The three tracks - led by Journey's vintage Don't Stop Believin' at 25 - meant rock had a 3% share of the top 100, down from 13% last year - far behind hip hop / R&B (47%), pop (40%) and dance (10%).
This was its lowest tally in 50 years and underlines what has been a difficult year for new rock acts, with few commercial breakthroughs; a phenomenon that led Absolute Radio COO Clive Dickens to proclaim guitar-based music was "in a real lull" in 2010, while Radio 1 head of music George Ergatoudis said "brilliant" rock songs were few and far between.
Rock used to challenge pop for leadership of the singles chart and as recently as 2008 it accounted for 27 of the 100 biggest sellers.
On the top 100 albums, rock fared better, recording a 27% share, down just one percentage point on 2009. But there was still a paucity of rock acts at the very top of the charts, with only one rock act in the top 10 albums of the year - Mumford & Sons at 10 (although a case could be made for Florence + The Machine at eight).
The news comes as many in the industry are predicting a resurgence of rock music in 2011, pointing to the high-profile signings of Mona, Brother, The Vaccines and Yuck in late 2010, with debut albums due this year.
Of these acts, all save Brother appear on the BBC Sound Of 2011 longlist, although only The Vaccines made it into the five-strong shortlist.
For more chart analysis see Music Week on Monday.