If you’re going to be hit by someone, it could as well be by someone you really care about – yourself! Squeezing your own work out of the top spot is a pretty rare occurrence on the official chart, but it does happen, albeit very, very rarely. But who managed it? We searched the archives.
W / E December 14, 1963
|ten||1||I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND||BEATLES|
|1||2||SHE LOVES YOU||BEATLES|
1963 was the year the Beatles really hit their stride, clinching their top three of their 17 number 1s in total. Early orders for I Want To Hold Your Hand would have passed 1 million and debuted at the top on the day of its release, had it not been blocked by their first million She Loves You sellers. It doesn’t matter, though, as he climbed to number 1 the following week.
W / E February 7, 1981
|1||4||TO IMAGINE||JOHN LENNON|
In the months following his untimely death in December 1980, John Lennon’s music returned to the charts, with his iconic 1975 hit Imagine returning at number 1. The first single released after his death, Woman – an ode to his wife Yoko – replaced Imagine at the top in February.
MORE: Acts with the most number 1 singles on the official roster
S / E January 22, 2005
|NEW||1||ONE NIGHT / I PICKED UP||ELVIS PRESLEY|
|1||ten||THE ROCK OF THE JAILHOUSE||ELVIS PRESLEY|
Reissues of Elvis’ 18 number 1 singles, released weekly in 2005, saw One Night return to number one and also become the UK’s 1,000th official number 1.
S / E December 10, 2015
|2||1||DO YOU LIKE TO||JUSTIN BIEBER|
Justin was on top of the charts at the end of 2015, when his acoustic ballad Love Yourself replaced the Sorry electronic banger at the top. Three weeks later, he became the first artist to hold numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the same week and received the official top ranking record award.
S / E January 25, 2018
|2||1||RIVER||EMINEM FT. ED SHEERAN|
After dominating 2017 with his album Divide and his singles, Ed kicked off 2018 with another No.1, this time as a guest on Eminem’s River. The song ousted her single Perfect – the official Christmas 2017 number 1 – from the top.
S / E February 21, 2019
|NEW||1||BREAK UP WITH YOU GIRLFRIEND I’m bored||ARIANA GRANDE|
|1||2||7 RINGS||ARIANA GRANDE|
S / E February 28, 2019
|2||1||7 RINGS||ARIANA GRANDE|
|1||2||BREAK UP WITH YOU GIRLFRIEND I’m bored||ARIANA GRANDE|
Not only is Ariana the first female artist to replace herself at number 1, she lays claim to the rare feat of replacing herself at number 1 twice in the consecutive weeks surrounding the release of her album Thank U, Next in 2019.
W / E September 23, 2021
|1||3||BAD HABITS||ED SHEERAN|
Ed is the latest artist to pull off the feat, ending Bad Habits’ 11-week reign at number 1 with Shivers, the second single from his album =. The singer-songwriter helped Shivers secure the # 1 spot with a limited run of singles on CD, moving 9,000 physical copies in his first week.
Getting back to the top of the official album chart is slightly rarer, it only happens six times. In February 2016, David Bowie’s last studio album, Blackstar, was toppled over by his 2002 Best Of Bowie retrospective after his passing the previous month.
Before Bowie, Michael Jackson replaced himself at the top in July 2009, when his hit album Essential knocked No. 1 off pole after his death.
Going even further back in time, 35 years ago, the folk-rock artist Mike Oldfield achieved the feat in October 1974 with Tubular Bells / Hergest Ridge, while Bob Dylan scored two successive number 1s in May 1965 with Bringing It All Back Home and The Freewheelin ‘Bob Dylan.
Finally, the Beatles have returned to the top on no less than two occasions. The first was in December 1963 with With The Beatles and Please Please Me, and the second was almost exactly a year later with Beatles For Sale / A Hard Day’s Night.