13 U.K. Number One Hits That Never Made It To America

There are some songs that are just waaaay too British to translate outside of the United Kingdom. Some of these are pretty good, and some are…”Mr. Blobby.”

Cliff Richard, "We Don't Talk Anymore" [1979]

Cliff Richard is the third-biggest selling singles artist of all time in the U.K., but is pretty much unknown in the United States. He's been around long enough to have been an influence on the Beatles, and has had a Number One single on the U.K. charts in six consecutive decades. This song is basically standing in for a massive body of work that has been totally neglected in the States.

Source: youtube.com

Ian Dury and the Blockheads, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" [1979]

Dury has a small cult following in the States, but he was a chart-topper in his prime. This song was his commercial peak, and broke through as punk and new wave were busting into the mainstream of U.K. culture.

Source: youtube.com

St. Winifred's School Choir, "There's No One Quite Like Grandma" [1980]

The only thing weirder than the fact that this song about grandmas sung by a primary school choir was a Number One hit is that it managed to bump John Lennon's final single, "(Just Like) Starting Over," off the top of the chart shortly after he was murdered.

Source: youtube.com

Aneka, "Japanese Boy" [1981]

Scottish singer Mary Sandeman changed her name and her look to match the "Japanese" vibe of this song, but the Japanese market eventually rejected it for sounding "too Chinese."

Source: youtube.com


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