Golden oldies still shine out in pop survey

By David Millward, The Telegraph
09 November 2002

Pop stars from the Sixties triumphed over the chart-toppers of today in a survey of the best number one singles to mark the 50th anniversary of the British hit parade.

More than 188,000 fans who took part in the poll snubbed legions of contemporary stars from boy bands to rap artists, preferring the golden age of the Beatles, Kinks, Elvis Presley and Rolling Stones.

Only four tracks from the past decade made it into the top 100. And one of those was the revamped Elvis song A Little Less Conversation. The other recent tracks were Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis and U2’s Beautiful Day.

However, the voters’ selections are perhaps not surprising given that Radio 2 listeners and people visiting the Friends Reunited website were encouraged to take part.

While the Beatles took 14 of the 100 places, they missed out on the top position, which went to Queen’s mid-1970s hit Bohemian Rhapsody.

Second place went to John Lennon’s Imagine.

Robbie Williams, despite signing one of the most lucrative contracts in recording history, failed to gain a single place. The Spice Girls and Westlife were also ignored.

With George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord in fifth and Hey Jude third, the Beatles – or individual Beatles – claimed three of the first five slots.

Simon and Garfunkel, whose Bridge Over Troubled Water was in fourth place, were the top-rated overseas stars.

Darren Haynes, of the Official UK Charts Company, said: “This list of the nation’s favourite songs once again shows the enduring appeal of the pop classics.”