High-Fives – UK Chart #1 Singles : Part 1

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve come up with an ingenious plan. We’re calling it ‘High 5’s’ –  it’s a look at how things have changed during the 25 years that we’ve been in business – in five bite-sized chunks. From music to politics, technology to festivals, events, and celebrations – it’s a look back at what’s been happening during the time that we’ve been bringing the capital’s very best value and service in self storage to you lovely Londoners. To kick it all off, you’ll need to don your Headphones and open your favourite streaming app, because it’s time for the ABC Selfstore 25th Anniversary chart run-down… 

Music. Aside from money, some say it’s what makes the world go round. But can you remember the biggest selling record of 1993? Or the which Children’s character aced the Millennium Christmas number one to outsell any other record that year? We’re rooting out the ear-worms that our self storage customers would no doubt have been humming, whistling or even singing – as they moved their stuff in and out of storage. And, as the song goes, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Which in our case is 1993.

1993 – It wasn’t the most spectacular year for record sales. This best selling single shifted 720,000 copies. The song was “I would do anything for Love (but I won’t do that)”. Penned by Jim Steinman and performed by Mr Meatloaf – no one’s ever quite explained what ‘that’ actually is. So we best leave that to individual interpretation.

1994 – It was the year that Hugh Grant became a heart-throb and household name for his performance in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’  That film also spawned a pop-hit for Scottish heartthrobs Wet Wet Wet with Love is All Around. In one of those rare occasions where a Cover might arguably be better than the original (It was an original for  The Troggs in 1967).  The Wet Wet Wet version spent 15 weeks at the top spot – and sold over a million more copies than Meatloaf’s best seller the previous year.

1995 – Some regarded them simply as Actors with surnames for Christian names, but Robson and Jerome (messers Green and Flynn) were flying high as the lead characters on TV in a blockbuster drama called Soldier Soldier. In a heart-wrenching scene, the duo performed Unchained Melody as characters Paddy and Dave, during the scene the latter’s wife, Donna, was busy cheating on him… they sold over 1.8million copies and launched a massively successful singing career as a duo.

1996 –  Saying ‘One Time’ in your best rapper voice was a craze for a short while in 1996. It was pretty much down to the Fugees version of Killing Me Softly, which coupled Lauryn Hill’s spectacular voice with Pras Michel and Wyclef Jean’s uber cool. With sales of 1.36 million, Killing Me Softly has a link to the aforementioned Hugh Grant – in the film About a Boy – where the track was a significant part of the story.

1997 – The single that grabbed the top spot in 1997 was a sad occasion – the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales. His 1980s hit Candle in the Wind (originally written about Marilyn Monroe) was rewritten and performed during the funeral service at Westminster Abbey. Released as a single shortly after (with proceeds going to the Princess’ Charities) it shot to number one and became the second biggest selling UK single of all time – shifting 4.7million copies. Yes. You read that right. 4.7million. Hold on to your hankies, because it’s still a tear jerker…

If you’re really sharp-eared, you might have spotted something unusual about that first collection of five… three were covers and one was a reworking of an earlier song. Which means only one of the best selling songs (and the one that sold the least copies) was an original tune. You’ll have to wait for part 2 to see that’s a trend – or the original song-writing makes a come-back.