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Thread: Biggest selling Comic Relief singles

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    by » Sat March 16th, 2013, 18:19

    From OCC web site,

    To celebrate Red Nose Day, Official Charts.com reveal The Official Comic Relief Chart - Comic Relief’s biggest selling singles of all-time!

    Today is Red Nose Day, where the entire nation gets together to ‘do something funny for money’ and help raise funds for Comic Relief.

    In addition to the Red Nose Day telethon - which kicks off on BBC 1 this evening at 7PM - an important part of Comic Relief’s fundraising has been persuading the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, the Spice Girls, Westlife and, more recently, One Direction to release charity singles.

    Over the course of Comic Relief’s 28 year history, a total of 21 singles have been released, with a a combined sales tally of nearly 8 million copies. This includes 13 Official Number 1 Singles, six singles which have sold over half a million copies, and one million seller.

    The first official Comic Relief single was released in 1986 and featured Cliff Richard and the cast of The Young Ones performing Cliff’s 1959 hit, Living Doll. It peaked at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart helping Cliff become just one of a handful of artists who’ve managed to take the same song to Number 1 in completely separate chart runs.

    Living Doll is the third biggest selling Comic Relief single to date; its biggest selling single would follow nearly 20 years later…

    At Number 1 on The Official Comic Relief Chart is Tony Christie and Peter Kay’s Is This The Way To Amarillo?. Though not strictly an official Comic Relief reelase, Kay performed it live on Red Nose Day 2005, lip synching to Tony Christie's 1971 hit. It was released as a digital download the following Monday, with all proceeds going to Comic Relief.

    Is This The Way To Amarillo? knocked McFly’s official Comic Relief single All About You/You've Got A Friend (Number 7 in The Official Comic Relief Chart) off the top of the Official Singles Chart, and stayed at Number 1 for seven weeks. To date, it has sold over 1.24 million copies and it is the only Comic Relief track to break the million copies sales barrier.

    As well as having the biggest selling Comic Relief , Peter Kay has also appeared on the most Comic Relief singles; once as himself (Is This The Way To Amarillo?), and twice as his alter egos Brian Potter (from Phoenix Nights) on The Proclaimers' 2007 rendition of I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), and Geraldine McQueen (she of Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice fame) on Susan Boyle’s I Knew Him So Well.

    So here it is, then, The Official Comic Relief Chart:

    TRACK ARTIST YEAR PEAK POSITION
    1 IS THIS THE WAY TO AMARILLO? TONY CHRISTIE & PETER KAY 2005 1
    2 UPTOWN GIRL WESTLIFE 2001 1
    3 LIVING DOLL CLIFF RICHARD AND THE YOUNG ONES 1986 1
    4 MAMA / WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SPICE GIRLS 1997 1
    5 WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING BOYZONE 1999 1
    6 SPIRIT IN THE SKY GARETH GATES AND THE KUMARS 2003 1
    7 ALL ABOUT YOU/YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND MCFLY 2005 1
    8 I'M GONNA BE (500 MILES) THE PROCLAIMERS FT BRIAN POTTER AND ANDY PIPKIN 2007 1
    9 JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH THE SATURDAYS 2009 2
    10 HELP! BANANARAMA AND LA NA NEE NEE NOO NOO 1989 3
    11 GOLD FOREVER THE WANTED 2011 3
    12 ONE WAY OR ANOTHER (TEENAGE KICKS) ONE DIRECTION 2013 1
    13 THE STONK HALE AND PACE 1991 1
    14 LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE CHER, CHRISSIE HYNDE, NENEH CHERRY AND ERIC CLAPTON 1995 1
    15 ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE MEL SMITH AND KIM WILDE 1987 3
    16 BARRY ISLANDS IN THE STREAM VANESSA JENKINS & BRYN WEST FT TOM JONES 2009 1
    17 WALK THIS WAY SUGABABES VS. GIRLS ALOUD 2007 1
    18 STICK IT OUT RIGHT SAID FRED 1993 4
    19 ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS PET SHOP BOYS AND ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS 1994 6
    20 (I WANT TO BE) ELECTED MR BEAN AND SMEAR CAMPAIGN 1992 9
    21 I KNOW HIM SO WELL SUSAN BOYLE AND GERALDINE MCQUEEN 2011 11

    © 2013 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

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    by » Sat March 16th, 2013, 18:42

    Wasn't Stop by the Spice Girls a Comic Relief single? I was sure it was!

