to top the charts was Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash on 3 February 1959. Three weeks later his song "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" entered the charts, and in April it reached number one. In the 1960s Eddie Cochran and Jim Reeves achieved their first and only UK number ones after their deaths, as did Jimi Hendrix in 1970. In August 1977 the "King of Rock'n Roll", Elvis Presley, died of a heart attack and his song "Way Down", which was already in the charts at the time, quickly climbed to number one. Presley achieved four further posthumous number ones in the 2000s. In 2002 his song "A Little Less Conversation", a little-known former B-side, topped the charts after being remixed by Dutch dance music producer Junkie XL for a television advertisement for Nike, which broke Presley's long-standing tie with The Beatles for the most UK number ones. Three years later three of his singles returned to the top spot when all his previous number one singles were re-issued to mark what would have been his 70th birthday.In late 1980 and early 1981 three singles by John Lennon reached number one in quick succession following his murder on 8 December 1980. His fellow former member of The Beatles, George Harrison, achieved a posthumous number one in 2002 when a re-issue of his song "My Sweet Lord", originally a number one in 1971, entered the chart at number one. In doing so, he knocked "More than a Woman" by American singer Aaliyah from the top spot, the first time that two deceased artists had topped the charts in consecutive weeks.

List of songs which have spent the most weeks on the UK Singles Chart

The following is a list of songs that have charted for 50 weeks or more in total on the UK Singles Chart according to the Official Charts Company (OCC). The chart here is as recorded by the OCC, i.e. usually a top 50 from 1960 to 1978, top 75 from then until 1982 and top 100 from 1983 onwards. To be eligible the song has to be the original version whether it be by re-entry or re-issue. Remixes do not count except under certain circumstances (see "Blue Monday" below).

With a total of 206 weeks, the song with the most weeks in the top 100 is "Mr Brightside" by the Killers. When only a top 50 was compiled, Frank Sinatra's "My Way" set records which still stand: 122 weeks in the top 50 between April 1969 and January 1972, 75 weeks in the top 40, and 124 weeks in the top 75, including a re-release in 1994, following a Legend Award for Sinatra at that year's Grammy Awards.The longest unbroken run in the top 100 is 95 weeks for "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran, Sheeran's "Shape of You" amassed 94 consecutive weeks meaning Sheeran has the top two songs with the longest continuous chart runs. Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me" held the record run in the top 50, at 56 weeks, for over 40 years until beaten by "All of Me" by John Legend with 58 consecutive weeks in the top 50 (since passed by "Thinking Out Loud" with 63 weeks). The song with the most weeks at number 1 and in the top 10 is "I Believe" by Frankie Laine which stayed in the top 10 for 35 weeks, 18 of them at number one and a further seven at number two. Also noteworthy is "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets, the only song released in the 1950s to appear in the lists, which achieved 36 of its weeks when only a top 20 or top 30 were published.

In the pre-digital era, Christmas-themed songs were often re-released in different years and several have continued to chart each year from the mid-noughties onwards. "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade has had 23 chart runs in 26 different years (1973–74, 1980–87, 1989–1990 and 2006–2019), while "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl has reached the top 10 six times and spent a record 53 weeks in its fifteen runs in the top 20. In a similar but more modest way, since 2007, "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr. have charted at Halloween in twelve and ten years, respectively.

The numbers shown are up to the chart for week ending 18 April 2019.

Lists of UK Singles Chart number ones

The UK Singles Chart is a weekly record chart which for most of its history was based on single sales from Sunday to Saturday in the United Kingdom. Since July 2014 it has also incorporated streaming data, and from 10 July 2015 has been based on a Friday to Thursday week. As of 27 January 2017, 1319 singles have reached number one. The chart was founded in 1952 by Percy Dickins of New Musical Express (NME), who telephoned 20 record stores to ask what their top 10 highest-selling singles were. Dickins aggregated the results into a top 12 hit parade, which was topped by "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino. NME's chart was published each week in its eponymous magazine.

The sources, in accordance with the official canon of the Official Charts Company, are the New Musical Express chart from 1952 to 1960; the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969; and the Official UK Singles Chart from 1969 onwards.

Stupid Cupid

"Stupid Cupid" is a song written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka which became a hit for Connie Francis in 1958.

Tears (Ken Dodd song)

"Tears" ("Tears for Souvenirs") is a song written by lyricist Frank Capano and composer Billy Uhr, and was first recorded by Rudy Vallee in 1929. It was made famous in a version recorded by Ken Dodd, released as a 45 rpm single in 1965. It became a No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The song also reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart.

UK Singles Chart records and statistics

The UK Singles Chart was first compiled in 1969. However the records and statistics listed here date back to 1952 because the Official Charts Company counts a selected period of the New Musical Express chart (only from 1952 to 1960) and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts coexisted side by side. For example, the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; many songs announced as having reached number one on BBC Radio and Top of the Pops prior to 1969 may not be listed here as chart-toppers since they do not meet the legacy criteria of the Charts Company.

Vincent (song)

"Vincent" is a song by Don McLean written as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh. It is also known by its opening line, "Starry Starry Night", a reference to Van Gogh's 1889 painting The Starry Night. The song also describes other paintings by the artist.

McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a book about the life of van Gogh. The following year, the song became the No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks. and No. 12 in the US. In the US, "Vincent" also hit No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 94 song for 1972.

The song makes use mainly of the guitar but also includes the accordion, marimba, and strings.

The song was a particular favorite of the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, and was played to him in the hospital just before he died.Among the artists who covered this song are Karina & Ronan Keating.

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