1991 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 1991 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.


Like 1990, this year saw 17 songs at number 1. The first number 1 of the year surprisingly came from heavy metal band Iron Maiden, scoring their first and only number one "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" which stayed at the top for 2 weeks. The next number one was a track right at the opposite end of the musical spectrum – Enigma, with the calm and hypnotic "Sadness Part 1". Known as "Sadeness Part 1" almost everywhere else with its strong references to Marquis De Sade, Enigma redefined the new age, chill out genre. Romanian-German producer Michael Cretu mixed repeated trance-like dance beats with gregorian chants and whispered, erotic vocals provided by his wife, Sandra, who was also a popular artist in her own right at the same time throughout most of Europe, but never managed to crack the UK market. Enigma's debut concept album MCMXC ad also went straight to the top of the UK Album Chart in January.

In the album charts Simply Red entered with Stars which would prove to be the second best selling album of the 90's and the best of 91 and 92. Although non-of its single reached no.1, title track stars did make the top ten.

February saw The Simpsons (specifically Bart) reach No. 1 with "Do the Bartman",[1] from the album The Simpsons Sing the Blues which reached #6. The show had premiered on UK screens on the satellite channel Sky One in 1990, though it wouldn't premiere on terrestrial TV until 1996, on BBC One. The family became the first cartoon characters to hit No. 1 since The Archies did so in 1969, with "Sugar Sugar", and the follow-up ("Deep, Deep Trouble") also did well, peaking at No. 7 in April.

In March, The Clash received their first number 1 with "Should I Stay or Should I Go", after being used in a commercial for Levi's. A month later, Cher scored her first UK solo No. 1 with "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)", taken from the film Mermaids.

Bryan Adams also reached No. 1 for the first time in July with "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", from the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Breaking the record held since 1955, it stayed there for sixteen consecutive weeks, a record that remains to this day. It also became the biggest selling single of the year, selling over a million copies.

The Christmas number one single this year was Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", re-issued after the death of Freddie Mercury in November, coupled with "These Are the Days of Our Lives". As "Bohemian Rhapsody" had previously hit the top in 1975 (also becoming the Christmas number one) it became the first song ever, not counting re-entries, to hit number 1 twice.

The death of Joy Finzi, who had founded the Finzi Trust in 1969 to commemorate her husband Gerald, was one of the most notable events on the classical music scene. Harrison Birtwistle's opera, Gawain, with a libretto by David Harsent, was performed for the first time on 30 May at the Royal Opera House.




Number-one singles[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Song Artist(s)
5 January "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" Iron Maiden
12 January
19 January "Sadness (Part I)" Enigma
26 January "Innuendo" Queen
2 February "3 a.m. Eternal" The KLF
9 February
16 February "Do the Bartman" The Simpsons
23 February
2 March
9 March "Should I Stay or Should I Go" The Clash
16 March
23 March "The Stonk" Hale and Pace
30 March "The One and Only" Chesney Hawkes
6 April
13 April
20 April
27 April
4 May "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" Cher
11 May
18 May
25 May
1 June
8 June "I Wanna Sex You Up" Color Me Badd
15 June
22 June
29 June "Any Dream Will Do" Jason Donovan
6 July
13 July "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" Bryan Adams
20 July
27 July
3 August
10 August
17 August
24 August
31 August
7 September
14 September
21 September
28 September
5 October
12 October
19 October
26 October
2 November "The Fly" U2
9 November "Dizzy" Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff
16 November
23 November "Black or White" Michael Jackson
30 November
7 December "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" George Michael and Elton John
14 December
21 December "Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are the Days of Our Lives" Queen
28 December

