But while the advent of streaming has pretty much killed the excitement of the charts, there have still been several great songs to reach the top spot (along with a few duds too).
As we near the end of the year, here’s a countdown of all the number one hits of the past 12 months from worst to best.
15. Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes
It’s easy to forget now that Sam Smith started out voicing Disclosure’s club classic Latch and Naughty Boy’s two-step throwback La La La.
But since launching his solo career proper, he’s dealt almost entirely in the kind of interminably bland sub-Adele piano ballads that appear destined to clog up Heart FM for eternity.
Sadly and unfathomably, the success of Too Good At Goodbyes proved that the British public still can’t get enough of his unintelligible warbling.
14. Post Malone feat. 21 Savage – Rockstar
Easily the most baffling number one of the year.
Post Malone hadn’t even had a UK Top 20 hit before, yet somehow spent four weeks at the top with an unremarkable slice of stoner hip-hop devoid of any hooks or charm.
13. Artists for Grenfell – Bridge Over Troubled Water
This all-star cover version of the Simon & Garfunkel classic was recorded for a great cause.
But like the majority of charity singles, it’s hard to imagine anyone who bought it still listening to it now.
12. Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times
Queen, Bowie, Prince – just some of the names that Harry Styles drew comparisons with during his ridiculously-hyped ‘real music’ album campaign.
And yet the overblown, overlong Sign Of The Times sounded more like a late-90s Stereophonics reject than anyone of superstar status. If any solo 1D song deserved the top spot, it was Niall Horan’s Slow Hands.
11. DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne – I’m the One
DJ Khaled had barely troubled the UK charts with his previous nine studio efforts yet his 10th ended up spawning two number ones.
This generic all-star collaboration, which also saw Bieber rack up his sixth chart-topper in just two years, is by far the weaker of the two.
10. Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
The world’s biggest pop star sampling Right Said Fred must go down as one of the music scene’s most unexpected developments of 2017.
The almost unrecognisable borrowing of I’m Too Sexy is the only remotely interesting thing about this charmless and tuneless riposte to her haters. But even the latter-day Sugababes did that better.
Just when you thought Ed Sheeran’s reign of terror had come to an end, along came this reworked version of Perfect featuring none other than Queen Bey herself.
Despite the presence of Beyonce, Perfect Duet still sounds like pretty much every other Ed Sheeran track out there – inoffensive, safe and seemingly designed by committee to appeal to the broadest audience possible.
8. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber – Despacito
The song which ushered in a Latin pop craze not seen since the summer of 99, Despacito can lay claim to being the most influential chart hit of 2017.
Everyone from Little Mix to Beyonce got in on the act following its mammoth success.
But take away the star power of Bieber and you’re left with a pretty ordinary reggaeton tune which, in the UK at least, would have sunk without trace.
7. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You
And so we come to the song that almost equalled Drake’s mammoth run at the top spot last year.
Shape Of You stayed at number one for 13 weeks straight before bouncing back for another to dethrone Harry Styles.
It’s not particularly worthy of such dominance, but its tropical house-lite sound is one of the more palatable things the unstoppable Sheeran has put his name to this year.
6. Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug – Havana
Who would have expected a former member of nondescript girl group Fifth Harmony to produce one of the biggest bops of the year?
Jumping on the Latin bandwagon, Camila Cabello produced a sleek and sexy track far even more infectious than the song that kickstarted it, racking up a month at the top of the charts in the process.
5. DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
The previously ubiquitous Rihanna has been relatively quiet in 2017 as a solo artist, although she has scored several hits as a featured performer with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Future and N.E.R.D.
But it was this collaboration with in-vogue DJ Khaled that the great British public sent to the top of the charts, a seductive mix of Latin pop, R&B and hip-hop based on a sample of Santana’s Maria, Maria.
4. Clean Bandit feat. Zara Larsson – Symphony
The other leading artist to score two number ones this year, Clean Bandit continued their run of electro-classical-pop bangers by hooking up with fellow chart ever-present Zara Larsson.
But it didn’t quite reach the heights of the trio’s other chart-topping leftover from the previous year.
3. Clean Bandit feat. Anne Marie and Sean Paul – Rockabye
Having already spent seven weeks at the top in 2016 – including the coveted Christmas No.1 spot – Clean Bandit’s Rockabye managed to hang on for a further two in 2017 as well.
From Sean Paul’s cries of ‘daily struggle’ to its vintage Ace Of Base reggae-pop sound, Rockabye still remains the most enjoyably ridiculous chart-topper for a second year running.
2. Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell, Katy Perry and Big Sean – Feels
After years of peddling generic EDM to the fratboy crowds, Calvin Harris thankfully rediscovered the quirks that once made him such an interesting pop star with this year’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.
This glorious star-studded mix of ska guitars, warm synths and funk beats was something of a slow-burner, taking several months to climb its way up the chart, but by the end of the summer had everyone singing (wrongly) ‘don’t be afraid to catch fish.’
1. Dua Lipa – New Rules
Having appeared to be stuck in development hell, Dua Lipa proved that good things can come to those who wait with a number one that took on a life of its own.
Not only was New Rules heavily boosted by an eye-catching promo celebrating female empowerment through colourful choreography, it was also treated to an inspired Initial Talk remix which made the very 2017-sounding break-up anthem resemble a long-lost Stock, Aitken and Waterman classic from the late 1980s.