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9 songs that were scandalously robbed of the No1 spot

And the tracks that stood in their way.

CHART SUCCESS ISN’T something we put much stock in since downloads and streaming became common, but back in the old days that UK Number One spot meant everything.

Especially when it came to watching Top Of The Pops: Sitting through 16 weeks of Bryan Adams promising that everything he’d do, he’d do for you in 1991 was some experience.

Adams’ 16-week reign kept quite a few artists from achieving chart success, but he isn’t the only offender.

Here are nine ridiculously popular tunes that never made the top spot, and the singles that stood in the way of their glory:

1. Angels – Robbie Williams

It may be his biggest-selling UK single to date but Robbie Williams’ iconic track only ever made it to number four in the UK charts and number two in Ireland.

Source: robbiewilliamsvevo/YouTube

Robbie just didn’t have the power to compete with Teletubbies say “Eh-Oh!”, which went straight in at number one on December 7th 1997, while Williams entered the chart at number seven.

Source: BBC

2. Common People – Pulp

There’s no doubt that Common People was one of the most popular singles ever released by Pulp so it’s rather surprising to discover that it didn’t go straight in at number one on June 3rd 1995.

Source: PulpVEVO/YouTube

The iconic tune played second fiddle to Soldier Soldier stars Robson Green & Jerome Flynn’s take on Unchained Melody, which spent seven weeks in poll position.

Source: YouTube

3. Wonderwall – Oasis

Widely considered as one of the band’s most popular songs, Wonderwall peaked at number two on November 11th 1995.

Source: Oasis/YouTube

Robson and Jerome struck again, sitting pretty at number one with double release I Believe/Up On The Roof. And yes, that’s Bronn from Game of Thrones on the left.

Source: Virginmedia

4. Torn - Natalie Imbruglia

The soundtrack to many an angsty teenage break up, Natalie Imbruglia’s version of Torn (which was originally sung by American band Ednaswap) still holds a special place in many hearts.

Source: natalieimbrugliaVEVO/YouTube

Alas, the Aussie singer quite simply couldn’t knock Aqua’s Barbie Girl from its plastic pedestal, where it held court for a full four weeks in October 1997.

Source: Nocookie

5. Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

You’d think John, Paul, George and Ringo would have no trouble storming to the top of the charts but in February of 1967 one man stood in their way.

Source: Beatles4everHD/YouTube

Engelbert ‘The Hump’ Humperdinck and Please Release Me prevented Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever from nabbing another number one for the Fab Four.

Source: YouTube

6. Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake

It may have won him a Grammy Award and been listed as one of Rolling Stone’s Top 20 Songs of the 2000s but Justin’s little ditty about his relationship with Britney couldn’t make it to the top of the charts on this side of the Atlantic.

Source: justintimberlakeVEVO/YouTube

We were all simply too enthralled by T.A.T.U’s All The Things She Said to deny the Russians another week at Number One. Sorry JT.

Source: YouTube

7. Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child

Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle could well and truly handle this 2001 tune, which was so popular that they ended up adding the term to the Oxford English Dictionary three years after its release.

Source: DestinysChildVEVO/YouTube

However, their bootylicious offering was ultimately bested by none other than Atomic Kitten, who stormed to the top of the charts with their cover of The Bangles’ Eternal Flame. Shockin’.

Source: YouTube

8. The Jean Genie – David Bowie

He may be one of the most revered figures in the music world but even David Bowie has suffered his fair share of chart injustice and Jean Genie’s failure to make it to number one is the prime example.

Source: emimusic/YouTube

The track was beaten down by little Jimmy Osmond and his Long Haired Lover from Liverpool, which stayed at number one for five weeks in 1972.

Source: Screengrab via YouTube

9. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty McColl

You’d surely think this Irish (and international) Christmas classic MUST have topped the charts in December 1987 but despite working its way up in just in time for Christmas, the beloved ditty just couldn’t do it.

Source: RhinoUK/YouTube

Music lovers were just far too impressed with The Pet Shop Boys’ take on Always On My Mind. There was some seriously festive synth though, in fairness.

Source: Screengrab via YouTube

More: Are these the most hated number one songs in Irish history?>

Read: One-hit wonders of the noughties: A definitive ranking from worst to best>

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