Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 1988

Cliff Richard, Kylie Minogue, and Bros scored some of the UK's biggest singles of 1988.

1988 in pop marked the arrival of Kylie Minogue, sibling duo Bros and the rise of house music, but it was long-standing chart icon Cliff Richard who claimed the year's best-selling single.

Mistletoe & Wine spent four weeks at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart, across the whole of December - including the Christmas Number 1 - racking up an estimated 737,000 sales by the end of the year to claim 1988's top song, according to Official Charts Company data.

As revealed on Channel 5 series Britain's Favourite 80s Songs, the festive track was Cliff's 12th chart-topper and is still proving popular more than 30 years on from its release, re-entering the Top 100 at Christmas for the past two years during the festive season. 

MORE: Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 1987

The UK's second best-seller of 1988 was The Only Way Is Up by Yazz & The Plastic Population, with 630,000 sales. The track - a cover of Otis Clay's 1980 single - spent five weeks at Number 1 that summer. 

1988 was also the breakout year for Kylie Minogue; the Australian singer landed an impressive five Top 2 singles that year, all of which land on the end-of-year chart. Her debut UK release, I Should Be So Lucky, is third on 616,000 sales, followed by Jason Donovan collaboration Especially For You in fourth on 555,000 sales.

Rounding out the Top 5 is I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany (498k); the US singer was just 16 when she hit the top with her first UK single, claiming three weeks at the summit.

A total of 20 songs occupied the Number 1 spot across the year, all of which feature on the end-of-year Top 40; including The Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, which hit the top 19 years after its release after being reissued thanks to its use in a beer advert. 

Elsewhere, big debut singles that make the 1988 best-sellers list include Belinda Carlisle's Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Orinoco Flow by Irish artist Enya, and I Owe You Nothing by Bros. 

Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 1988

  TITLE ARTIST PEAK
1 MISTLETOE & WINE CLIFF RICHARD 1
2 THE ONLY WAY IS UP YAZZ & THE PLASTIC POPULATION 1
3 I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY KYLIE MINOGUE 1
4 ESPECIALLY FOR YOU KYLIE MINOGUE & JASON DONOVAN 1
5 I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW TIFFANY 1
6 NOTHING'S GONNA CHANGE MY LOVE FOR YOU GLENN MADEIROS 1
7 GROOVY KIND OF LOVE PHIL COLLINS 1
8 HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER THE HOLLIES 2
9 WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS/SHES LEAVING HOME WET WET WET/BILLY BRAGG 1
10 TEARDROPS WOMACK & WOMACK 3
11 THE LOCO-MOTION KYLIE MINOGUE 2
12 FIRST TIME ROBIN BECK 1
13 PERFECT FAIRGROUND ATTRACTION 1
14 ONE MOMENT IN TIME WHITNEY HOUSTON 1
15 PUSH IT / TRAMP SALT 'N PEPA 2
16 SUDDENLY ANGRY ANDERSON 3
17 HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH BELINDA CARLISLE 1
18 ORINOCO FLOW ENYA 1
19 THEME FROM S'EXPRESS S'EXPRESS 1
20 JE NE SAIS PAS POURQUOI KYLIE MINOGUE 2
21 GOT TO BE CERTAIN KYLIE MINOGUE 2
22 THE HARDER I TRY BROTHER BEYOND 2
23 TELL IT TO MY HEART TAYLOR DAYNE 3
24 CRACKERS INTERNATIONAL ERASURE 2
25 I OWE YOU NOTHING BROS 1
26 HEART PET SHOP BOYS 1
27 GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CAR BILLY OCEAN 3
28 DON’T TURN AROUND ASWAD 1
29 NOTHING CAN DIVIDE US JASON DONOVAN 5
30 BEAT DIS BOMB THE BASS 2
31 DROP THE BOY BROS 2
32 SIGN YOUR NAME TERENCE TRENT D'ARBY 2
33 THE TWIST (YO, TWIST) FAT BOYS & CHUBBY CHECKER 2
34 WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS? BROS 2
35 BOYS (SUMMERTIME LOVE) SABRINA 3
36 HOUSE ARREST KRUSH 3
37 YOU CAME KIM WILDE 3
38 LOVELY DAY (SUNSHINE MIX) BILL WITHERS 4
39 I NEED YOU B.V.S.M.P. 3
40 GIRL YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE MILLI VANILLI 3

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