500 Number Ones Down…

The last chart-topping record I featured was as average as you can get: ‘A Little Peace’. A nice acoustic pop song with nice sentiments sung by a nice girl… Except, it was actually quite a notable chart milestone – the UK’s 500th number one single.

Which means, in just over four earth years we have covered almost thirty chart years! From Al Martino belting out the very first chart-topper, ‘Here in My Heart’ in 1952, past the pre-rock years, rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis, Merseybeat, four lads from Liverpool, the Summer of Love, the come-down, glam, disco, post-punk and new wave… To the spring of 1982.

Which means, at the current pace, we’ll hit the 1990s early next year, and we’ll meet the 1000th UK number one (although, actually, that’s a song which has already featured in the first 500… don’t ask…) sometime in early 2026! But, really, it’s dangerous to look that far ahead in life. I’m in no rush.

The pleasure here is to be had from the slow stroll: the discovery of lost gems, the re-discovery of all-time classics, a shrug of the shoulders at the boring ones, and a crack of the knuckles before I dive in studs-up on an absolute shocker of a song. And, of course, the fact that I’ve picked up so many dedicated followers, readers and commenters, without whom this pursuit would be pointless…

To celebrate this minor achievement, I had a look at my stats, and can now reveal the most viewed posts from each decade I’ve covered. I may have my favourites, but these are apparently the #1s that the good followers of WordPress (and beyond) want to know about…

The 1950s:

‘She Wears Red Feathers’, by Guy Mitchell

The most viewed post from the decade of Elvis, Buddy and the Killer is a song from the days when barely anyone had heard the phrase rock ‘n roll. It was just the 6th song I covered, so I guess it has had a bit of a head start. Read my original post here. (I wasn’t kind…)

The 1960s:

‘House of the Rising Sun’, by The Animals

Probably not the first song you’d guess for the sixties, but an undeniable classic nonetheless. The longest, and possibly the most risqué, song to have topped the charts at that point. Read my original post here.

The 1970s:

‘Rivers of Babylon’ / ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’, by Boney M

Despite coming towards the end of the decade, this one gets all the hits. It’s actually my most viewed post… ever. It’s also one of the best-selling singles of all time. Underestimate Boney M at your peril would be the lesson! Read my original post here.

The 1980s (so far):

‘Green Door’, by Shakin’ Stevens

Despite publishing it barely a month ago, ‘Green Door’ is already my most viewed post from the 1980s. Interestingly, of the four songs, only ‘House of the Rising Sun’ is one that you could find much critical acclaim for. Guy Mitchell, Boney M and Shaky all had something much more elusive (and lucrative)… popular appeal. And apparently still do!

And finally, before I go, a bonus. My least viewed post and, by these metrics, the least popular of the first 500 #1s…

‘Dance On!’, by The Shadows

Yes, this one-week number one from early 1963 has had barely any views. That could be comment on the state of popular music in the months just before the Beatles went supersonic. Or a comment on my writing. But I quite like the tune. Give it some love here.

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting over the past four years. For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting some cover versions of classic #1s. Here’s to the next 500!

11 thoughts on “500 Number Ones Down…

  1. Well done on that achievement! Well focused and always interesting! I struggle to complete anything due to lack of time and reviews tske the longest time – i have been unable to restart the 1974 radio 1 alltime poll cos its not easy unless you just publish the list from a spreadsheet, so well done on persevering and have a hearty back pat. I guess for biggest hits it should have wide ranging appeal globally, but not necessarily by megastars who are well served in books films and critics lists, so Boney M make perfect sense. Still popular, and the Rasputin revamp will have unearthed new young people curious about them.

    So which countries get you the most hits? My modest visitors still come out as 1. Uk 2 usa 3. Germany 4. Poland 5. Canada

    • Thanks. I think you are the longest-serving commenter here, so thank you for your ongoing thoughts and opinions… even when I might not agree!

      For me this has been a kind of escape – an hour every two or three days – where I forget about the world while listening to a song on repeat. It’s been especially useful during the past two years, when I’ve also had a lot more time on my hands (we probably all have…) I don’t take this for granted – who knows what’s around the corner. I may not have the time to keep this going so regularly.

      My visitors are from 1. UK 2. USA (though it’s close) 3. Spain 4. Australia and 5. Canada. I’ve just scrolled down to the bottom of that list, and am also happy to welcome my sole viewers from American Samoa, Turks & Caicos, and Papua New Guinea : )

      • Really, me longest going? Im honoured! 🙂 i like it when we dont always agree its fun seeing things from a fresher pair of ears. Even my own retro visits to 67 to 72 over the last 5 years have underlined to me that what i might once have loved dearly i dont love quite so much 50 years on 🙂 and some i love more. Its fluid! I know what you mean about life and time and so on, if i didnt have weekly online chart deadlines i wouldnt manage to keep up. I still have charts for 71 to post but they are done! So is 1991 now converted to digital.
        Aus is slso top 10 for me, but spain is outside the top 10 so thats interesting you get so many hits. Not surprising given the brit expats. I dont think those bottom 3 have made an appearance yet but i was gratified to get greenland 🙂

  2. Well done from me too! I love reading your comments on everything, even the less wonderful No. 1’s, often learn something, and sometimes I learn to look at them in a rather more positive light than I did before.

  3. Well done on completing the first 500! These posts are always interesting and I learn something too, which is good. As barometers of the tastes of the British record-buying public, these ‘favourites’ rather prove the often voiced opinion that some people shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a record shop!

  4. I’ve noticed something about the views…sometimes its about timing. My top post is The Pink Panther cartoon series lol…I mean what the hell?
    House of the Rising Son doesn’t suprise me…but some of the rest does.

    • I think also certain visitors bookmark a page at random, and when they visit always arrive on that page. Which would explain some of the more random songs that have loads of views, and maybe the Pink Panther too!

      • That is true… I never thought of that. Sometimes you get lucky also… someone posts a link on Reddit to a post… I’ve got blown up that way… views through the roof and I tracked it down.

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