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Colm
post Jun 30 2017, 03:02 PM
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https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jun/...MP=share_btn_tw


Seeing as you guys know much more than music journalists - are there any/man mistakes in this article?

1 The first singles chart was published in 1952, and involved NME asking 20 retailers each week what had been selling. Publications such as Record Mirror and Melody Maker followed suit, with Radio 1 basing its own chart on a combination of those sources, but it was 1969 before the first official chart was compiled.


2 Chainsmokers aside, the least musical single to hit the Top 20 was arguably the Royal British Legion’s Two Minutes Silence, which got to number 19 in 2010. Notable for being neither silent nor two minutes’ long.

3 If you’re looking for some real peace and quiet, head over to the chart entry for Cage Against the Machine’s cover of 4’33”, which got to No 21 in 2010, thanks to a campaign aiming to make some point or other about The X Factor.

4 Bryan Adams, eh? As well as holding the record for the longest-running No 1 single (Everything I Do, which racked up 16 weeks “atop” the “hit parade”), he’s also the man behind the best-selling single not to have gone Top 40: his ode to seasonal guitar purchasing, Summer of 69, has sold more than 500,000 copies. (B Ad’s UK record was equalled on the US’s Billboard chart by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s One Sweet Day, which also reigned for four months.)


5 The first single to hit No 1 without being released on vinyl came from digital trailblazer Celine Dion – her 1994 single Think Twice sold more than 1.3m copies on CD and cassette.

6 The longest song to chart was the Orb’s wobbly 1992 hit Blue Room, which came in at three seconds below the permitted 40-minute limit, and reached No 8. The sweariest was Super Furry Animals’ The Man Don’t Give a f*** (which gives 49 of them).

7 In 1980, ITV’s World in Action broadcast an investigation called The Chart Busters. (Please set aside half an hour to watch it on YouTube.) It followed a Mirror exposé, in which “housewives” were said to have been recruited to buy specific singles in bulk. One song said to have benefited from this chart-hyping was the Pretenders’ Brass in Pocket.

8 Seventeen years later, doorstep-dwelling investigative journalist Roger Cook embarked on a two-part ITV documentary designed to blow the lid off chart-hyping. In order to show how simple it was to hype a song into the charts, he recruited an Aitken- and Waterman-free Mike Stock to record a cover of You Can Do Magic fronted, somewhat improbably, by Edwina Currie’s daughter. The single got to No 86.

9 In nominative determinism news, Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz got to No 1 in 2009 with their single Number 1, while Blur’s Song 2 got to No 2. Not everyone fared so well: Pharrell and Kanye’s Number One got to No 31, John Legend’s Number One got to No 63, Goldfrapp’s Number 1 got to No 9, the Tweenies’ Number 1 got to No 5.

10 Iron Maiden had their first and only No 1 in 1990. Bring Your Daughter … to the Slaughter became the first-ever metal No 1 through a combination of clever timing (they released it during a notoriously quiet festive sales week) and keen fanbase – the single came out on two different 12”s, two different 7”s, cassette and CD.

11 In other multi-formatting news, Björk had marginally less success in 1997 when she released a single on three different CDs and six (!) different 12”s – Alarm Call got to No 33.


12 The OCC’s relatively new vinyl chart (current No 1: the Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead) basks in the glory of the vinyl revival, but it was a tweak to chart rules that helped accelerate vinyl’s demise as a singles format. As of 1995, there could only be three chart-eligible formats for each single; most releases swerved 7” and 12” formats and opted instead for two CD singles and cassette. (Oasis’s Some Might Say subsequently charted twice in the same week – at No 1 from eligible formats, and at No 71 on sales of 12”s.)

13 Kate Bush was the first female artist to achieve a UK No 1 with a self-written song. No female artist has achieved this in the 21st century.

14 In July 1999, the chart missed data from Virgin and Our Price; a recount showed that Blur’s Coffee & TV would have been a Top 10 single.

15 Busted’s Crashed the Wedding was the last UK single to hit No 1 with a cassette edition. During the 00s, sales of the “cassingle”, AKA history’s worst music format, dwindled, meaning for some acts the most effective third format swang back to 7” singles. These usually took the form of picture discs, destined – and designed – never to be played; unlikely champions included Girls Aloud and McFly. But in 2007, the White Stripes hit the highest one-week sales of a 7” in a decade, shifting 14,847 copies of Icky Thump.

16 There were 42 different No 1 singles in 2000. In 2016, there were just 11; as we reach 2017’s halfway point, there have been only six.

17 In 2005, nearly one in eight CD singles was bought in Asda. Two years later, Asda stopped selling them. At the time Woolworths, whose 818 stores accounted for nearly a third of all CD single singles, insisted that they had no plans to drop the format, with their music buyer telling the BBC: “If you give people what they want, they will buy it.” Woolworths closed the following year.

