The UK’s most streamed songs from the year they were released have been revealed, and the figures yield some surprising results.
Published by the BPI, the list looks at the 90billion songs that were streamed in 2018 by the year that they were released. See below for the most popular year-by-year of the songs streamed in 2018.
Among the statistics, 2018 saw previous years’ tracks from Drake, The Greatest Showman OST, Bruno Mars, Sia, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and Passenger pull in millions of listeners, but there are some interesting results from tracks released in the decade before.
Foster The People’s ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ reached Number 18 when it was released in 2010, but was streamed 21million times last year – more than previous 2010 Number One singles like ‘Telephone’ by Lady Gaga and ‘Forget You’ by Cee-Lo Green.
Meanwhile, The Kooks’ 2006 single ‘Naïve’ attracted a massive 26.9million streams, beating that year’s biggest selling singles including ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley, Leona Lewis’ ‘A Moment Like This’ and Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’.
“The album it’s from sold a lot of copies and they’ve still got a big, hardcore fanbase – but it’s only becoming apparent now what a cult hit that song’s turned into,” the BPI’s Rob Crutchley told the BBC. “And sometimes that’s what this is about, I think. Songs can be rediscovered and gain momentum a bit later on.”
Speaking to Music Week in 2017, Robert Swerdlow from The Kooks’ management team at Starwood pointed out the link between Spotify’s popular curated playlists, and the demand for the band’s arena tour. “When you’ve got songs like ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’, ‘Naïve’, ‘Shine On’ and ‘Junk Of The Heart’ – big indie pop and rock songs – they’re fitting into those playlists,” he said. “The kids are listening to it, they are popping when they come across The Kooks, they’re saving it and putting it into their own playlists.”
Seminal singles by Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Verve, Linkin Park, Radiohead, Nirvana, and AC/DC also beat off strong competition from huge pop singles released in their respective years, while Kanye West, Eminem, Dr Dre, Macklemore and TLC show a strong representation for hip-hop and R&B.
Curiously, Nickelback’s ‘How You Remind Me’ is the most streamed song from 2001. There’s also a strong presence of iconic Christmas singles by Mariah Carey, Chris Rea, The Pogues and Wham!, while TV and film appearances have seen streams by tracks by Queen and Hall & Oates increase.
“It’s a process of songs gathering momentum as time goes on,” said Rob Crutchley of the BPI, who compiled the figures. “A few of those tracks have featured in TV programmes and films, which helps push them over the edge in terms of gaining even more mass popularity, as new audiences become exposed to them.”
|Year||Artist||Song||2018 streams (million)|
|2017||Keala Settle/Greatest Showman cast||This Is Me||114.7|
|2014||Ed Sheeran||Thinking Out Loud||30.6|
|2012||Passenger||Let Her Go||22.5|
|2011||Macklemore & Ryan Lewis||Can’t Hold Us||26.3|
|2010||Foster the People||Pumped Up Kicks||21.0|
|2009||Miley Cyrus||Party In The USA||18.0|
|2008||Jason Mraz||I’m Yours||26.9|
|2007||Arctic Monkeys||Fluorescent Adolescent||22.7|
|2005||Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx||Gold Digger||21.2|
|2004||Mario||Let Me Love You||19.0|
|2003||The Killers||Mr Brightside||46.9|
|2001||Nickelback||How You Remind Me||11.4|
|2000||Linkin Park||In The End||16.8|
|1998||Goo Goo Dolls||Iris||20.1|
|1997||The Verve||Bittersweet Symphony||17.5|
|1996||Blackstreet ft Dr Dre||No Diggity||17.9|
|1994||Mariah Carey||All I Want For Christmas Is You||39.0|
|1991||Nirvana||Smells Like Teen Spirit||18.6|
|Year||Artist||Song||2018 Streams (million)|
|1989||The Stone Roses||Waterfall||8.2|
|1988||Tracy Chapman||Fast Car||14.3|
|1987||The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl||Fairytale of New York||29.4|
|1986||Chris Rea||Driving Home for Christmas||19.8|
|1985||Shakin’ Stevens||Merry Christmas Everyone||21.0|
|1983||Eurythmics||Sweets Dream (Are Made of This)||21.5|
|1981||Journey||Don’t Stop Believin’||24.3|
|1980||Daryl Hall & John Oates||You Make My Dreams||24.8|
|1979||Paul McCartney||Wonderful Christmas Time||15.9|
|1978||Queen||Don’t Stop Me Now||25.4|
|1977||ELO||Mr Blue Sky||26.7|
|1976||Fleetwood Mac||Go Your Own Way||20.1|
|1974||Lynyrd Skynyrd||Sweet Home Alabama||14.9|
|1973||Elton John||Step Into Christmas||21.6|
|1971||John Denver||Take Me Home Country Roads||16.5|
|1970||Elton John||Your Song||12.5|
|1969||The Jackson 5||I Want You Back||20.4|
|1968||Otis Redding||(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay||11.2|
|1967||Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell||Ain’t No Mountain High Enough||18.3|
|1966||The Rolling Stones||Paint It Black||9.9|
|1965||The Four Tops||I Can’t Help Myself||8.7|
|1964||The Temptations||My Girl||12.5|
|1963||Andy Williams||It’s The Most Wonderful Time||12.3|
|1962||Sam Cooke||Bring It On Home to Me||5.1|
|1961||Ben E King||Stand By Me||16.2|
|1960||Etta James||At Last||6.8|