The UK's Official Lockdown Listening List: the classic songs enjoying an unexpected resurgence

A mix of classic uplifting numbers, 'apocalyptic' isolation songs and kids’ favourites are being played as the UK adjusts to life in lockdown.

With the UK on lockdown, a three-part tale appears to be emerging from the nation’s speakers right now as music lovers split between listening to uplifting classics, “apocalyptic” isolation songs and kids’ favourites, according to new Official Charts Company data.

As Britain gets to grips this week with our new normal indoors, Official Charts Company streaming data tracking our listening habits through these extraordinary times, shows that we are a divided nation - tuning in to a mixture of uplifting classics and tongue-in-cheek isolation songs, while families are selecting familiar children’s sing-a-longs to keep spirits up.

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Many people are creating ‘isolation’ playlists on streaming platforms, while others are sharing the music that is helping them through these uncertain times – and this has thrown up some common themes and an unexpected resurgence for several classic hits.

The Official Lockdown Listening Top 100 list tracks the fastest-growing catalogue songs this week, compiled from UK streaming data from a wide range of chart-reporting services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube, Tidal, Amazon and many more.

Uplifting classics

These extraordinary times have seen much of the nation turn to stirring, feel-good melodies. Among the most popular is You’ll Never Walk Alone the 1963 chart-topper for Gerry & The Pacemakers, football anthem and musical standard which has seen a near 150% week-on-week uplift in streams. Interest in the song surged after a number of radio stations across the UK and Europe including BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and many more played it simultaneously in a show of solidarity against coronavirus last Friday (March 20).

Other uplifting classics enjoying an unexpected boost in popularity include Junior Senior’s Top 5 hit Move Your Feet, up over 50% week-on-week, possibly as the nation adjusts to exercising at home. John Lennon’s timeless ode to global harmony, Imagine, makes a similar leap, while S Club 7’s ever-optimistic Reach is up almost 40%.

Pharrell’s spirit-lifting Number 1 hit Happy is up over 20%, as is Bruno Mars’ staying-in anthem The Lazy Song.

Isolation songs

It’s the end of the world as we know it…according to some, at least.

As we spend our days indoors, many have sought humour in isolation-themed songs. Streams of The Police’s newly-adopted social distancing anthem Don’t Stand So Close To Me rise 70% week on week, REM’s apocalyptic It’s The End Of The World As We Know It which made its Official Singles Chart Top 40 debut in December 1991, jumps 40%, along with their melancholic 1993 hit Everybody Hurts.

Two more popular choices come from US rapper Akon: Locked Up which has surged over 140%, while Lonely is up by almost 60%. Both were huge hits in 2005, with the latter reaching Number 1.

Other themed hits on the rise include Queen classic I Want To Break Free, and Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive, each seeing a boost of more than 20%.

Kids’ favourites 

With schools up and down the country now closed, young children (with the help of their parents) are keeping themselves entertained at home with their favourite sing-alongs.

Official Charts Company analysis shows a rise in popular kids’ songs including I Am Your Gummy Bear by German YouTube cartoon sensation Gummy Bear whose streams have risen by a quarter week-on-week, Psy’s dance-along global smash Gangnam Style is up a similar amount, while Under The Sea from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Aqua’s 1997 chart-topper Barbie Girl have each surged nearly 20%.

Plenty more Disney hits pepper the Top 100 too, from The Lion King's Hakuna Matata to Aladdin's A Whole New World - home-schooling households are carving out their soundtrack.

Official Charts Company Chief Executive Martin Talbot said: "These are extraordinary times and the Official Lockdown Listening List is our fun way of celebrating the unique place that music claims in the hearts of the British people. The music that we are listening to reflects how we are all coping in different ways – using it to lift our spirits, give us a laugh or bring us together with our families. I’m sure everyone will have their own favourites from this list of classics."

The UK's favourite Lockdown Listening songs will be discussed on BBC's The One Show tonight (March 27). Click here to tune in.

