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The UK Singles Chart is the official record chart in the United Kingdom. Record charts in the UK began life in 1952 when Percy Dickins from New Musical Express (NME) imitated an idea started in American Billboard magazine and began compiling a hit parade. Prior to this, a song's popularity was measured by the sales of sheet music. Initially, Dickins telephoned a sample of around 20 shops asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs. These results were then aggregated to give a Top 12 chart published in NME on 14 November 1952. The number-one single was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino.

Links To Peel

TOTP Chart Rundown 1st July 1982

TOTP Chart Rundown 1st July 1982

Chart rundown by John Peel on Top Of The Pops.

In America, Peel worked for a number of commercial radio stations that used the chart-based Top 40 format which had become standard in the US radio industry. Therefore, he would often play records that were number one hits in the UK and America, and when he came back to the UK and joined Radio London in 1967, he found himself on a station which employed the same chart format. During his daytime shows and even occasionally on the Perfumed Garden, he would play songs that were number one on the Big L Fab Forty chart, some of which went on to hit the number one charts in the UK. Radio London prided itself on being ahead of the national charts, and when Peel joined Radio 1 he was assigned to present Top Gear, a show with a similar function, introducing new records and artists. Even if Peel became known as a supporter of underground and alternative music which often had little commercial appeal, he retained an interest, albeit a critical one, in the pop charts throughout his career. Peel would premiere new records that sometimes would go to number one in the UK Singles chart, or number one singles that ended up in the Festive Fifty. At other times, nostalgia would lead Peel to play old records that had been number one singles; or he would play them alongside newer, sometimes very different cover versions, so that listeners could make comparisons.

In a feature for The Independent in 1999 he stated that the charts "..have become a separate area of activity and are about as real as EastEnders. It is a selling game with organisations geared to focusing sales of a record into a particular week so that it goes in at Number One. I find the whole thing amusing." and added optimistically that "Eventually the human spirit will rebel..".[1] 

Peel introduced the UK Singles Chart on Top Of The Pops when he was a presenter on some shows and was offered a chance to host a one-off Radio One Chart Show in January 2003, which some other DJ's such as Chris Moyles and Jo Whiley had already done, before the BBC's relaunch of the show. However, the station's management decided that they didn't want too many DJ's doing the show before it was re-launched and cancelled Peel's appearance.

Festive Fifty Entries

UK Number One singles tracks that have been in the Festive Fifty:

Peelenium

UK Number One singles tracks that have been in the Peelenium:

Pig's Big 78

Dickie Valentine ---- The Finger Of Suspicion

Dickie Valentine ---- The Finger Of Suspicion.

UK Number One singles tracks that have been in the Pig's Big 78:

Number One Singles

The UK Number One singles played by Peel on his radio shows are listed according to when they reached number one first, rather than by alphabetical order.

Performing Artist | Song | First Known Play

1950s

Al Martino Here In My Heart

Al Martino Here In My Heart

1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
Lonnie Donegan - Cumberland Gap

Lonnie Donegan - Cumberland Gap

1957
1958
1959

1960s

1960
1961
Elvis Presley - Return To Sender

Elvis Presley - Return To Sender

1962
1963
Roy Orbison - It's Over 1964 HD

Roy Orbison - It's Over 1964 HD

1964
1965
1966
The Beatles - All You Need Is Love -Slideshow- HD

The Beatles - All You Need Is Love -Slideshow- HD

1967
1968
1969

1970s

Norman Greenbaum Spirit in the sky ( Rare Original Footage French TV 1970 )

Norman Greenbaum Spirit in the sky ( Rare Original Footage French TV 1970 )

1970
1971
T

T. Rex ~ Telegram Sam

1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
Althia and Donna ~ Uptown Top Ranking

Althia and Donna ~ Uptown Top Ranking

1978
1979

1980s

The Jam - Going Underground

The Jam - Going Underground

1980
1981
1982
1983
  • None
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (Restored Version)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (Restored Version)

