1996 in British music

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1990s in music in the UK
Number-one singles
Number-one albums
Best-selling singles
Best-selling albums
Summaries and charts
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
1989 2000
Top 10 singles
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
1989 2000

This is a summary of 1996 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Summary[edit]

This year saw the start of an increase in the number of number 1 singles. 24 hit the top spot this year, the highest since 1980, which had an equal number.

The first number 1 single of the year was "Jesus to a Child", George Michael's first solo #1 for 10 years. This was followed by Babylon Zoo's "Spaceman", which had been used in an advert for Levi's. The single was quite different from the version used in the advert, which had been sped up and re-arranged. It stayed at #1 for five weeks, sold over a million copies, and Jas Mann, the man behind Babylon Zoo, became the first solo male to make their chart debut at number 1.

After five years, the boy band Take That announced that they were splitting up, resulting in such distress for their many fans that a telephone helpline had to be set up. Their final number 1 came in March, a cover of the Bee Gees song "How Deep Is Your Love". Several of the members went on to start a solo career, with Gary Barlow the first to hit #1 with "Forever Love" in July. However, it would be Robbie Williams who would go on to score the most success as a solo artist.

After George Michael scored another number 1 with "Fastlove" in April, Gina G reached the top spot with "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" in May. This song was the UK's entry to the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest, and originally reached #6 when it was released at the beginning of April. It hovered around the top 5 for the next few weeks, before moving up to 1 in the week of the contest. Although it failed to win, it still became the first Eurovision song to hit #1 since Nicole's "A Little Peace", which won the contest in 1982.

The next number 1 was also influenced by media events: "Three Lions", released by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and the band The Lightning Seeds, was the official song of the 1996 European Football Championship (Euro '96), which was being held in England. A rewritten version of the song ("Three Lions '98") would reach number 1 two years later, coinciding with the Football World Cup 1998 (France '98).

The Fugees had the biggest selling single of the year, with a cover of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song". It sold over a million copies.

However, by far the most successful act of the year was the Spice Girls, who kickstarted their career with three number 1 singles - the million-selling "Wannabe" in July, which was one of the longest No 1 stints by any girl group (7 weeks); (Shakespears Sister's "Stay" is the longest girl group No 1, with 8 weeks), and remains the biggest-selling single by a girl group; "Say You'll Be There" in October; and "2 Become 1" in December, also a million seller, and the year's Christmas number one single.

Oasis smashed the record for most weeks in the singles chart (previously held by Adam and the Ants in 1981) with 134 weeks, thanks to mass waves of re-entries of songs from their back catalogue throughout the year.

1996 is also grimly notable for having the drummers of two popular bands, Mathew Fletcher of Heavenly, on 14 June, and Chris Acland of Lush, on 17 October, commit suicide. Lush had at the time been in the final stages of planning an American tour, which his devastated bandmates cancelled; they then disbanded.

Prolific classical composer Peter Maxwell Davies produced the tenth of his Strathclyde Concertos, an orchestral work which was first performed in Glasgow in October by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, under the composer's baton. In June, his new opera, The Doctor of Myddfai, was premièred in Cardiff. Other British composers who produced new works were Michael Berkeley (Viola Concerto) and John Tavener (Innocence). Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical, Whistle Down the Wind opened in Washington D.C. in December, to poor reviews, but its score would go on to provide Boyzone with one of the best-selling singles of the decade in the form of "No Matter What"; the show did not appear in the West End until 1998.

Events[edit]

Number-one singles[edit]

Issue Date Song Artist(s) Sales
7 January "Earth Song" Michael Jackson 80,000
14 January "Jesus to a Child" George Michael 110,000
21 January "Spaceman" Babylon Zoo 418,000
28 January 204,000
4 February 128,000
11 February 80,000
18 February 63,000
25 February "Don't Look Back in Anger" Oasis 250,000
3 March "How Deep Is Your Love" Take That 257,000
10 March 120,000
17 March 90,000
24 March "Firestarter" The Prodigy 119,000
31 March 80,000
7 April 75,000
14 April "Return of the Mack" Mark Morrison 90,000
21 April 90,000
28 April "Fastlove" George Michael 111,000
5 May 75,000
12 May 55,000
19 May "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" Gina G 75,000
26 May "Three Lions" Baddiel & Skinner and The Lightning Seeds 110,000
2 June "Killing Me Softly" The Fugees 157,000
9 June 195,000
16 June 173,000
23 June 160,000
30 June "Three Lions" Baddiel & Skinner and The Lightning Seeds 140,000
7 July "Killing Me Softly" The Fugees 103,000
14 July "Forever Love" Gary Barlow 109,000
21 July "Wannabe" Spice Girls 108,000
28 July 154,000
4 August 150,000
11 August 145,000
18 August 125,000
25 August 110,000
1 September 90,000
8 September "Flava" Peter Andre 129,000
15 September "Ready or Not" The Fugees 72,000
22 September 75,000
29 September "Breakfast At Tiffany's" Deep Blue Something 85,000
6 October "Setting Sun" The Chemical Brothers 99,000
13 October "Words" Boyzone 232,000
20 October "Say You'll Be There" Spice Girls 349,000
27 October 163,000
3 November "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted /
Saturday Night At the Movies /
You'll Never Walk Alone"
Robson & Jerome 196,000
10 November 113,000
17 November "Breathe" The Prodigy 195,000
24 November 95,000
1 December "I Feel You" Peter Andre 87,000
8 December "A Different Beat" Boyzone 90,000
15 December "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" Dunblane 189,000
22 December "2 Become 1" Spice Girls 429,000
29 December 300,000

