Procol Harum's 1967 classic A Whiter Shade of Pale is the most-played
song in public places in Britain over the last 75 years, the music licensing
body said Monday.
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was second, while The Everly Brothers' All I Have To Do Is Dream came third in a chart released by Phonographic Performance Limited, which licenses recorded music for broadcast or public performance, to mark its 75th anniversary.
Wet Wet Wet's version of Love Is All Around was at number four and Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – which topped the British charts for a record 16 weeks – was at number five.
Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker said topping the chart was a "great and unsought honour".
The singer, who wrote the song's music, won a Court of Appeal battle last year over the royalty rights to their best-known hit.
"It isn't something I could have remotely imagined when I wrote the song and then made that legendary recording with Procol Harum all those years ago," he said.
"Every musician and singer hopes to reach out and communicate to the audience, so it means a great deal that the record has such an indefinable popularity and lasting appeal."
The oldest song in the top 75 was Glenn Miller's In The Mood from 1939, while the most recent was OutKast's Hey Ya! from 2003.
The Beatles had three entries – Hello Goodbye at number 11, Get Back (13) and From Me To You (51) – as did Robbie Williams – Angels (six) Rock DJ (16) and Strong (56) – the joint-highest number of entries on the chart.
Bing Crosby, the Everly Brothers, Elton John, Elvis Presley and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John all had two entries each.
Crosby's pair – White Christmas (10) and Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (30) – were the highest of the four Christmas songs to feature.
Top 10 (artist, song, year released):
1. Procol Harum A Whiter Shade of Pale 1967
2. Queen Bohemian Rhapsody 1975
3. Everly Brothers All I Have To Do Is Dream 1958
4. Wet Wet Wet Love Is All Around 1994
5. Bryan Adams (Everything I Do) I Do It For You 1991
6. Robbie Williams Angels 1997
7. Elvis Presley All Shook Up 1957
8. ABBA Dancing Queen 1976
9. Perry Como Magic Moments 1958
10. Bing Crosby White Christmas 1942
More AWSoP lore | Similar story from five years ago | Follow-up in The Daily Express | An American response | The UK's The Independent | The UK's The Times