Trivia Series: U.K. chart-topping singles

The Beatles had 17 U.K. chart-topping singles reported by “Record Retailer.” Only 5 of the group’s 22 singles released in the U.K. during the sixties failing to hit number one. This series of questions will test your knowledge of what Beatles songs did not top the charts and what songs were number one in the U.K. at the time the Beatles failed to do so.

What was the Beatles last U.K. single issued while the group was still officially together and what song stopped it from topping the charts?

The last of the Beatles 22 U.K. singles issued from 1962 – 1970 was “Let It Be,” which was released in March, 1970. Although “The Long And Winding Road” was a number one hit in the U.S. in June 1970, the song was not issued as a single in the U.K. “Let It Be” entered the “Record Retailer” chart on March 14, 1970, at number two, blocked from the top by “Wand’rin’ Star” by Lee Marvin from the film “Paint Your Wagon.”  To learn how the other U.K. music magazines charted “Let It Be” and which America soul singer had initially planned on releasing her cover version of “Let It Be” at the same time as the Beatles single, LEARN MORE on pages 109-110 of Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records

In the U.K., what Beatles single, pulled from “Abbey Road” five weeks after the album’s release, stalled at number four on the “Record Retailer” chart and what song topped the chart that week?

The “Something” c/w “Come Together” single stalled at number four on the November 23, 1969, “Record Retailer” chart. The number one song that week was “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies. To learn which songs held down the second and third spots on the chart that week, LEARN MORE on page 107 of Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records

What Beatles single topped the “Melody Maker,” “Disc,” “New Musical Express” and BBC charts, but stalled at number two on the “Record Retailer” chart and what song blocked it from the number one position?

The Beatles second single, “Please Please Me,” was reported at number one on every U.K. chart except the one published by “Record Retailer.” Because it failed to hit number one on either the “Record Retailer” chart in the U.K. or the “Billboard Hot 100” in the U.S., “Please Please Me” was not included on the highly successful collection “Beatles 1,” which featured all of the Beatles singles to top the charts in either the U.K. or U.S. The song that kept the Beatles from topping the March 2, 1963, “Record Retailer” chart was “Wayward Wind” by Frank Ifield. To see how many copies of “Please Please Me” were sold in 1963, LEARN MORE on page 13 of Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records

The Beatles first U.K. single peaked at number 17 on the “Record Retailer” singles chart. What was the Beatles debut single and what song was at number one when the group’s first disc first reached number 17?

The Beatles debut single was “Love Me Do,” which first peaked at number 17 on December 27, 1962. That week the number one song was “Return To Sender” by Elvis Presley. To see what other songs were in the top five in the U.K. at that time, as well as how “Love Me Do” fared on the “Merseyside Tops” chart prepared by “Mersey Beat” magazine, LEARN MORE on pages 3-4 of Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records

After 11 straight number-one hit singles reported by “Record Retailer,” what Beatles single failed to top the U.K. charts and what song blocked it from the number one spot?

What many people consider to be the Beatles finest single, “Strawberry Fields Forever” c/w “Penny Lane,” stalled at number two on the March 2, 9 and 16, 1967, “Record Retailer” charts. The song that prevented this classic pairing from reaching number one was “Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck. For more details about the battle for number one between the Beatles and Engelbert and how it was reported by U.K. music magazines, LEARN MORE on page 68 of Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records

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