Ultravox’s Vienna voted Britain’s favourite number two single

The 80s hit beat The Pogues and Don McLean to be named the best song never to go to number one

Vienna by Ultravox has been voted the greatest ever single to miss out on a number one in the UK.


To mark the 60th anniversary of the UK singles chart last year, BBC Radio 2 and the Official Charts Company launched a poll to find the greatest single to peak at number two.

When it was released in 1981 the musical masterpiece spent four weeks at number two but was kept away from the top spot by Joe Dolce’s novelty track Shaddup You Face.

And now, 22 years later, the new wave rock band have been given an “honorary number one.”

Ultravox frontman Midge Ure revealed the band are “extremely pleased and very humbled” by the result and said the award has “restored our faith in the idea that the public will always recogise the good in music.”

Christmas favourite Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl came second while voters named Don McLean’s American Pie as the third greatest number two single.

Classic tracks such as A-ha’s Take On Me, The Beach Boy’s God Only Knows, The Kink’s Waterloo Sunset and The Beatle’s Penny Lane also featured in the nation’s top 10 number twos.

The winner was chosen from a shortlist of 941 singles compiled by Radio 2 DJs Ken Bruce and Janice Long, Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale and 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, as well as the Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot.

Martin Talbot said of the winning track: “Ultravox’s Vienna has beaten off some truly great, classic tracks to claim the title of the UK public’s favourite number two single. It is also probably the most apt winner, given the fact that it was kept from the chart summit by Joe Dolce’s Shaddup You Face, which has long been considered one of the biggest chart injustices of all time.”

Listen to the nation’s favourite number two single now: