Classic anthem overtakes Wonderwall as biggest song never to hit number 1


The Killers’ Mr Brightside has overtaken Oasis’s Wonderwall to become the biggest single to have never reached number one in the UK.

The crowd-pleasing classic of student nights and cover bands only peaked at number 10 – but has remained a popular earworm for years.

Two decades after its first release, it’s racked up 1.066m in physical/download sales and more than 530 million streams in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company (OCC).

It’s also spent nearly eight years continuously inside the UK’s top 100 – the most of any song ever.

And when combined streams and physical sales are totted up, it’s the third-biggest song of all time in the UK, says the OCC.

The defiant, upbeat anthem about coming back from heartbreak was first released in 2003 with just 500 CDs released through indie label Lizard King.

But when Somebody Told Me hit number three the following year, Mr Brightside got a new lease of life and reached number 10 in the singles’ chart.

“It’s funny, I almost don’t feel so much of a part of it anymore,” frontman Brandon Flowers told the OCC.

“It’s just this thing that exists in the world, and it’s amazing that I had something to do with it, but I almost feel a little bit removed from it because it’s so big.”

Brandon Flowers said he almost doesn't feel part of the song anymore such is its success. Pic: Reuters
Brandon Flowers said he almost doesn’t feel part of the song anymore such is its success. Pic: Reuters

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Mr Brightside is from the Las Vegas band’s debut Hot Fuss, one of the biggest rock albums of the 2000s, and one which established them as festival favourites in the UK.

The band are touring again this summer, playing 16 arena shows, including six nights at the O2 in London and four at the beleaguered Co-op Live in Manchester.

After Mr Brightside, the other biggest songs never to have hit number one in the UK are:

2. Wonderwall (Oasis)
3. All Of Me (John Legend)
4. Take Me To Church (Hozier)
5. Fairytale Of New York (The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl)

The biggest selling single of all time in the UK charts, in terms of physical sales and downloads (excluding streams) is Elton John’s reworked Candle In The Wind/Something About The Way double A-side from 1997, which was released after the death of Princess Diana.

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