Number-one albums[edit]

Issue Date Album Title Artist
7 January (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Oasis
14 January
21 January
28 January
4 February
11 February
18 February Expecting to Fly The Bluetones
25 February (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Oasis
3 March
10 March
17 March Falling into You Céline Dion
24 March Anthology 2 The Beatles
31 March Greatest Hits Take That
7 April
14 April
21 April
28 April Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette
5 May
12 May 1977 Ash
19 May Older George Michael
26 May
2 June
9 June Load Metallica
16 June 18 Til I Die Bryan Adams
23 June Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette
30 June Recurring Dream Crowded House
7 July
14 July Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette
21 July
28 July
4 August
11 August
18 August
25 August
1 September
8 September Coming Up Suede
15 September New Adventures in Hi-Fi R.E.M
22 September K Kula Shaker
29 September
6 October Natural Peter Andre
13 October Greatest Hits Simply Red
20 October
27 October Blue Is the Colour The Beautiful South
3 November A Different Beat Boyzone
10 November Spice Spice Girls
17 November Take Two Robson & Jerome
24 November
1 December Spice Spice Girls
8 December
15 December
22 December
29 December

Top 40 Singles[edit]

Position Song Title Artist Sales Highest Position
1 Killing Me Softly The Fugees 1,350,000 1
2 Wannabe Spice Girls 1,320,000 1
3 Spaceman Babylon Zoo 1,100,000 1
4 Say You'll Be There Spice Girls 900,000 1
5 Return Of The Mack Mark Morrison 840,000 1
6 Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit Gina G 790,000 1
7 Three Lions (The Official Song Of The England Football Team) Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds 780,000 1
8 Children Robert Miles 770,000 2
9 Mysterious Girl Peter André featuring Bubbler Ranx 750,000 2
10 2 Become 1 Spice Girls 730,000 1
11 Don't Look Back in Anger Oasis 710,000 1
12 How Deep Is Your Love Take That 670,000 1
13 Un-Break My Heart Toni Braxton 610,000 2
14 Breathe The Prodigy 600,000 1
15 Firestarter 540,000 1
16 Words Boyzone 520,000 1
17 Breakfast At Tiffany's Deep Blue Something 510,000 1
18 If You Ever East 17 featuring Gabrielle 510,000 2
19 What Becomes of the Broken Hearted / Saturday Night at the Movies / You'll Never Walk Alone Robson and Jerome 510,000 1
20 Anything 3T 480,000 2
21 Fastlove George Michael 470,000 1
22 Macarena Los Del Rio 460,000 2
23 Born Slippy Underworld 460,000 2
24 Ready Or Not The Fugees 450,000 1
25 The X Files Mark Snow 440,000 2
26 One & One Robert Miles featuring Maria Nayler 440,000 3
27 Because You Loved Me Céline Dion 420,000 5
28 Give Me a Little More Time Gabrielle 420,000 5
29 Nobody Knows Tony Rich Project 410,000 4
30 You're Gorgeous Baby Bird 410,000 3
31 Knockin' On Heaven's Door / Throw These Guns Away Dunblane 410,000 1
32 Cecilia Suggs featuring Louchie Lou & Michie One 380,000 4
33 Flava Peter André 370,000 1
34 Don't Stop Movin' Livin' Joy 350,000 5
35 It's All Coming Back To Me Now Céline Dion 350,000 3
36 I Love You Always Forever Donna Lewis 340,000 5
37 How Bizarre OMC 340,000 5
38 Jesus To A Child George Michael 330,000 1
39 Virtual Insanity Jamiroquai 310,000 3
40 Forever Love Gary Barlow 300,000 1


Top 10 Albums[edit]

Position Song Title Artist Sales Highest Position
1 Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette 2,080,000 1
2 (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Oasis 1,960,000 1
3 Spice Spice Girls 1,883,000 1
4 Older George Michael 1,500,000 1
5 Falling Into You Celine Dion 1,450,000 1
6 Take Two Robson & Jerome 1,330,000 1
7 The Score The Fugees 1,300,000 2
8 Greatest Hits Take That 1,100,000 1
9 Greatest Hits Simply Red 1,080,000 1
10 Moseley Shoals Ocean Colour Scene 1,030,000 2

Classical music[edit]

Opera[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Music awards[edit]

BRIT Awards[edit]

The 1996 BRIT Awards winners were:

Mercury Music Prize[edit]

The 1996 Mercury Music Prize was awarded to Pulp - Different Class.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Ann (February 15, 2011). "Brit Awards 2011: Top five moments Through the years". Metro. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Beatles". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. 2007. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  3. ^ "THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS", The Independent, 15 June 1996. Accessed 8 June 2014
  4. ^ "nicknames", Halliwell, Geri (1999). If Only, p. 229. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-385-33475-3.
  5. ^ Howard Blake official website. Accessed 22 November 2013
  6. ^ "Tim Burgess looks to celebrate anniversary with Scotland gig". 14 March 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas "Lush: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved May 9, 2012.

External links[edit]