Official UK Lockdown Listening List Top 100

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS
2 LOCKED UP AKON
3 DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME POLICE
4 LOST FRANK OCEAN
5 LONELY AKON
6 MOVE YOUR FEET JUNIOR SENIOR
7 IMAGINE JOHN LENNON
8 IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT REM
9 REACH S CLUB 7
10 EVERYBODY HURTS REM
11 DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME GEORGE MICHAEL FT ELTON JOHN
12 THREE LITTLE BIRDS BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
13 BEST SONG EVER ONE DIRECTION
14 MUSIC SOUNDS BETTER WITH YOU STARDUST
15 WALKING ON A DREAM EMPIRE OF THE SUN
16 LOVE ON TOP BEYONCE
17 KISS PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION
18 SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED (I'M YOURS) STEVIE WONDER
19 KING YEARS & YEARS
20 I AM YOUR GUMMY BEAR GUMMY BEAR
21 SUMMER CALVIN HARRIS
22 CLASSIC MKTO
23 CHEERLEADER (FELIX JAEHN REMIX) OMI
24 AXEL F CRAZY FROG
25 WHEN WILL MY LIFE BEGIN MANDY MOORE
26 GANGNAM STYLE PSY
27 ELECTRIC FEEL MGMT
28 NEW SHOES PAOLO NUTINI
29 TWIST AND SHOUT BEATLES
30 HAPPY PHARRELL WILLIAMS
31 PROUD MARY TINA TURNER
32 CALL ME MAYBE CARLY RAE JEPSEN
33 LET'S DANCE TO JOY DIVISION WOMBATS
34 I WANT TO BREAK FREE QUEEN
35 RIDIN' SOLO JASON DERULO
36 THE LAZY SONG BRUNO MARS
37 STAYIN' ALIVE BEE GEES
38 JAMMING BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
39 HIGH LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY
40 DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT TOPLOADER
41 CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT ERNIE SABELLA/JOSEPH WILLIAMS
42 JOLENE DOLLY PARTON
43 DIE YOUNG KESHA
44 A-PUNK VAMPIRE WEEKEND
45 KISS YOU ONE DIRECTION
46 IS THIS LOVE BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
47 COULD YOU BE LOVED BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
48 U CAN'T TOUCH THIS MC HAMMER
49 TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS JOHN DENVER
50 9 TO 5 DOLLY PARTON
51 BARBIE GIRL AQUA
52 MYSTERIOUS GIRL PETER ANDRE
53 SATURDAY NIGHT WHIGFIELD
54 PRETTY GREEN EYES ULTRABEAT
55 YOU MAKE MY DREAMS DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES
56 UNDER THE SEA SAMUEL E WRIGHT
57 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY QUEEN
58 PON DE REPLAY RIHANNA
59 SEPTEMBER EARTH WIND & FIRE
60 STEREO HEARTS GYM CLASS HEROES/ADAM LEVINE
61 ROAR KATY PERRY
62 CALL ON ME ERIC PRYDZ
63 WINGS LITTLE MIX
64 ALL ABOUT THAT BASS MEGHAN TRAINOR
65 WAKA WAKA (THIS TIME FOR AFRICA) SHAKIRA FT FRESHLYGROUND
66 WAVES MR PROBZ
67 PARADISE COLDPLAY
68 LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN BRUNO MARS
69 THE NIGHTS AVICII
70 FEEL GOOD INC GORILLAZ
71 STAND BY ME OASIS
72 PARTY ROCK ANTHEM LMFAO/LAUREN BENNETT/GOONROCK
73 ANOTHER LOVE TOM ODELL
74 YOU & I ONE DIRECTION
75 A SKY FULL OF STARS COLDPLAY
76 DANCING QUEEN ABBA
77 PARTY IN THE USA MILEY CYRUS
78 I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO BE KING JASON WEAVER
79 I LOVED YOU BLONDE FT MELISSA STEEL
80 WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL ONE DIRECTION
81 HAKUNA MATATA NATHAN LANE
82 GOODBYE MY LOVER JAMES BLUNT
83 BORN TO RUN BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
84 WHISTLE FLO RIDA
85 18 ONE DIRECTION
86 INTO YOU FABOLOUS FT TAMIA
87 STORY OF MY LIFE ONE DIRECTION
88 WE ARE FAMILY SISTER SLEDGE
89 MAMMA MIA ABBA
90 A WHOLE NEW WORLD BRAD KANE & LEA SALONGA
91 AM I WRONG NICO & VINZ
92 RED RED WINE UB40
93 SHAKE IT OFF TAYLOR SWIFT
94 ENJOY THE SILENCE DEPECHE MODE
95 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON NWA
96 SWEET CAROLINE NEIL DIAMOND
97 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER
98 HERE COMES THE SUN BEATLES
99 HELP BEATLES
100 WANNABE SPICE GIRLS

©2020 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Data based on Official Charts Company data analysis of tracks more than 5 years old with the biggest percentage uplift in UK streams week on week, excluding attributable anomalies such as the catalogue of the late Kenny Rogers. Data period analysed first 6 days of week 13, 2020.