Its haunting melody and electronic beat gave Scots songwriter and musican Midge Ure one of his greatest hits.

But remarkably the Ultravox song Vienna never topped the charts – until now, after it was named the nation's favourite number two single.

The single triumphed in a national poll by Radio 2 and the Official Charts Company to find the greatest track to narrowly miss out on the top slot.

Loading article content

Vienna, with its moody, dry-ice-filled black-and-white promo, was held off number one by novelty track Shaddap You Face by US-born Australian Joe Dolce.

It will feature in a countdown of the best number twos of all time to be broadcast from 2pm today, featuring the top 40 songs which were a whisker away from becoming top of the pops.

The Ultravox song's triumph left The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl single Fairytale Of New York as the all-time number two number two. The 1987 Christmas hit was originally held in check by the Pet Shop Boys cover of Elvis Presley's hit Always On My Mind.

The poll was launched to celebrate 60 years of the singles chart. DJ Tony Blackburn will list the songs in his three-hour show The Nation's Favourite Number Two Single.

Blackburn was among a panel of experts – including Radio 2's Ken Bruce and Janice Long, Radio 1's Annie Nightingale, and 6 Music's Steve Lamacq – who compiled a shortlist from 941 singles which have made it to number two. Radio 2 listeners then voted.

Ultravox frontman Ure, born in Glasgow, said: "We are extremely pleased and very humbled to have been given this honorary number one, especially knowing the outstanding records which were also in the running.

Radio 2's head of music, Jeff Smith, said: "Vienna is a brilliant track, a true classic. It was up against hits by some of the world's biggest acts - The countdown is packed with some amazing songs."

The Who's My Generation was 12th in the list, and Wonderwall by Oasis finished at 13.