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> Most well-known songs that have never been #1, Beatles? Robbie? Bieber?
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BillyH
post Feb 11 2017, 10:56 PM
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What are the most well known songs in chart history that were never number 1 in the charts? Not just your personal faves, but ones that absolutely everyone knows but for one reason or another didn't quite hit the top?

These are my bets for each decade since the 60s, any other choices? Could any of them ever reach #1 today (either in original form or covered), and if so how?

1960s: I'd say The Beatles - Yesterday, but that didn't actually get a single release until 1976 (#8)...so maybe Frank Sinatra - My Way? #5 in 1969, but had a famously huge chart run. Or Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields Forever (both Beatles), both of which only managed #2 as a double A-side in 1967 - one of their only singles that decade that weren't #1.

1970s: I suppose Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (#4 in 1973), but ignoring Christmas songs, there's a ton here, all of these were #2:
* The Beatles - Let It Be (1970)
* The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back (1970)
* Don McLean - American Pie (1972, #12 in 1991)
* Queen - We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions (1977)

Also Queen - Don't Stop Me Now (#9 in 1979), and every single David Bowie song that decade except Space Oddity. So that includes Life On Mars, Changes, Heroes etc.

1980s: The famous #2s - Ultravox - Vienna (1981), Wham - Last Christmas (1984) and The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York (1987) all stand out here. Every single Queen release except Under Pressure, so Another One Bites The Dust (#7 in 1980), Radio Gaga (#2 in 1984) etc.
Can't forget Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams Are Made of This (#2 in 1983), Michael Jackson - Thriller (#10 in 1983), A-Ha - Take On Me (#2 in 1985), Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer (#4 in 1986) and Guns N Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine (#6 in 1989) either.

1990s: Think Robbie Williams - Angels (#4 in 1997) wins this decade, Oasis - Wonderwall (#2 in 1995) a close second. You could also include Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (#7 in 1991), and, as much as it pains me to say it, Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back (#56 in 1992, yes really), although your granny's probably got a better chance of knowing the first two.

2000s: While Youtube has done its best to put Darude - Sandstorm (#3 in 2000) up high, I think it's indie ruling this decade, White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (#7 in 2003), The Killers - Mr Brightside (#10 in 2004) and Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (#6 in 2006) all the immediate picks. But don't forget Outkast - Hey Ya (#3 in 2004)...think there's a fair few too who remember 50 Cent - In Da Club (#3 in 2003) and Kanye West - Gold Digger (#2 in 2005) far more than whatever charted higher those weeks.

2010s: Can we safely say this is Adele - Rolling In The Deep (#2 in 2011)? Unless I'm missing something obvious I don't think anything comes close, although I'm pretty hazy on the last couple of years.

Contribute your picks!
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Quavo (ft Quavo)
post Feb 11 2017, 11:02 PM
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I assume Can't Stop The Feeling! by Justin Timberlake will be one more too soon, it's one we all know and our parents too.
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cqmerqn
post Feb 11 2017, 11:02 PM
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Can't Stop The Feeling and Cheap Thrills for sure.
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Dobbo
post Feb 11 2017, 11:03 PM
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Moves Like Jagger for the 2010s I'd say, or Love The Way You Lie.
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cqmerqn
post Feb 11 2017, 11:14 PM
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Shake It Off
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Chez Wombat
post Feb 11 2017, 11:27 PM
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I'd add all these to the list:

Natalie Imbruglia - Torn
New Order - Blue Monday
The Who - My Generation
Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Radiohead - Creep
Kelis - Milkshake
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven

I know the latter wasn't released as a single anyway, but I'd be surprised if anyone can't recognise it by name (guys don't make me feel old by not knowing any of these :x)

Love The Way You Lie is another one for the 2010s definitely, it was the best selling song of the year despite never reaching the top!


This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Feb 11 2017, 11:30 PM
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King Rollo
post Feb 12 2017, 12:24 AM
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God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
Your Song - Elton John
Mr Blue Sky - ELO
Kids In America - Kim Wilde
Chandelier - Sia
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danG
post Feb 12 2017, 12:25 AM
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I know 'Love the Way You Lie' was massive and infamously kept from #1 but I feel like it's overshadowed by 'Lose Yourself' (a #1 hit) in terms of Eminem songs. Like the first song of his most people remember is that.