18 In the mid-00s, former Steps warbler Lisa Scott-Lee made a pact with the producers of MTV reality show Totally Scott-Lee: if her single Electric didn’t go Top 10, she would quit pop. Despite the song reaching the Capital FM playlist, the single missed the Top 10. Scott-Lee is currently performing an arena tour with Steps.

19 Steps’ One for Sorrow, meanwhile, ignominiously got to No 2 twice, once in 1998 and then when reissued in 2001.

20 March 2006 saw a significant change to chart eligibility rules: downloads would count the week prior to a single’s physical release. This slowed down the chart – just one month on from the rule change, the Top 10 had no new entries for the first time in four years.

21 Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy was the first song to reach No 1 on downloads alone, and ended 2006 as the year’s biggest-selling single. Single sales doubled to more than 65m in the year following the inclusion of downloads in the chart.


22 In January 2007, the rules changed again: songs could chart even if they had never been released physically. HMV was faced with the prospect of blank spaces in its chart racks, and stopped using the official UK chart in its stores, with a spokesperson noting: “The new chart is not appropriate for the purpose of merchandising singles.” The rule change resulted in a campaign by Radio 1’s Chris Moyles, who urged listeners to download Billie Piper’s old hit Honey to the B; it got to No 17.

23 Unlike its US equivalent, the UK chart has never counted airplay, but one of the most controversial parts of its current system is that it does count “passive listens” through streaming services. These are songs streamed as a result of being in a playlist, rather than having been deliberately sought out by the listener. Considering many of the biggest playlists are owned and operated by major labels, it’s hard not to see this as tantamount to authorised chart-hyping.

24 The PDF file in which the OCC sets out current chart rules runs to 11 pages. Rules relate to format eligibility, permitted track length and “activity intended unfairly to influence chart positions”, but every label has its own horror story. In 2002, Norman Cook protege and future Lady Gaga collaborator Space Cowboy’s cover of Prince’s I Would Die 4 U was set to be a Top 10 smash, but due to a label balls-up concerning the number of remixes on the CD single, it hit only No 52. Ronan Keating’s metaphor-heavy Life Is a Rollercoaster, meanwhile, had more than half its first week sales disqualified due to the none-more-90s inclusion of a CD-Rom interview.

25 Voluntary disqualification — “exclusion by request” in official chart terminology — is a quiet phenomenon. When The X Factor put each weekend’s live performances on sale through iTunes, none of them charted, presumably in an attempt to conceal the contestants’ relative popularity. We will never know if Wagner’s version of Love Shack could have been a Top 5 hit.

26 If the proper chart is a bit BBC for you, why not check out the Vodafone Big Top 40, which reaches more than 2 million commercial radio listeners each week? The show starts by playing the 10 most-downloaded songs of the past week, then counts down from 40 to 11 with figures including streaming and airplay, before the iTunes chart is “frozen” and the final Top 10 is revealed.

27 Before streaming made a huge impact on the Top 40, multi-formatting found a new lease of life in the download era. In 2014, the Vamps released their single Wild Heart on two CDs and one DVD – as well as eight different download bundles.

28 Until the internet came along and ruined everything, the midweek chart – an early tally of the forthcoming chart’s movers and shakers – was a top-secret document seen only by those in the industry. In 2010, with midweeks having circulated each week via email and messageboard for more than a decade, the OCC admitted defeat and launched the Official Chart Update on Radio 1, which ran on Wednesday afternoons. When the proper weekly chart rundown moved to Fridays, the midweek rundown moved to Mondays.

29 With two official updates a week, the official chart is still trailing behind charts on Spotify and iTunes, which both update charts at various points each day.

30 During a November 2012 midweek chart update countdown, Radio 1’s Greg James accidentally read out a month-old chart, getting to No 3 before realising his mistake. In 2017, the chart moves so slowly that he could probably do it again and get the chart right.

31 In 2004, the Alarm decided to prove they weren’t totally clapped out, and tricked their way to the band’s first Top 40 single in 15 years by creating a band formed of four 18-year-olds. The single, by the Poppyfields, was in the Top 30 before the song’s actual artists quite literally raised the alarm. This happens more regularly than you might think: for example, Rita Ora is actually a front for Petula Clark.

32 The UK charts’ 1,000th No 1 was One Night by Elvis Presley, which makes more sense when you know it was part of the 2005 Elvis reissue bonanza. Elvis still holds the record for most No 1 singles – 21 – followed by the Beatles with 17.

33 Westlife’s first six singles went to No 1. They were all ballads.

34 Prior to this year’s Sheeran debacle, the record for most Top 10 singles from one album was held by Calvin Harris, whose 18 Months album was responsible for nine Top 10s. None were ballads.

