Having a number 1 single is every musician’s dream. We tend to remember all the classics that dominated the charts, but what about those rarer nightmare tracks that haunt you to this day? Examples clearly show that earning the ‘UK number 1’ accolade is not necessarily an indication that your music is good, especially these days. Some might argue that the charts as a whole are dead now, and I think we all agree that they have been pretty dire for some time. Personally, I blame the death of ‘Top Of The Pops’. But even during the UK charts’ heyday, there were some real stinkers that somehow made it to the top spot. So, I’ve put together this list of my top 6 all-time worst UK number 1 singles. First on the hit list is …
Benny Hill – “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (1971)
I decided to leave this one off the list because I have such a soft spot for this song. I know, I know… But we’re all allowed one cheesy guilty pleasure, right?
And besides, David Cameron chose this for his “Desert Island Discs” in 2006, so it can’t be all that bad, can it?
Bob The Builder – “Can We Fix It?” (2000)
Not only did “Can We Fix It?” claim the Christmas Number One spot in the year 2000, but it also went on to become the year’s biggest-selling single.
Maybe we can blame the millennium bug?
Sam and Mark – “With A Little Help From My Friends” (2004)
The Pop Idol duo that we’ve probably all forgotten by now. However this duo still left their mark in the music history books by releasing this incredibly lacklustre attempt at covering a Beatles classic.
Did you know that “With A Little Help From My Friends” has been covered more than 50 times. And Sam and Mark’s version was by far the worst (unofficially).
3 Of A Kind – “Babycakes” (2004)
I actually loved this song when I was a kid. But looking back at it now, it just wasn’t very good at all. It kept The Libertines’ “Can’t Stand Me Now” off the top spot, which is more than a good enough reason for this hit to be included on this list.
Surprisingly, 3 Of A Kind never even attempted to follow up this hit, and ‘Babycakes’ was the only single they ever released. Talk about one hit wonder!
PSY – “Gangnam Style” (2012)
We all know this one. Quite how it became such a global sensation, I’m not sure. Perhaps it was simply released at the right time during the right era. Nevertheless, this song was simply bad. Even to this day the phrase “Oppa Gangnam Style” gives me nightmares. Gangnam Style’s impact was phenomenal. Just look at some of the records it broke:
• Most liked video on YouTube;
• First K-pop song to top the UK Singles Chart;
• First video in Internet history to be viewed more than two billion times.
Chico – “It’s Chico time” (2006)
Over to The X factor now for our next entry on this list. It was no surprise to see that many of the songs classified as ‘worst number 1 hits’ throughout the Internet are by previous X factor contestants.
However, it is Chico that gets the nod. If you can’t remember how this song goes, please don’t remind yourself. Avoid re-listening to this at all costs, because you’ll have the “pleasure” of having this stinker running round your head all week.
The Firm – “Star Trekkin’” (1987)
I bet you were waiting for this one! The classic 80’s comedy song that seemed to capture the nation’s hearts. Well, it certainly annoyed the hell out of everyone while climbing all the way to the top where it stayed for 2 weeks.
I loved this song as teenager. I remember discovering it on some long-forgotten music channel. Quite fittingly, it was mentioned during a programme about the worst 20 number 1 hits of all time. Spot on, isn’t it?
So, there we have it. I hope that’s brought back some good memories. And if you do decide to re-listen the ones you haven’t heard in a while, be prepared to have them stuck in your head for the weeks to come.
Are there are songs that I missed off the list? Quite possibly. But I’ll leave that for you to decide.