For the 00s, The Kooks 'Naive' is another big one. Only made #5 but regularly gets big boosts on Spotify from throwback playlists. The songs above it that week; Gnarls Barkley 'Crazy' (#1), Mary J Blige 'One' (#2), Ne-Yo 'So Sick' (#3), Orson 'No Tomorrow' (#4). 'Crazy' aside far it's more popular than all of those.

(also, I think 'Wonderwall' is more popular than 'Angels')
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rundmck
post Feb 12 2017, 12:49 AM
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Set Fire To The Rain by Adele.

Almost everyone would recognise it and I'd say the average person on the street would think it was a #1, but it didn't even reach the top 10.
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Laura130262
post Feb 12 2017, 12:54 AM
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Eagles Hotel California in 1977

Only got to number 8 wacko.gif
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gavindeejay
post Feb 12 2017, 01:16 AM
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Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
Bryan Adams - Summer Of 69

Neither went Top 40 on release, though have come very close in the download era.

Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse - 'Valarie' has to be in with a shout too.
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360Jupiter
post Feb 12 2017, 03:58 AM
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Given that she's just released, Katy Perry's Firework perhaps?

Also, some others:
Madonna's Like A Virgin (a #2)
The Killers - Mr Brightside (#10)
Shakira - Whenever, Wherever (#2)
Beyonce - Single Ladies (#7! I thought for sure it would be a top 5)
R.E.M. - Man on the Moon (#18), Losing My Religion (#19)
A-Ha - Take On Me (#2)


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n4yr
post Feb 12 2017, 04:13 AM
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All Of Me and Pompeii
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Cyrax
post Feb 12 2017, 05:17 AM
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QUOTE(360Jupiter @ Feb 12 2017, 04:58 AM) *
Madonna's Like A Virgin (a #2)


Like A Virgin peaked at #3.

From Madonna's canon, Express Yourself might qualify here as well, peaked at #5.
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ThePensmith
post Feb 12 2017, 07:16 AM
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Spice Girls "Stop" from 1998 has to be in this list surely? Held off #1 by Run DMC and Jason Nevins "It's Like That". I still remember even now how news bulletins that night after the top 40 was announced were falling over themselves saying how they'd "failed" to make it 7 number ones in a row. Not to mention it's better remembered than some of their singles that did get to the top (hello to you, "Holler").

Also a good one from that same year whilst I think about it is Leann Rimes, "How Do I Live". Never went any higher than #7 but it was inside the top 40 for 30 weeks and was the sixth biggest seller of that year.
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Taylor Jago
post Feb 12 2017, 07:37 AM
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Every David Bowie song from the 1970s except Space Oddity? Even the likes of TVC 15 or Beauty and the Beast?

Daniel Powter "Bad Day" is instantly recognisable for most people, I'd say.
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Snow Spiider
post Feb 12 2017, 07:45 AM
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All I Want For Xmas Is You
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Yeasty Clutch
post Feb 12 2017, 07:54 AM
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QUOTE(ThePensmith @ Feb 12 2017, 08:16 AM) *
Spice Girls "Stop" from 1998 has to be in this list surely? Held off #1 by Run DMC and Jason Nevins "It's Like That". I still remember even now how news bulletins that night after the top 40 was announced were falling over themselves saying how they'd "failed" to make it 7 number ones in a row. Not to mention it's better remembered than some of their singles that did get to the top (hello to you, "Holler").

Also a good one from that same year whilst I think about it is Leann Rimes, "How Do I Live". Never went any higher than #7 but it was inside the top 40 for 30 weeks and was the sixth biggest seller of that year.


I came in to post about Stop too!!

They shiuld have chosen a different week :/
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Bjork
post Feb 12 2017, 08:06 AM
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Pulp - Common People
also deserved #1

Alanis Morissette had some big ones that didn't even go top 10 (Ironic, You Oughta Know)... same with Cranberries (Linger, Zombiem Dreams)...
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Cyrax
post Feb 12 2017, 08:45 AM
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QUOTE(Taylor Jago @ Feb 12 2017, 08:37 AM) *
Every David Bowie song from the 1970s except Space Oddity? Even the likes of TVC 15 or Beauty and the Beast?


I don't think most of them are that remembered by the masses, just stuff like Changes, Life On Mars? or Rebel Rebel...
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 30th May 2017 - 01:19 AM