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 00:01

    No, it was definitely Mama/Who Do you Think You are.

    I wish they showed the exact sales, that would be interesting to see.

    I wonder if this is solely based on the sales in the UK or is this worldwide?

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 00:03

    AH, most of these hark back to the days when a Comic Relief single was something to get excited about!

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 00:26

    Quote Originally Posted by zs3088
    No, it was definitely Mama/Who Do you Think You are.

    I wish they showed the exact sales, that would be interesting to see.

    I wonder if this is solely based on the sales in the UK or is this worldwide?
    It is from the OCC so it will be UK only.
    http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/ <---- Brilliant blog about all the UK No 1 albums.

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 00:33

    Quote Originally Posted by brian05
    So here it is, then, The Official Comic Relief Chart:

    TRACK ARTIST YEAR PEAK POSITION

    13 THE STONK HALE AND PACE 1991 1

    © 2013 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
    Produced by Brian May.

    I never understood what the whole thing about Comic Relief is.

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 03:02

    Aaah, the Spice Girls. They sold around 660,000 copies of the single and spent 3 weeks at #1 if my memory serves me right.

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 17:07

    Would like to see a best selling list of ALL the charity singles ever made, whether comic relief or not. Of course, Elton would be number one on such a list, and as far as the UK market is concerned, Band Aid would be number two, but it would be interesting to know where every other record fitted in.
    Can't live without my music.

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    by » Sun March 17th, 2013, 18:41

    Quote Originally Posted by zs3088
    No, it was definitely Mama/Who Do you Think You are.
    Yeah, I know that was released for comic relief, but I thought they did it again the following year with Stop? Maybe I got that wrong then?

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    by » Tue March 19th, 2013, 16:49

    Courtesy of Shireblogger from Haven.
    These are his estimated sales.

    1. TONY CHRISTIE & PETER KAY -- IS THIS THE WAY TO AMARILLO? :: 1,240k
    2. WESTLIFE -- UPTOWN GIRL :: 775k
    3. CLIFF RICHARD AND THE YOUNG ONES -- LIVING DOLL :: 745k
    4. SPICE GIRLS -- MAMA / WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE :: 690k
    5. BOYZONE -- WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING :: 690k
    6. GARETH GATES AND THE KUMARS -- SPIRIT IN THE SKY :: 560k
    7. MCFLY -- ALL ABOUT YOU/YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND :: 470k
    8. THE PROCLAIMERS FT BRIAN POTTER AND ANDY PIPKIN -- I'M GONNA BE (500 MILES) :: 340k
    9. THE SATURDAYS -- JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH :: 280k
    10. BANANARAMA AND LA NA NEE NEE NOO NOO -- HELP! :: 275k
    11. THE WANTED -- GOLD FOREVER :: 250k
    12. ONE DIRECTION -- ONE WAY OR ANOTHER (TEENAGE KICKS) :: 245k
    13. HALE AND PACE -- THE STONK :: 240k
    14. CHER, CHRISSIE HYNDE, NENEH CHERRY AND ERIC CLAPTON -- LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE :: 300k
    15. MEL SMITH AND KIM WILDE -- ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE :: 235k
    16. VANESSA JENKINS & BRYN WEST FT TOM JONES -- BARRY ISLANDS IN THE STREAM :: 160k
    17. SUGABABES VS. GIRLS ALOUD -- WALK THIS WAY :: 135k
    18. RIGHT SAID FRED -- STICK IT OUT :: 110k
    19. PET SHOP BOYS AND ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS -- ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS :: 100k
    20. MR BEAN AND SMEAR CAMPAIGN -- (I WANT TO BE) ELECTED :: 70k
    21. SUSAN BOYLE AND GERALDINE MCQUEEN -- I KNOW HIM SO WELL :: 40k

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    by » Tue March 19th, 2013, 16:57

    Interesting figures. I would've thought that Walk This Way would have been more popular but actually has relatively low sales.

