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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Elton John tops Radio 2 chart celebrating 100 singles to have sold over one million in UK

Elton John

Elton John's double A-side Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle In The Wind 97 has been announced as the UK's best-selling single to date, in a chart compiled especially for BBC Radio 2 by The Official Charts Company.

Elton John is just one of the many artists featured in the list, which charts the official best-selling singles in UK chart history. The chart also includes singles by The Beatles, Queen, Michael Jackson, Oasis and Wham! among others.

The top 100 chart, unveiled on Radio 2 on Bank Holiday Monday by Ken Bruce and Tony Blackburn, is based on sales data across all formats, from 45rpm singles through to downloads, covering the period 14 November 1952 through to 7 August 2010.

Elton's performance of Candle In The Wind at the funeral of the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, a unique version that he states he will never again perform in concert, prompted the song to appropriate iconic stature in music history. The Top 10 list places the charity single from 1984, Do They Know It's Christmas, at No. 2, and Queen's rock-opera masterpiece, Bohemian Rhapsody, at No. 3.

Unsurprisingly, The Beatles are a frequent entry in the chart: She Loves You is at No. 8, with I Want To Hold Your Hand and Can't Buy Me Love also featuring in the Top 30 bestsellers. Mull Of Kintyre/Girls' School by Paul McCartney's band, Wings, is ranked at No. 4, and John Lennon's Imagine, 21st.

Robson Green and Jerome Flynn's Unchained Melody and Candle In The Wind are the only Nineties offerings in the Top 10, which is dominated by the music of the Seventies. German disco quartet Boney M feature twice, with double A-side Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl In The Ring at No. 5, and Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord at No.10. The 1978 adaptation of musical Grease led to chart success for Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, with You're The One That I Want and Summer Nights among the Top 20 best-selling singles.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood's somewhat controversial 1983 single, Relax, is ranked seventh in the chart, and their follow-up, Two Tribes, is 20th.

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: "This chart reflects the diverse nature of the British music charts in recent decades, and demonstrates Radio 2's commitment to providing its audience with a wide variety of music across all programmes."

Phil Matcham, from The Official Charts Company, says: "It's easy to forget just how successful some of these tracks from the last 50-plus years have been. It's also interesting to see how downloading has influenced the chart. Though downloading may be the new way that music fans buy their singles, older tracks such as Dancing Queen, Stand & Deliver and Sugar Sugar have all climbed into this chart in recent months thanks to their continuing success as downloads. Classics such as these are still quietly selling tens of thousands each year."

The Top 20 are as follows:

1. Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle in the Wind 97 – Elton John (1997)
2. Do They Know It's Christmas? – Band Aid (1984)
3. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (1975)
4. Mull Of Kintyre/Girls' School – Wings (1977)
5. Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl In The Ring – Boney M (1978)
6. You're The One That I Want – Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (1978)
7. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1983)
8. She Loves You – The Beatles (1963)
9. Unchained Melody/(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs Of Dover – Robson Green and Jerome Flynn (1995)
10. Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord – Boney M (1978)
11. Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet (1994)
12. I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder (1984)
13. Anything Is Possible/Evergreen – Will Young (2002)
14. Barbie Girl – Aqua (1997)
15. I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles (1963)
16. Believe – Cher (1998)
17. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams (1991)
18. Last Christmas/Everything She Wants – Wham! (1984)
19. Summer Nights – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978)
20. Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)

Notes to Editors

Chart information quoted from this release must be credited to The Official Charts Company. The Official Charts Company (OCC) is a joint venture between record labels' body the BPI and ERA, the Entertainment Retailers Association. The OCC is responsible for the commissioning, marketing, distribution and management of the UK's industry standard music charts.

The Official Charts Company compiles its charts from sales information gathered across all key distribution (or entertainment) channels, including all major high street retail chains, independent stores, supermarkets, mail order internet retailers and digital music service providers. This market research sample equates to 99% of the total UK singles market

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