Back in 1981 it was considered an absolute travesty, that synthesizer band Ultravox never made the top spot with their classic track Vienna, and were beaten into second place by Joe Dolce’s novelty act ‘Shaddup you Face’. The popular quartet spent four weeks at number two with Vienna, which was considered to be one of the most contemporary pop sounds around at the time, but never made it to number one. So it must be with some pleasure that the band have now had Vienna voted the nations most favourite number two song, as the BBC Radio 2 poll and the Official Charts Company revealed today.
Ultravox frontman Midge Ure said winning the poll had “restored our faith in the idea that the public will always recognise the good in music”. He added: “We are extremely pleased and very humbled to have been given this honorary number one, especially knowing the outstanding records which were also in the running.”
Christmas favourite Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl was voted into second place. The 1987 hit was originally beaten to the top by the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of Elvis Presley hit Always On My Mind.
Other songs to feature in the top 10 include The Beatles’ Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever, which was kept off the top spot by Engelbert Humperdinck’s Release Me in 1967 and A-ha’s 1985 hit Take On Me, which was pipped to the post by The Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush.
The Who’s My Generation was 12th in the list, Wonderwall by Oasis finished at 13, Adele’s Rolling In The Deep was at 34 and Rocket Man by Sir Elton John was at 37.
The poll was launched to celebrate 60 years of the singles chart and a panel of experts, which included Radio 2’s Ken Bruce and Janice Long, Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale, Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot and 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, were on hand to help compile a shortlist from 941 singles which have made it to number two. It was then up to Radio 2 listeners to vote for their favourite number two.
“Ultravox’s Vienna has beaten off some truly great, classic tracks to claim the title of the UK public’s favourite number two single,” said Mr Talbot. “It is also probably the most apt winner, given the fact that it was kept from the chart summit by Joe Dolce’s Shaddup You Face, which has long been considered one of the biggest chart injustices of all time.”
To celebrate even further, the whole of the top 40 songs will be played by Tony Blackburn in his three-hour show, The Nation’s Favourite Number Two Single, from 14:00 GMT on Tuesday.
In the meantime, here is the Top Ten Number Two’s
1. Ultravox – Vienna, 1981 (beaten by Shaddup You Face – Joe Dolce)
2. The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York, 1987 (Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys)
3. Don McLean – American Pie, 1972 (Son Of My Father – Chicory Tip, Without You – Nilsson)
4. James – Sit Down, 1991 (The One And Only – Chesney Hawkes)
5. The Stranglers – Golden Brown, 1982 (Town Called Malice – The Jam)
6. The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset, 1967 (Silence Is Golden, The Tremeloes)
7. The Beatles – Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever, 1967 (Release Me, Engelbert Humperdinck)
8. Queen – We Are The Champions, 1977 (The Name Of The Game – Abba, Mull Of Kintyre/Girls’ School – Wings)
9. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows, 1966 (Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles)
10. A-ha – Take On Me, 1985 (The Power Of Love, Jennifer Rush)
Source: BBC News