Number-one albums[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Album Artist(s)
5 January The Immaculate Collection Madonna
12 January
19 January
26 January MCMXC a.D. Enigma
2 February The Soul Cages Sting
9 February Doubt Jesus Jones
16 February Innuendo Queen
23 February
2 March Circle of One Oleta Adams
9 March Auberge Chris Rea
16 March Spartacus The Farm
23 March Out of Time R.E.M.
30 March Greatest Hits Eurythmics
6 April
13 April
20 April
27 April
4 May
11 May
18 May
25 May
1 June Seal Seal
8 June
15 June
22 June Greatest Hits Eurythmics
29 June Love Hurts Cher
6 July
13 July
20 July
27 July
3 August
10 August Essential Pavarotti II Luciano Pavarotti
17 August
24 August Metallica Metallica
31 August Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat London Stage Cast
7 September
14 September From Time to Time - The Singles Collection Paul Young
21 September On Every Street Dire Straits
28 September Use Your Illusion II Guns N' Roses
5 October Waking Up the Neighbours Bryan Adams
12 October Stars Simply Red
19 October
26 October Chorus Erasure
2 November Stars Simply Red
9 November Greatest Hits II Queen
16 November Shepherd Moons Enya
23 November We Can't Dance Genesis
30 November Dangerous Michael Jackson
7 December Greatest Hits II Queen
14 December
21 December
28 December

Year-end charts[edit]

Best-selling singles[edit]


No. Title Artist Peak
1 "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" Adams, BryanBryan Adams 1
2 "Bohemian Rhapsody"/"These Are the Days of Our Lives" Queen 1
3 "It's in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)" Cher 1
4 "I'm Too Sexy" Right Said Fred 2
5 "Do the Bartman" Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons 1
6 "Any Dream Will Do" Donovan, JasonJason Donovan 1
7 "The One and Only" Hawkes, ChesneyChesney Hawkes 1
8 "Dizzy" Reeves, VicVic Reeves & the Wonder Stuff 1
9 "Insanity" Oceanic 3
10 "I Wanna Sex You Up" Color Me Badd 1
11 "Get Ready for This" 2 Unlimited 2
12 "3 a.m. Eternal" (Live at the S.S.L.) KLF, TheThe KLF featuring the Children of the Revolution 1
13 "Black or White" Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 1
14 "Let's Talk About Sex" Salt-N-Pepa 2
15 "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael and Elton John 1
16 "More Than Words" Extreme 2
17 "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" Ross, DianaDiana Ross 2
18 "Sunshine on a Rainy Day" (remix) Zoë 4
19 "Should I Stay or Should I Go" Clash, TheThe Clash 1
20 "Sit Down" James 2
21 "Wind of Change" Scorpions 2
22 "The Stonk" Hale and Pace and the Stonkers 1
23 "(I Wanna Give You) Devotion" Nomad featuring MC Mikee Freedom 2
24 "Now That We Found Love" Heavy D & the Boyz 2
25 "Baby Baby" Grant, AmyAmy Grant 2
26 "Charly" Prodigy, TheThe Prodigy 3
27 "Justified & Ancient (Stand by the JAMs)" KLF, TheThe KLF featuring Tammy Wynette 2
28 "World in Union" Te Kanawa, KiriKiri Te Kanawa 4
29 "Promise Me" Craven, BeverleyBeverley Craven 3
30 "Last Train to Trancentral" (Live from the Lost Continent) KLF, TheThe KLF 2
31 "You Got the Love" (Erens Bootleg Mix) Source, TheThe Source featuring Candi Staton 4
32 "Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee)" Waters, CrystalCrystal Waters 2
33 "Thinking About Your Love" Thomas, KennyKenny Thomas 4
34 "Rhythm of My Heart" Stewart, RodRod Stewart 3
35 "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" PM Dawn 3
36 "Love to Hate You" Erasure 4
37 "Sadness (Part I)" Enigma 1
38 "Crazy" Seal 2
39 "Move Any Mountain" Shamen, TheThe Shamen 4
40 "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" Rozalla 6
41 "Saltwater" Lennon, JulianJulian Lennon 6
42 "Sailing on the Seven Seas" Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
43 "Wiggle It" 2 in a Room 3
44 "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" Monty Python 3
45 "All 4 Love" Color Me Badd 5
46 "Crazy for You" (remix) Madonna 2
47 "Joyride" Roxette 4
48 "Get Here" Adams, OletaOleta Adams 4
49 "Gett Off" Prince and the New Power Generation 4
50 "You Could Be Mine" Guns N' Roses 3