1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
  • None
1989
  • None

1990s

New Order - World In Motion -OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO-

New Order - World In Motion -OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO-

1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
  • None
1995
  • None
The Prodigy - Firestarter (Official Video)

The Prodigy - Firestarter (Official Video)

1996
1997
1998
1999
  • None

2000s

2000
  • None
2001
  • None
2002
2003
  • None
2004
  • None

External Links

References

  1. Both Frankie Laine's and David Whitfield's version of "Answer Me" were classified jointly as number one on 11 December 1953. In the week before (4th December 1953 - 11th December 1953) and the week (1st January 1954 - 8th January 1954) after Laine's version took the number-one spot outright.
  2. Number 1 for 3 weeks between 16 December 1955 and 06 January 1956.
  3. The single went to number one for 3 weeks from 25 November 1955 and went back again to number one for 2 weeks from 06 January 1956.
  4. Claudette was the double A-side to All I Have To Do Is Dream.
  5. The song reached number one for 5 weeks from 19 December 1958 until 23 January 1959.
  6. The Pirates did a Peel session track of the song first broadcast on 14 November 1977 without Johnny Kid, who died in 1966 of a motor car accident.
  7. There is an amusing moment when Peel attempts to play the Impalas track, instead launching into Johnny Tillotson's 'Poetry In Motion' by mistake. He later apologises, stating that he has always intensely disliked the song and wished to save his audience from it.
  8. Return To Sender was number one for 3 weeks from 13 December 1962 to 03 January 1963.
  9. The group did a session version of 'How Do You Do It' on 24 April 1973
  10. The group did a session version of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' on 24 April 1973
  11. The record went to number one for 5 weeks from 12 December 1963 to 16 January 1964.
  12. The singer did a session version of 'Little Children' on 24 April 1973
  13. A live version of the track recorded on 13th March 1971 at Leeds University.
  14. The song went to number one for 5 weeks between 16 December 1965 and 20 January 1966.
  15. A session version was broadcast on that date.
  16. A live version of the track was performed for the "Heroes & Villains" concert broadcast on that date.
  17. The song went to number one for 7 weeks between 06 December 1967 and 24 January 1968.
  18. A session version was broadcast on that date.
  19. The song was number one between 11 December 1968 and 01 January 1969 and also jumped up at the same position between 08 January 1969 and 15 January 1969.
  20. Peel appeared with Rod Stewart on the performance of this song on Top Of The Pops.
  21. The song was at number one between 21 December 1974 and 18 January 1975.
  22. The song was from a live concert from the Olympia introduced by Bob Harris. It also was a double A-side single with The First Cut Is The Deepest,which beat the Sex Pistols' controversial 'God Save The Queen' to the number one spot in 1977.
  23. This was the session version that was broadcast on that date.
  24. This was the session version that was broadcast on that date.
  25. The record spent 5 weeks at number one between 15 December 1979 and 19 January 1980.
  26. This live version went to under the Too Much Too Young - The Special A.K.A. Live! EP went to number one for 2 weeks in 1980.
  27. This was the session version that was broadcast.
  28. Number 1 for 2 weeks between 27 December 1980 and 10 January 1981.
  29. Peel fades this early, as he has an ulterior motive, to play the similar “War Canoe” by Rolf Harris.
  30. Went to number one for 5 weeks between 12 December 1981 and 16 January 1982.
  31. Number 1 for 5 weeks between 15 December 1984 and 19 January 1985.
  32. A session track that was broadcast.
  33. The song was produced for the England football team's 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign.
  34. The song was re-released due to the popularity of the Levi Jeans TV advert that used the track.
  35. The song was re-released due to the popularity of the Levi Jeans TV advert that used the track.
  36. Peel played the South Of Detroit Instrumental mix of the track.
  37. The song was re-released after the death of George Harrison in November 2001.