George Harrison

TRIVIA: Longest Gap Between Number 1’s on the UK Singles Chart

The longest gap between number one’s on the UK singles chart…

by Christopher Smith

…is 31 years! The record belongs to George Harrison with his song “My Sweet Lord”, which went to number one in January 1971. It returned there in January 2002, just a month after Harrison died at the age of 58.

The artist with the longest spell before having a number one (with a different song) is Leo Sayer (b.1948), who topped the chart in February 1977 with “When I Need You” and returned to the top spot in February 2006 with the remix of his 1977 single “Thunder In My Heart Again”, a gap of 29 years!

Excluding remixes, the longest gap between original songs belongs to Blondie, who hit the top in November 1980 with “The Tide Is High” and didn’t get another UK number one till February 1999 with “Maria”, 18 years and three months later.

We must mention Stevie Winwood through. He reached number one in April 1966 with The Spencer Davis Group’s “Someone Help Me” and returned there of his own accord in September 2004 when Eric Prydz’s sampled his 1982 hit “Valerie” for his chart topper “Call On Me”. This represents a gap of 38 years! Phew!

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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