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, the year's Christmas number one single and the UK's fastest selling single of 1996.

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]

Charts[edit]

Number-one singles[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Song Artist(s) Sales
6 January "Earth Song" Michael Jackson 55,000
13 January 80,000
20 January "Jesus to a Child" George Michael 110,000
27 January "Spaceman" Babylon Zoo 418,000
3 February 204,000
10 February 128,000
17 February 80,000
24 February 63,000
2 March "Don't Look Back in Anger" Oasis 250,000
9 March "How Deep Is Your Love" Take That 257,000
16 March 120,000
23 March 90,000
30 March "Firestarter" The Prodigy 119,000
6 April 80,000
13 April 75,000
20 April "Return of the Mack" Mark Morrison 90,000
27 April 90,000
4 May "Fastlove" George Michael 111,000
11 May 75,000
18 May 55,000
25 May "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" Gina G 75,000
1 June "Three Lions" Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds 110,000
8 June "Killing Me Softly" The Fugees 157,000
15 June 195,000
22 June 173,000
29 June 160,000
6 July "Three Lions" Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds 140,000
13 July "Killing Me Softly" The Fugees 103,000
20 July "Forever Love" Gary Barlow 109,000
27 July "Wannabe" Spice Girls 108,000
3 August 154,000
10 August 150,000
17 August 145,000
24 August 125,000
31 August 110,000
7 September 90,000
14 September "Flava" Peter Andre 129,000
21 September "Ready or Not" The Fugees 72,000
28 September 75,000
5 October "Breakfast At Tiffany's" Deep Blue Something 85,000
12 October "Setting Sun" The Chemical Brothers 99,000
19 October "Words" Boyzone 232,000
26 October "Say You'll Be There" Spice Girls 349,000
2 November 163,000
9 November "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted / Saturday Night at the Movies / You'll Never Walk Alone" Robson & Jerome 196,000
16 November 113,000
23 November "Breathe" The Prodigy 195,000
30 November 95,000
7 December "I Feel You" Peter Andre 87,000
14 December "A Different Beat" Boyzone 90,000
21 December "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" Dunblane 189,000
28 December "2 Become 1" Spice Girls 462,000

Number-one albums[edit]

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

Number-one compilation albums[edit]

Chart date
(week ending)
Album
6 January Hits 96
13 January
20 January
27 January
3 February Sisters of Swing
10 February The Best Album in the World...Ever! 2
17 February
24 February The No.1 Love Album
2 March In the Mix 96
9 March
16 March
23 March
30 March Now 33
6 April
13 April
20 April
27 April
4 May Dance Zone 7
11 May Boyz of Swing
18 May New Hits 96
25 May
1 June
8 June
15 June
22 June
29 June
6 July
13 July
20 July Big Mix '96
27 July
3 August
10 August
17 August The Best Dance Album in the World...Ever! Part 6
24 August Now 34
31 August
7 September
14 September
21 September
28 September
5 October
12 October In the Mix 96 – 3
19 October Kiss in Ibiza '96
26 October
2 November
9 November
16 November Huge Hits 1996
23 November
30 November Now 35
7 December
14 December
21 December
28 December

Year-end charts[edit]

Best-selling singles[edit]

[5]

-

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 "Killing Me Softly" Fugees 1
2 "Wannabe" Spice Girls 1
3 "Spaceman" Babylon Zoo 1
4 "Say You'll Be There" Spice Girls 1
5 "2 Become 1" Spice Girls 1
6 "Return of the Mack" Morrison, MarkMark Morrison 1
7 "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" G, GinaGina G 1
8 "Three Lions" Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds 1
9 "Children" Miles, RobertRobert Miles 2
10 "Mysterious Girl" Andre, PeterPeter Andre featuring Bubbler Ranx 2
11 "Don't Look Back in Anger" Oasis 1
12 "How Deep Is Your Love" Take That 1
13 "Un-Break My Heart" Braxton, ToniToni Braxton 2
14 "Breathe" Prodigy, TheThe Prodigy 1
15 "Firestarter" 1
16 "Words" Boyzone 1
17 "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Deep Blue Something 1
18 "If You Ever" East 17 featuring Gabrielle 2
19 "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted"/
"Saturday Night at the Movies"/"You'll Never Walk Alone"
Robson & Jerome 1
20 "Anything" 3T 2
21 "Fastlove" Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael 1
22 "Macarena" Los del Río 2
23 "Born Slippy .NUXX" Underworld 2
24 "Ready or Not" Fugees 1
25 "The X Files" Snow, MarkMark Snow 2
26 "One & One" Miles, RobertRobert Miles featuring Maria Nayler 3
27 "Because You Loved Me" Dion, CelineCeline Dion 5
28 "Give Me a Little More Time" Gabrielle 5
29 "Nobody Knows" Tony Rich Project, TheThe Tony Rich Project 4
30 "You're Gorgeous" Babybird 3
31 "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"/"Throw These Guns Away" Dunblane 1
32 "Cecilia" Suggs featuring Louchie Lou & Michie One 4
33 "Flava" Andre, PeterPeter Andre 1
34 "Don't Stop Movin'" Livin' Joy 5
35 "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" Dion, CelineCeline Dion 3
36 "I Love You Always Forever" Lewis, DonnaDonna Lewis 5
37 "How Bizarre" OMC 5
38 "Jesus to a Child" Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael 1
39 "Virtual Insanity" Jamiroquai 3
40 "Forever Love" Barlow, GaryGary Barlow 1
41 "Hillbilly Rock Hillbilly Roll" Woolpackers, TheThe Woolpackers 5
42 "I Wanna Be a Hippy" Technohead 6
43 "There's Nothing I Won't Do" JX 4
44 "Insomnia" Faithless 3
45 "What's Love Got to Do with It" G, WarrenWarren G featuring Adina Howard 2
46 "Freedom" Williams, RobbieRobbie Williams 2
47 "I Got 5 on It" Luniz 3
48 "Earth Song" Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 1
49 "Spinning the Wheel" Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael 2
50 "A Design for Life" Manic Street Preachers 2

Top 10 Albums[edit]

Position Song Title Artist Sales Highest Position
1 Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette 2,080,000 1
2 Spice Spice Girls 1,883,000 1
3 (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Oasis 1,860,000 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]

Musical films[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. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1996". Music Week: 25. 18 January 1997. 
  6. ^ Howard Blake official website. Accessed 22 November 2013
  7. ^ "Tim Burgess looks to celebrate anniversary with Scotland gig". 14 March 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas "Lush: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved May 9, 2012.

External links[edit]