ppl reveals the most played tracks this century for glastonbury’s headliners

PPL licenses the use of recorded music when it is played on radio, TV or in public in the UK. It receives extensive airplay reporting from broadcasters and public performance venues and uses that information to help ensure that the performers and recording rightsholders it represents are paid when their music is used.

These charts, which have been compiled using airplay reports from broadcasters around the country, therefore offer a unique perspective on the use of recorded music across the UK.

We bet they’ll look good on the main stage

Arctic Monkeys are returning to Glastonbury for their third headline set, topping the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Friday 23 June. Since releasing their debut album in 2006, the critically acclaimed Sheffield band have remained consistently popular, becoming the first band signed to an independent record label to debut at number one in the UK’s Official Album Chart with all of their first five albums.

The band have generated over 50 million seconds of airplay on UK radio and TV in the 21st century to date – the equivalent of being on continuous play for more than a year and a half.

The top 10 most played Arctic Monkeys songs this century in the UK are:

  1. Fluorescent Adolescent
  2. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
  3. When The Sun Goes Down
  4. Do I Wanna Know?
  5. Brianstorm
  6. Mardy Bum
  7. Teddy Picker
  8. R U Mine?
  9. Arabella
  10. Crying Lightning

Welcome to the west country for Axl and co 

Guns N’ Roses might be ‘the most dangerous band in the world,’ but the legendary rockers also have a back catalogue to envy, with an array of classic songs, and in Appetite For Destruction, one of the most commercially and critically successful rock albums ever. Since emerging from the LA hard rock scene in the mid-1980s, the band have continued to tour and release music, despite a number of line-up changes. Their Saturday 24 June headline spot will be the first time they have played at Worthy Farm.

Guns N’ Roses have generated over 120 million seconds of airplay on UK radio and TV in the 21st century to date – the equivalent of being on continuous play for almost four years.

The top 10 most played Guns N’ Roses songs this century in the UK are:

  1. Sweet Child O’ Mine
  2. Welcome To The Jungle
  3. Paradise City
  4. November Rain
  5. Live And Let Die
  6. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  7. You Could Be Mine
  8. Patience
  9. Don’t Cry
  10. Nightrain

Rocketman scheduled for launch

Elton John is set to close this year’s festival with a headline appearance on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday 25 June, in what is being called his ultimate farewell gig in the UK. An international hitmaker for six decades, the legendary singer-songwriter has a vast back catalogue to call upon. In 2022, his collaboration with Dua Lipa on Cold Heart propelled Elton into PPL’s overall Most Played Chart.

Elton has generated over 600 million seconds of UK airplay on radio and TV in the 21st century so far. If all those plays were consecutive, they would equate to Elton being continuously on air for more than 19 years, or around 80% of the entire century so far.

The top 10 most played Elton John songs this century in the UK are:

  1. I’m Still Standing
  2. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
  3. Rocket Man
  4. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
  5. Your Song
  6. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
  7. Step Into Christmas
  8. Candle In The Wind
  9. Sacrifice
  10. Are You Ready For Love

Between them, the top ten tracks account for almost 60% of Elton’s total airtime, with I’m Still Standing alone making up almost 10%. It has been played on air around 270,000 times in total this century.

Elton John’s Most Played Songs of the 21st Century will be exclusively revealed on Greatest Hits Radio at 4pm this Sunday 25 June.

Greatest Hits Radio’s Mark Goodier commented: “Over five decades of greatest hits, a Glastonbury headliner in 2023 and selling out stadiums across the globe on his farewell tour. Few singer-songwriters – of this or any age – can compete with the musical legacy of Elton Hercules John. The most played top ten showcases that legacy in the best way possible with songs that are still garnering an incredible amount of listening decades after their first release.”

Dave Goggin, PPL’s Head of Repertoire, said: “Millions of fans around the world continue to listen to and enjoy the wonderful music recorded and performed by Elton John – a truly iconic artist. As festival goers and fans at home prepare for what could be his final UK show, we hope our ultimate Elton top 10 chart will whet their appetite and get them in the mood for what will surely be a highlight performance from this year’s event.”