Your definitive general election number ones playlist

Your definitive general election number ones playlist

Art Garfunkel

Every number one on voting day since records began

We all need something to calm us down what with the political turmoil whirling around us while we try to get on with life as though everything's not changing beyond all recognition. Why not listen to a soothing playlist of every single number one since records began for every single corresponding general election? The pop charts didn't actually start until 1952, so we'll never know who the British public would rocket to top of the charts when the likes of Gladstone and Peel were head of the nation. We've also compiled all the tunes into a Spotify playlist at the end of the article. You're welcome...

Date: 26 May 1955
Who won: Sir Anthony Eden (Conservative)
Number one: Tony Bennett – 'Stranger in Paradise'
'Stranger in Paradise' is originally from the musical Kismet, but Tony's version is the most well-known one. He revisited it in 2011 with Andrea Bocelli for Bennett's Duets II album, making it even classier than it already was.

Date: 8 Oct 1959
Who won: Harold Macmillan (Conservative)
Number one: Craig Douglas – 'Only Sixteen'
Douglas was only 18 when he sang this love song to a 16 year old, which is far less creepier than it could have been. A Sam Cooke song, this version actually sold more in the UK than the original. Dr Hook also took the song to number 6 in the charts in 1976.

Date: 15 Oct 1964
Who won: Harold Wilson (Labour)
Number one: Roy Orbison – 'Oh, Pretty Woman'
A classic, even though it'll always remind you of the Gere/Roberts film. Rap group 2 Live Crew released a parody version of the song for their As Clean as They Wanna Be album, which got them thoroughly sued by Orbison's publishers, but, after going all the way to the Supreme Court, the court ruled in 2 Live Crew's favour. The case is considered a seminal fair use decision case.

Date: 31 Mar 1966
Who won: Harold Wilson (Labour)
Number one: The Walker Brothers – 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore'
A madly popular song, recorded by Frankie Valli originally, but covered by Cher, Keane, Neil Young and Robson & Jerome who took it back to number one as part of their self-titled debut album.

Date: 18 Jun 1970
Who won: Edward Heath (Conservative)
Number one: Mungo Jerry – 'In the Summertime'
Lead singer Ray Dorset said the song took ten minutes to record on a break from his job working in a lab for Timex. Not bad for a song that reached number 1 in 19 different countries.

Date: 28 Feb 1974
Who won: Harold Wilson (Labour)
Number one: Suzi Quatro – 'Devil Gate Drive'
Quatro's second and final number one solo single, Devil Gate Drive – the other was 'Can the Can' in 1973.

Date: 10 Oct 1974
Who won: Harold Wilson (Labour)
Number one: Carl Douglas – 'Kung Fu Fighting'
Carl Douglas' original version cashed in on the growing craze for martial art movies; the dance remix by Bus Stop in 1998 was just for laughs.

Date: 3 May 1979
Who won: Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
Number one: Art Garfunkel – 'Bright Eyes'
'Bright Eyes' is from Watership Down, the deceptively harrowing kids' movie, in which helpless creatures get completely fucked up. It's almost a metaphor, really.

Date: 9 June 1983
Who won: Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
Number one: The Police – 'Every Breath You Take'
The world's most stalkerish song is incredibly popular at weddings, despite its themes of jealousy and surveillance of a lost lover. Sting also write 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' about a teacher lusting over a student and starting an affair. Fun fact: Sting was once a teacher.

Date: 11 Jun 1987
Who won: Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
Number one: Whitney Houston – 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)'
A bit of an award-winner, this one: Favourite Pop/Rock Single (American Music Awards); Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (Grammys); Best Music Video (Soul Train Music Awards); Best Music Video (Garden State Music Awards); and Britain's fifth favourite 1980s number one, as voted for by the British public. Can't win 'em all.

Date: 9 Apr 1992
Who won: John Major (Conservative)
Number one: Shakespear's Sister – 'Stay'
Despite the misspelling of 'Shakespeare', the band name is a multi-faceted one: it's taken from the Smiths' song 'Shakespeare's Sister' which was, in turn, a reference to Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. It was the group's only number one, but stayed up there for eight weeks making it, at the time, the longest UK number one for any UK all-female band.

Date: 1 May 1997
Who won: Tony Blair (Labour)
Number one: R Kelly – 'I Believe I Can Fly'
It all seemed so hopeful, didn't it? Then it turned out R Kelly had illegally married an underage Aaliyah, filmed himself peeing on an underage girl, and written the frankly batshit Trapped in the Closet. As for Tony Blair …

Date: 7 Jun 2001
Who won: Tony Blair (Labour)
Number one: DJ Pied Piper – 'Do You Really Like It?'
We're lovin' it, lovin' it, lovin' it. We're lovin' it like that.

Date: 5 May 2005
Who won: Tony Blair (Labour)
Number one: Tony Christie ft Peter Kay – 'Is This the Way to Amarillo?'
Jimmy Savile's involved in the larking around in the video for this one, so that's pretty much that.

Date: 6 May 2010
Who won: David Cameron (Conservative; formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats)
Number one: Diana Vickers – 'Once'
Vickers' only number one came about after she'd reached the finals of The X Factor, and we pretty much never heard of her again. The X Factor curse carefully planned trajectory, we suppose.

Date: 7 May 2015
Who won: David Cameron
Number one: Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth – 'See You Again'
Written for Furious 7 as a tribute to Paul Walker, 'See You Again' became the first hip hop song to reach 2 billion views on YouTube, and if it hadn't been for that pesky 'Gangnam Style', it would have been the first video to achieve this.

The UK General Election takes place Thu 8 Jun, and whether you download or stream, make sure you cast your vote.

General Election Bangers

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