“This one is a bit niche” acknowledged Alan Jones in the Music Week Chart Pack this week, calling attention to a fun bit of chart trivia that people on forums had been anticipating for a few weeks.
Dandelions by Ruth B was released by the singer five years ago, first appeared on the British charts at the start of February and has been meandering around the lower reaches of the countdown ever since. It finally peaked at No.42 five weeks ago and this week reaches a summer-long low point of No.61. But crucially this is in its 23rd week on the Official UK Singles chart.
It is one of those tracks which just got stuck at a single low-level, barely growing at all, but crucially never fading away. And time and time again it has avoided the ACR drop that would cast it from the chart altogether to instead set a brand new record of lasting 23 weeks without ever becoming a sizable hit.
I say “sizable hit” because for years the benchmark for such nearly-hits has been Shame by Evelyn Champagne King, a favourite trope of chartwatchers of my era which also had an epic chart run of 23 weeks without ever climbing higher than No.39.
That solitary week in the Top 40 in August 1978 possibly disqualifies it from being a true flop, but it is nonetheless a record that has lasted ever since - all the more phenomenal when you consider its release coincided almost exactly with the expansion of the British singles chart to 75 places, freeing it to set such a record.
With streaming meaning singles can indeed smoulder for longer there have been more than a handful of tracks in recent years which have had similar epic battles with failure, although when challenged to name one at the weekend I could only call to mind Becky Hill and Weiss’ I Could Get Used To This which lasted 21 weeks on the Top 100 in 2019 without ever climbing higher than No.45.
This may well be the last hurrah for the Ruth B single, but it probably deserves an airing just to celebrate this truly niche chart achievement.