35 Last year, in an attempt to counter criticism that the Top 40 was moving too slowly, the OCC launched the Official Trending Chart. Based on data from the first four days of each chart week, it would include songs “showing week-on-week growth”, which had never been in the Top 10, and with a limit on two songs per artist. Nobody is very bothered about the Official Trending Chart.

36 In the current chart, only one single in the Top 10 — Ariana Grande’s One Last Time — is not a collaboration. There are just three brand-new songs in the chart, but at the same time only three songs are by Ed Sheeran (unless you count a further two, by Rita Ora and Liam Payne, which are written by him).

37 A 1993 charity release saw 11 different versions of the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter, each by different artists, released across four different formats, counting towards one chart position. Artists included Tom Jones, Jimmy Somerville, Hawkwind and Cud; the single got to No 23.

38 Between 1984 and 1994 every single Madonna single – that’s 34 releases – hit the Top 10. Take a Bow put the kibosh on that run when it reached only No 16.

39 Songs that entered the UK Top 40 on import alone, prior to a full UK release, include Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me, Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee) and Lou Bega’s Mambo No 5, all three of which are unequivocal bangers.

40 Artists who have only ever spent one week at No 40 – which is somehow more tragic than never having hit the Top 40 at all – include Grand Funk Railroad, Lodger, Naomi Campbell and a man called Stan, whose single Suntan was one of the worst releases of the 90s.


This post has been edited by Colm: Jun 30 2017, 03:03 PM
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BridgeCow
post Jun 30 2017, 04:00 PM
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QUOTE(Colm @ Jun 30 2017, 04:02 PM) *
Chainsmokers aside


Ouch


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AcerBen
post Jun 30 2017, 04:04 PM
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Some of these may have come from Buzzjack as I sent a few suggestions to Peter wink.gif
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Jay ☆
post Jun 30 2017, 04:09 PM
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Very interesting, thanks for posting!


Point 14 re: Blur definitely isn't true though, it was destined to miss the Top 10 either way. The Official Charts site includes the proper chart with no missing info, it still reached #11.


QUOTE
17 In 2005, nearly one in eight CD singles was bought in Asda. Two years later, Asda stopped selling them. At the time Woolworths, whose 818 stores accounted for nearly a third of all CD single singles, insisted that they had no plans to drop the format, with their music buyer telling the BBC: “If you give people what they want, they will buy it.” Woolworths closed the following year.

sob.gif Used to love browsing in Woolworths seeing the latest singles, and having a rummage through their bargain bin. My mum would quite often buy singles from ASDA for me on the way home from work. A different era. wub.gif
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The Hit Parade
post Jun 30 2017, 10:28 PM
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I never had an Asda near me so I don't think I ever bought a single in there.
Did Woolworths eventually drop the singles a few months before they closed down or am I misremembering?

Anyway, 14 is wrong (presumably just hype from EMI at the time) and 12 effectively contradicts 11, doesn't it?

30 is a bit of a myth and the second half of 6 isn't quite right because SFA broke their own record with the extended live version of 'The Man Don't Give...'.
33 is debatable (I wouldn't have classed 'If I Let You Go' as a ballad).

But this is a lot better than the usual articles like this.
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StillJupiter
post Jul 1 2017, 01:42 AM
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Super Furry Animals track, hmm, I think I recall those awful Eamon and Frankee songs also being in contention for the song with the most swear words in them back that horrible year when they were #1
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SKOB
post Jul 1 2017, 06:08 AM
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LMAO at #2
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vidcapper
post Jul 1 2017, 06:08 AM
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#13 is clearly wrong, as Adele wrote both 'Someone Like You' and 'Hello'
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SKOB
post Jul 1 2017, 06:24 AM
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Not alone though
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vidcapper
post Jul 1 2017, 06:48 AM
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QUOTE(SKOB @ Jul 1 2017, 07:24 AM) *
Not alone though


#13 doesn't say anything about writing them *alone*.


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SKOB
post Jul 1 2017, 07:27 AM
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Well I read it that way and that's obviously what they mean because for example Lady Gaga has co-written all her #1s
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Bjork
post Jul 1 2017, 07:40 AM
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exactly, writing and co-writing, not the same thing
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Colm
post Jul 1 2017, 08:50 AM
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Wasn't Nelly Furtado's Say it Right the first song to reach the top 10 without a physical being released afterwards?

If so, that is more interesting than some of the "facts".


This post has been edited by Colm: Jul 1 2017, 08:53 AM
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John-James
post Jul 1 2017, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE(Colm @ Jul 1 2017, 09:50 AM) *
Wasn't Nelly Furtado's Say it Right the first song to reach the top 10 without a physical being released afterwards?

If so, that is more interesting than some of the "facts".

I believe so yes. Shame it didn't get one, its one of my favourite songs ever and deserved much more than #10
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vibe
post Jul 2 2017, 12:22 PM
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Still baffles me how take a bow onlybpeaked at number 16.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 19th September 2017 - 10:36 PM