A lot of things happened in 2006, but which UK Singles were the best-sellers (see also our previous blog about the 10 best-selling UK albums)? We make a run down of the list here and find out how many copies some of these tunes sold. Oh the memories!
1. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
Crazy is the debut single by Gnarls Barkley, a collaboration between Danger Mouse and CeeLo Green, taken from their 2006 debut album St. Elsewhere. The song remained at the top of the British charts for nine weeks. The band and their record company later decided to remove the single from stores in the country so people would “remember the song fondly and not get sick of it.” In spite of this deletion, the song became one of the best-selling UK singles of 2006.
2. Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This
The song was recorded by British singer Leona Lewis, the winner of series 3 of The X Factor. The single was rush-released on Wednesday, December 20, 2006. This is unusual as most new singles are released on a Monday to gain maximum sales for the UK Singles Chart the following Sunday. The song was available for download after she was announced winner of The X Factor. Lewis’ version of the song broke a world record when it was downloaded 50,000 times within 30 minutes of release.
3. Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
Hips Don’t Lie was released for the reissue of Shakira’s seventh studio album, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2. The single broke the record for the most radio plays in a week and the fastest selling digital download in the US. According to Nielsen, “Hips Don’t Lie” was the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history; it was played 9,637 times. Additionally, according to Yahoo!, her song “Hips Don’t Lie” is the best-selling single of the last decade.
4. Scissor Sisters – I Don’t feel Like Dancing
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ was written by Jake Shears, Scott Hoffman, and Elton John, who provides piano for the song. It was certified Platinum by the BPI in 2014.
5. Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in my Hair)
I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) is the debut single by Sandi Thom. The single sold 39,797 copies in the week ending 4 June 2006, enough to reach number one, knocking Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” off the top spot. Thom has said on her website that, she wrote the song after being robbed of her mobile phone and other belongings one evening, leaving her completely lost and without any way of contacting her family, friends, or the bank.
6. Infernal – From Paris to Berlin
From Paris to Berlin is Infernal’s signature song as this was the first that charted in many countries throughout Europe and Australia in 2005 and 2006. Ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the song had been re-recorded for fans in England. The lyrics celebrated the England football squad with the title “From London to Berlin”. However, the song was withdrawn from radio airplay and TV following England’s knockout from the World Cup.
7. Nelly Furtado – Maneater
The song’s musical style and production were inspired by pop arrangements from the 1980s by bands such as Eurythmics and Hall & Oates. Furtado stated that Hall & Oates’ song of the same name was an influence during the writing and recording of the song, it is now one of her most popular UK singles. Maneater topped the singles charts in the United Kingdom, reaching the top ten across much of Europe, and the top five in Australia as well as becoming a club hit in North America.
8. Take That – Patience
Patience was the first single from their comeback album, Beautiful World. The single peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart, and also topped of the charts in Germany, Spain and Switzerland, as well as peaking with the top ten of the charts in Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Austria and Sweden.
9. Rihanna – SOS
SOS was the lead single from Rihanna’s album A Girl Like Me. It contains a sample of Tainted Love, written by Ed Cobb in 1965, and popularised by synthpop duo Soft Cell in 1981. SOS rose to number two in the UK charts, but was held off of the number one position by Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.
10. Justin Timberlake – SexyBack
Timberlake described the song as musicians David Bowie and David Byrne “covering” James Brown’s 1970 song Sex Machine. The track features Timbaland on backing vocals, while Timberlake’s voice is distorted. SexyBack became Timberlake’s first single to reach number one in the United Kingdom.