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> Duration of songs that have topped the UK charts, The length of time of each UK number one single.
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adrianreavill83
post Jan 12 2021, 01:43 PM
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I have started a new thread today of how long each chart topping single runs for. Feel free to add anything.
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TheSnake
post Jan 12 2021, 02:02 PM
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Most of the songs probably had radio edits at the time, so if we are counting these (which was actually what was played on radio and in the chart) I don't think many chart #1s would be significantly longer than 3:30.
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chartjack2
post Jan 12 2021, 05:37 PM
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Longest song was All Around the World by Oasis 9:38
Shortest song was What Do You Want by Adam Faith 1:35
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Liam.k.
post Jan 12 2021, 05:58 PM
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Here's a post from April 2017:

QUOTE(d♀nG @ Apr 7 2017, 10:21 AM) *
probably time to bring this thread back seeing as Harry Styles is set to have a number one next Friday with 'Sign Of The Times' (5:41).

here are all those that pass 5:30.

9:20 Oasis - All Around The World (1998)
8:04 Justin Timberlake - Mirrors (2013)
7:22 Oasis - D'ya Know What I Mean? (1997)
7:07 U.S.A. For Africa - We Are The World (1985)
7:06 The Beatles - Hey Jude (1968)
6:53 Steve "Silk" Hurley - Jack Your Body (1987)
6:51 George Michael - Jesus To A Child (1996)
6:46 Michael Jackson - Earth Song (1995)
6:44 Eminem feat. Dido - Stan (2000)
6:44 Simple Minds - Belfast Child (1989)
6:33 Queen - Innuendo (1991)
6:25 Take That - Never Forget (1995)
6:11 Madonna - Frozen (1998)
6:07 10cc - I'm Not In Love (1975)
5:58 Deniece Williams - Free (1977)
5:54 Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
5:50 Boyz II Men - End Of The Road (1992)
5:50 Rod Stewart - Maggie May (1971)
5:47 George Michael & Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (1991)
5:45 Spandau Ballet - True (1983)

I believe only single versions were included, not album versions.
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AcerBen
post Jan 12 2021, 07:04 PM
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QUOTE(Liam.k. @ Jan 12 2021, 05:58 PM) *
Here's a post from April 2017:
I believe only single versions were included, not album versions.


Some of those are a bit controversial.. a few of those definitely had shorter single versions available. Perhaps not on every single format but..


This post has been edited by AcerBen: Jan 12 2021, 07:04 PM
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Maestro
post Jan 12 2021, 07:09 PM
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Get Lucky by Daft Punk was 6:08
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BillyH
post Jan 12 2021, 10:00 PM
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It can get quite complex as sometimes radio edits exist but either were never officially released, or only appeared on certain formats, or showed up much later on compilation albums, or a radio station would just make their own but it was never official.

A couple of cases from my favourite musical year of 1999, not #1s but close enough - Alice Deejay's Better Off Alone was released as a single in the UK only as a 6:44 extended mix, and to get the 3:36 radio edit you either had to buy Now That's What I Call Music 43, or just tape it from the radio or a music channel. Followup single Back In My Life included a radio edit of Better Off Alone, but confusingly this was an extra short edit that differed significantly from the actual one. So had it got to #1 it's possible it would count in the top ten, even though there was an initially-unobtainable shorter version?

Hey Boy, Hey Girl by the Chemical Brothers had a similar story, but in this case even Now 43 had the full 4:48 version. The edit existed as a promo release sent to radio stations, but one of the only ways to get it outside of the radio (the music video had a ton of sound effects/dialogue over the top) was many months later on the Brit Awards 2000 compilation the following year, long after it was released as a single!

DanG's list from 2017 looks mostly correct, agreed that some did have shorter versions but it's hard to know as mentioned whether they were available to buy as a single at the time. Ironically 'Sign of the Times' is mentioned when the version that later showed up on Now 97 is 4:08.
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JosephStyles
post Jan 12 2021, 11:18 PM
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I think I'd choose to look at it based on what version is ultimately available when the song hits #1. That's perhaps easier in this day and age - Sign of the Times never had a radio edit available before the Now album, so the full nearly-6 minute version was the version that took it to #1 despite radios opting for a shorter edit. Mirrors is similar - it was the full version that people bought to take it to #1!

As for the Better Off Alone example, had it made #1, I'd personally look at the extended mix only because it was what was available when the song hit its peak. In other cases, like All Saints' Never Ever, there were a few variations of the 6:29 album version (including, according to the ever reliable Wikipedia so please correct me if I'm wrong on this, a 4:45 radio edit for the UK) but ultimately the version included on the single was 5:15 - I'd look at that one!
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JulianT
post Jan 13 2021, 12:25 AM
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Itís interesting how the average length of hits has varied in different periods. Streaming is definitely shrinking songs; apparently the average Number 1 length decreased by around 40 seconds between 2009 and 2019. You would feel pretty short changed if you had to go out and buy many of the songs around now.

I believe Old Town Road was the shortest Number 1 for more than 50 years at 1:53. What I think is so clever about it is that the end and the beginning of the track merge seamlessly together, so you can listen to it on loop 2 or 3 times and only feel like youíve heard one song.
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BillyH
post Jan 13 2021, 01:33 AM
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I remember being really frustrated in the noughties when UK releases of dance tracks were given ridiculously short radio edits, just over two minutes sometimes - it felt like they were suggesting that no one's going to want to listen to them for too long so have the most minimum amount possible, although perhaps it was also a way of essentially forcing you to buy the CD to hear the full thing. Elsewhere in Europe you'd get better three-four minute edits that would keep the breakdowns/buildups at a good level, rather than just jumping straight into choruses as soon as possible.
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Rush
post Jan 13 2021, 02:36 AM
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QUOTE(Maestro @ Jan 13 2021, 06:09 AM) *
Get Lucky by Daft Punk was 6:08
I'm pretty sure the 6:08 version wasn't released until the album! According to iTunesCharts.net the album version did overtake the radio edit (4:07) when it came out, but that was the week after the song's 4 weeks at #1.
QUOTE(JulianT @ Jan 13 2021, 11:25 AM) *
I believe Old Town Road was the shortest Number 1 for more than 50 years at 1:53.
I'd say this is also debatable as the Billy Ray Cyrus remix was outstreaming the original and it's 2:37!
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AcerBen
post Jan 13 2021, 10:07 AM
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6:53 Steve "Silk" Hurley - Jack Your Body (1987)
6:46 Michael Jackson - Earth Song (1995)
6:25 Take That - Never Forget (1995)
5:50 Boyz II Men - End Of The Road (1992)

These were the ones I picked up on - all had radio edits as track 1 on the main format, so have no real reason to be on the list
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AcerBen
post Jan 13 2021, 10:10 AM
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As for Better Off Alone - the "UK Short Cut" was actually track 1 on the cassette smile.gif
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AcerBen
post Jan 13 2021, 10:15 AM
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QUOTE(BillyH @ Jan 13 2021, 01:33 AM) *
I remember being really frustrated in the noughties when UK releases of dance tracks were given ridiculously short radio edits, just over two minutes sometimes - it felt like they were suggesting that no one's going to want to listen to them for too long so have the most minimum amount possible, although perhaps it was also a way of essentially forcing you to buy the CD to hear the full thing. Elsewhere in Europe you'd get better three-four minute edits that would keep the breakdowns/buildups at a good level, rather than just jumping straight into choruses as soon as possible.


Yes that was a weird trend! I remember when I interned for Universal years ago, a guy came in to the office to present his radio edit for a track, and it was under 2 minutes 20.. it was really badly done and felt brutal. The MD said it was terrible and to start again. laugh.gif

My least favourite one was what they did to DJ Sammy's Heaven, with the extra chorus badly sellotaped at the end for no reason. Though that was still about 3.5 mins.


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gooddelta
post Jan 13 2021, 10:15 AM
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Makes you wonder if Better Off Alone could have snatched that week at No.1 from Westlife when there was around 500 copies in it if the regular/European single edit, or the UK Short Cut had been available on the CD single.

My brother bought the CD single, as he loved long dance versions, my sister got the cassette, and I just got Now 43 as the regular/European single edit was on there the same week it charted. It definitely lost a sale from me at the time, although I picked it up some years later secondhand.
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TheSnake
post Jan 13 2021, 01:39 PM
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Surely there was a radio edit for Oasis' All Around The World, and radio stations wouldn't have played the entire 9:20 every time they played it?
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AcerBen
post Jan 13 2021, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE(TheSnake @ Jan 13 2021, 01:39 PM) *
Surely there was a radio edit for Oasis' All Around The World, and radio stations wouldn't have played the entire 9:20 every time they played it?


Yes, there was a 4:50 edit but only on the promo CD.. and turned up on one of the Hits compilations too.

Maybe songs that had a commercially unavailable radio edit should be asterisked with a "yeah but", because most people would've probably bought the single on the basis of hearing the radio edit, and wouldn't necessarily realise it wasn't on the CD at the time of buying huh.gif

The 7" of We Are The World had a 6:22 edit. You could argue therefore the winner is Hey Jude, which according to Discogs is 6:56 on the 7".


This post has been edited by AcerBen: Jan 13 2021, 02:37 PM
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AcerBen
post Jan 13 2021, 02:42 PM
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Oh! I just remembered another one that was the over way round - Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free (To Wear Suncreen) was 5 minutes something on the CD single, but radio tended to play the full-length 7:10 version. They wanted to force people to buy the (rubbish) album for the full thing.
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Dark Horse
post Jan 13 2021, 02:52 PM
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what about Meat Loaf ‘s ‘I’d do anything for love’, i recall it was 12 minutes..

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adrianreavill83
post Jan 13 2021, 04:30 PM
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Between 4 and 5 minutes:
Pet Shop Boys - It's A Sin - 4:59
LadBaby - Don't Stop Me Eatin - 4:02
Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You - 4:01
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