Best-selling albums[edit]


No. Title Artist Peak
1 Stars Simply Red 1
2 Greatest Hits Eurythmics 1
3 Greatest Hits II Queen 1
4 Simply the Best Turner, TinaTina Turner 2
5 Dangerous Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 1
6 Out of Time R.E.M. 1
7 Time, Love & Tenderness Bolton, MichaelMichael Bolton 2
8 The Immaculate Collection Madonna 1
9 Love Hurts Cher 1
10 From Time to Time – The Singles Collection Young, PaulPaul Young 1
11 Seal Seal 1
12 Waking Up the Neighbours Adams, BryanBryan Adams 1
13 We Can't Dance Genesis 1
14 On Every Street Dire Straits 1
15 The Very Best of Elton John John, EltonElton John 1
16 Beverley Craven Craven, BeverleyBeverley Craven 3
17 Michael Crawford Performs Andrew Lloyd Webber Crawford, MichaelMichael Crawford 3
18 Achtung Baby U2 2
19 Auberge Rea, ChrisChris Rea 1
20 Shepherd Moons Enya 1
21 Joyride Roxette 2
22 Voices Thomas, KennyKenny Thomas 3
23 Greatest Hits 1977–1990 Stranglers, TheThe Stranglers 4
24 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Original London Cast starring Jason Donovan 1
25 Greatest Hits Queen 1
26 Essential Pavarotti II Pavarotti, LucianoLuciano Pavarotti 1
27 Diamonds and Pearls Prince & the New Power Generation 2
28 Real Love Stansfield, LisaLisa Stansfield 4
29 Chorus Erasure 1
30 Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael 1
31 Innuendo Queen 1
32 The Commitments (Original Soundtrack) Various Artists 4
33 Into the Light Estefan, GloriaGloria Estefan 2
34 MCMXC a.D. Enigma 1
35 The Definitive Simon and Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel 8
36 Discography: The Complete Singles Collection Pet Shop Boys 3
37 Wicked Game Isaak, ChrisChris Isaak 3
38 Use Your Illusion II Guns N' Roses 1
39 Together with Cliff Richard Richard, CliffCliff Richard 10
40 In Concert Carreras, JoséJosé Carreras/Placido Domingo/Luciano Pavarotti 1
41 Real Life Simple Minds 2
42 Use Your Illusion I Guns N' Roses 2
43 Vagabond Heart Stewart, RodRod Stewart 2
44 Sugar Tax Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
45 The White Room KLF, TheThe KLF 3
46 Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em MC Hammer 8
47 Fellow Hoodlums Deacon Blue 2
48 Serious Hits... Live! Collins, PhilPhil Collins 2
49 Timeless: The Very Best of Neil Sedaka Sedaka, NeilNeil Sedaka 10
50 The Greatest Hits Salt-n-Pepa 6

Classical music[edit]

Music awards[edit]

BRIT Awards[edit]

The 1991 BRIT Awards winners were:




  1. ^ "The official UK charts company". Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  2. ^ Moura Lympany (1991). Moura Lympany. Her Autobiography. Peter Owen. ISBN 0-7206-0824-4. 
  3. ^ "1991 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 20. 11 January 1992. 
  4. ^ "1991 Top 100 Albums". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 21. 11 January 1992. 
  5. ^ Jones, Nicholas (2013). "Formal archetypes, revered masters and singing nightingales: Tippett's string quartets". In Gloag, Kenneth and Jones, Nicholas. The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 206–28. ISBN 978-1-107-60613-5

External links[edit]