• Rod Thomas

Week 3: Number Twos

Some of the songs that peaked at #2 on the chart that TRULY deserved more than being remembered as a number two.


Natalie Imbruglia - Torn

- The song that gets the most euphoric reaction any time I play it, anywhere I DJ. Universally adored, and truly when the UK heard *another* 'Neighbours' actor was releasing a song, NOBODY expected this. Yes, it's a cover, but the production and HER VOICE are utter pop perfection. Untouchable.


The Cardigans - Lovefool

- Originally stalling at #21 the re-release after being featured in 'Romeo & Juliet' incredibly nearly gave the Swedish darlings a #1 single ... if it wasn't for you pesky kids!! Ultra cool slice of Swedish pop with Nina's effortless and sassy vocals. Fool me!


Girls Aloud - No Good Advice / The Show

- Infinitely cooler than the debut #1 'Sound Of The Underground', I couldn't believe that this didn't make #1. Super cool follow-up track by what became an almost unstoppable girl group. I'm also tying this with 'The Show' because it's such a FANTASTIC pop song that is bonkers and genius.


Pulp - Common People

- This was EVERYWHERE and truly defines living in the UK better than any book or film. Everyone knew the words. Everyone knew Jarvis, and finally a weirdo bunch of music geniuses from oop North sold MILLIONS of records by poking fun at poshos playing poor. Everything about it is flawless.


George Michael - Outside

- The most spine-shatteringly brilliant comeback from a public scandal I can think of. The video is a glorious dildo in the face to the police arrest, only bettered by the song's super sharp lyrics, gorgeous vocal delivery and timeless production. I cannot believe how great this is, to this day.


Madonna - Ray Of Light

- I'll ALMOST forgive this one as 'Frozen' WAS #1, but I mean come on! This track is such a banger, the video was so much fun, and EVERYONE THOUGHT IT WAS ABOUT ANNA FRIEL!!


Diana Ross - Upside Down

- SO close, Diana. Crazy to think that not all songs as omnipresent in modern culture and DJ sets, referenced by almost everyone, didn't actually become a #1 single. Still gets its dues in being played across the world, but still ... STILL.


Erasure - Sometimes

- You guys, Erasure NEVER had a self-penned #1 single and that is a true crime. This song launched them properly as mass-market pop stars, and rightfully so. It's an incredible moment for an unlikely duo who won the UK's hearts with Vince's quirky and brilliant production and Andy's other-worldly vocal abilities.


Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield - What Have I Done To Deserve This?

- Well, what DID they do? Not shy of a #1 single, THIS duo definitely deserved a #1 spot for this glorious use of faded popstar returning her to a spotlight. If you don't know the albums they produced for Dusty and Liza, then it's no surprise this missed #1. But please investigate.


Annie Lennox - No More "I Love You's"

- There has never been a more perfect vocal delivery in all time.


Kylie Minogue - Confide In Me

- Back with an orchestral bang, nobody expected Kylie to be purring in a middle 8 over a c*nty drum loop with strings aching and swirling like a crazy beautiful scene in a weird film noir. But she did it. And it should have been #1. It should still be #1.


Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart

- Apparently she initially didn't want to record this. CAN YOU IMAGINE. Diane Warren struck gold once more with this insane OTT ballad. "Un-cry these tears" is a genius line, growled by one of pop's BEST vocalists. Also props to Diana for helping us learn how to dramatically invert verbs for pop effect.


Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You

- WHY. WASN'T. THIS. NUMBER. ONE. There is still time.


Corona - The Rhythm Of The Night

- What more did you need than a gorgeous Brazilian model with 23 foot long braids spinning in front of a waltzer in a fairground to make you by this song?? Total rip off of Say When's 'Save Me' song [link] but still it's one of the 90s most iconic songs. Take me to turn to!


Real McCoy - Another Night

- Who was MC Sar? Why did he disappear? Also I remember a second mysterious girl appearing in the group on Top Of The Pops when they performed one of the worst live vocals I've ever seen. Patsy (in the video) was actually miming to Vanessa (new girl)'s vocals .. or something like that, because the 90s. Anyway. Song should have been #1.


Haddaway - What Is Love

- Left without comment.


Britney Spears - Piece Of Me

- Insanely cool pop song from Britney at a very weird point in time / her life that really should have been #1. But like, REALLY should have been.


Wham! - Everything She Wants / Last Christmas

- It BLOWS MY MIND (ft. Gwen Stefani) that this song, EVEN BACKED WITH LAST CHRISTMAS did not make UK #1. It's one of the most perfect pop songs even if it does potentially steal THIS Imagination song [link]. And "so now you tell me that you're having a baby" was sneakily interpolated in Spice Girls' 'Say You'll Be There' "so now you tell me that you've fallen in love". Boop!


Imagination - Just An Illusion

- Speaking of Imagination ... sampled perfectly on Mariah Carey's 'Get Your Number', this song was SO close to being #1 in the UK with a slice of disco / funk that just drips with cool. So good.


Janet Jackson - That's The Way Love Goes.

- Janet Jackson has never had a UK #1 single. Process that.





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"Completely irresistible" - The Guardian    'CRITICS PICK' - Time Out    "Bubbling Under Artist" - Billboard    "Spectacular" - Popjustice    "Cinematic glorious euphoria" - DJ Times Magazine

"Song Of The Week" - USA Today    "**** - positively euphoric" - Q

"A songwriter of extraordinary dexterity" - Sunday Times Culture

  "The boy Robyn in all but name" - NME