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UK No2s

no2xWe now know, at least temporarily, the UK’s 1,000th No2 Hit Single
‘Dancing on My Own’ by Calum Scott

A No2 is defined as a hit that peaks at No2 in the Official UK Singles Chart, never making No1.
If it gets to No1 even many years later as a re-issue, it is no-longer a No2.

I have collated the data from The Official Charts Company, which is the fount of all knowledge when it comes to the UK Music Charts.  Their website carries every chart since 1952, as agreed by The British Phonographic Industry and the Entertainment Retail Association.

During the early years of the pop music industry, various competing chart providers existed.
The arguments as to which chart counted as the official chart are now resolved.

I have standardized the way I number the No2 Hits.
If a double-A side hit made No2, I have considered this as one No2 Hit, not as two.  This is to bring it more in line with the general conception of what actually counts as a No2.  A double-A side No1 only counts as one No1, so No2s shouldn’t be any different.

Remember that there are occasionally long periods without a No2, because many tracks that spend time at No2 will do so either on their way to topping the chart, or coming back down, and thus not qualify as No2s at all.

My previous website No2 lists were collated from various other people’s research, and some of my own.  This new list is all my own work from the Official Chart Company website.

I have corrected a few errors in my earlier published lists.  There were two releases that were missed from the earlier lists, and another that had the right artist but wrong song, and I removed one that was actually a No1!  I have standardized the dates of the No2s to the week ending date of the chart.  I have also put in all information about double (or even triple) A-sides, and put in the full credited artists for both the No2 and what kept it off the top.

If you find any mistakes, or have any questions or suggestions, please let me know by email: website2015@ndfletcher.org.uk

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Here’s a crackin No2 I’ve picked for your listening pleasure: ‘Lola’ by the Kinks.

 

There is a theory that songs that peak at No2, are generally better than the ones that top the chart.

Whilst there are undoubtedly many classic tracks that stalled at No.2, there are also some stinkers. Which says to me that the theory is more of a myth than a reality.  There’s as much crap that makes No2, as makes No1;-)

One of the worst, to me anyway, is ‘The Happy Wanderer’ by the Obernkirchen Childrens Choir.  One of it’s (few) redeeming features, is that it is sung in German.  You can hear it in all its 78rpm glory by playing the YouTube video embeded in the 1950s No2s page.

Other tracks best forgotten are Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’, Gazza and Lindisfarne’s ‘Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)’, and the Tweets’ ‘Birdie Song’. {The original version by Das Electronicas is far superior.}

There are a fair few good tracks too, including Elvis’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, Nat King Cole’s ‘When I Fall in Love’, and Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ which was voted the best ever track to peak at No2 by Radio 2 listeners in 2012.  My favourite is Pulp’s ‘Common People’ which you can find on the 1990s No2s page.

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