Chart Flashback 2001: Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head put the UK under its spell 20 years ago this week

The hypnotic Number 1 brought Kylie back bigger - and some would argue better - than ever.

Kylie Minogue's Can't Get You Out Of My Head still sounds like the future. 

Taking its cues from both the 1980s and the 2080s, Can't Get You...finds itself constantly shape-shifting under a restless beat and layers upon layers of hypnotic hooks, beating you into submission with each la-la-la. 

Kylie - the poster-child of a certain kind of 80s dance-pop - is transformed in the song. "There's a dark secret in me," she says, her voice stretched to breaking. "Set me free." And set her free the song did - from expectations, from naysayers and any doubts her best days were well behind her.

MORE: Official Charts' Pop Genius Quiz - The 2000s

20 years ago this week, Can't Get You Out Of My Head became Kylie's sixth UK Number 1. It proved that the success of 2000's comeback album Light Years hadn't been a fluke. Pop's Australian princess really was back; bigger and arguably better, than ever. 

As with most iconic pop singles, the story behind the song's genesis is almost as interesting as the song itself. Composed by Rob Davis (Fragma's Toca Miracle) and Cathy Dennis (Britney's Toxic, Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl) the track was originally pitched to S Club 7 and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, both of whom passed on the future million-seller. Legend has it that Kylie demanded to record the song just 20 seconds into hearing the demo.

MORE: View every single one of Kylie's single and album covers - including Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Fever

In 2011, songwriter Dennis said: "Even though Kylie wasn't the first artist to be offered the song, I don't believe anyone else would have done the incredible job she did with it."

Can't Get You Out Of My Head arrived on the Official Singles Charts with all the force of a hurricane. Prior to release, the media had whipped up a frenzy over the song sharing its release date with Victoria Beckham's first post-Spice Girls debut single, Not Such An Innocent Girl. Although, it admittedly didn't turn into much of a chart battle. Kylie debuted at Number 1 with 306,000 copies, Victoria trailed in at Number 6, almost 270,000 copies behind. 

To date, Can't Get You Out Of My Head has UK chart sales totaling 1.53 million, including a massive 1.2 million pure sales (her chart "rival" Victoria? 93,000 chart sales), and 38 million streams. It spent four weeks at the top, and its parent album, Fever, also debuted at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart while its lead single was at the top of the singles chart too - earning Kylie a rare chart double.

The neo-disco record would also contain a further three UK Top 10 singles - Love At First Sight (2), In Your Eyes (3) and Come Into My World (8). 

It's also left an indelible mark on pop culture too. It's future-facing sonics and heady Dawn Shadofrth-direct visuals would set a blueprint for a new generation of female synth-pop acts like Lady Gaga with Just Dance to follow at the end of the decade. Even in 2020, Dua Lipa named Kylie and Fever as a direct influence on her blockbuster Future Nostalgia album.

Elsewhere on the Official Singles Chart Top 100 that week, Alient Ant Farm's cover of Smooth Criminal reached Number 3, outpeaking the Michael Jackson original, and there were new Top 10 entries for Shaggy and Starsailor. 

Check out the full Top 100 from this week in 2001 here

Listen to the UK Top 40 from this week in 2001 on Spotify below. Also available on Apple Music Deezer 

Related artists

Related Singles and Albums

Join the conversation by joining the Official Charts community and dropping comment.

Already registered?

Log in

No account?





yessss and the day she cemented herself from the also rans to bonafide enduring global superstar!!




Absolutely Queen of Pop forever!




Kylie was also offered the song Toxic but turned it down. Her loss- Britney's Spears gain.


Renkluaf Luap


This is the chart from 23/9/01 (last week), and even then the songs in the playlist aren't quite in the right order of that chart.

Still, it's a classic Kylie song, I can't believe that it was out 20 years ago!