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    by » Wed March 20th, 2013, 01:12

    The sunday "Walk this way" reached number one the chart show interviewed Cheryl Cole (if memory serves) on the chart show jut before playing it and asked her what she thought of the fact that some music fans thought the single was poor and she replied something like "yeah we know it's crap but it's raising loads for charity so you know", maybe she said rubbish rather than crap but it was something like that, anyway I suspect that comment could have killed off a fair few potential future sales and contributed to it's low figure.

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    by » Wed March 20th, 2013, 12:40

    Why's Cher so low if it seemed to sell more?

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    by » Wed March 20th, 2013, 14:49

    Shireblogger made the following comment,

    Total sales = 7,950,000 which tallies with the OCC's statement "Over the course of Comic Relief’s 28 year history, a total of 21 singles have been released, with a combined sales tally of nearly 8 million copies."

    Note that the OCC appears to have downgraded 1995's release by Cher/Chrissie/Neneh/Eric from the originally quoted 299,000 to about 240,000.

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    by » Thu March 14th, 2019, 20:30

    Is this the first year there hasn’t been an official Comic Relief single?

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    by » Thu March 14th, 2019, 22:49

    Quote Originally Posted by Thriller View Post
    Is this the first year there hasn’t been an official Comic Relief single?
    From what I can see, it is. That's another tradition that has come to an end due to the death of paid-for sales.

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    by » Thu March 14th, 2019, 22:49

    Quote Originally Posted by Thriller View Post
    Is this the first year there hasn’t been an official Comic Relief single?
    From what I can see, it is. That's another tradition that has come to an end due to the death of paid-for sales.

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    by » Fri March 15th, 2019, 00:20

    I didn’t realise that The Turds’ Depeche Mode cover did that well.

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    by » Fri March 15th, 2019, 13:24

    I think that Living Doll, Help and One Way Or Another could be the most sucsessful worlwide

    Living Doll

    #1 in UK, Ireland, Austrália, NZ, Belgium
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Doll_(song)

    One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Wa...(Teenage_Kicks)

    Help

    UK 3 FR 6 GER 8 IRL 2 JPN 94 NL24 AUS 25 NZ 35 CH 8 POR 1

    Uptown Girl

    UK 1 FR 8 GER 8 ITA 10 JPN 20 AUS 6 NZ 4 NL 2 (...)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uptown_Girl

    Spirit In The Sky

    NL 11 GER 13 AUT 10 UK 1 IRE 2

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_in_the_Sky

    Quote Originally Posted by brian05 View Post
    Courtesy of Shireblogger from Haven.
    These are his estimated sales.

    3. CLIFF RICHARD AND THE YOUNG ONES -- LIVING DOLL :: 745k
    10. BANANARAMA AND LA NA NEE NEE NOO NOO -- HELP! :: 275kWELL :: 40k
    Last edited by anpt; Fri March 15th, 2019 at 13:45.

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    by » Fri March 15th, 2019, 17:25

    None of them were in fact comedic in my humble opinion, but the tag of CR was sufficient to always ensure a certain amount of sales, and consequently, additional funds for the worthy cause. As streaming realises such a pathetic revenue, there is indeed no real point in putting a dedicated single for the charity out there now, and doing so would arguably harm the brand, as it would not only struggle to trouble the Top 10, but would likely fail to feature in the 40 either - possibly barely-skimming the 75 or hitting the 100! It would suggest ostensibly that people aren't supporting CR like they used to, which is of course not the case, and as far as I know, overall money raised figures remain very strong. What it would in fact show is that people don't buy singles much now, even in their cheaper digital form and even for charity, but the embarrassment of a low chart placing compared to even a few years ago would render it wiser to not go to the bother of producing an official song. If someone wanted to record an unofficial song for it, I guess they'd be free to do so, and presumably would donate whatever little they accrued from it to CR, but that would be their business, not the official charity's. I won't miss it from a musical or chart point of view, but as a signal of how irrelevant actual paid-for sales of tracks are becoming, it is a source of sadness to me.

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