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> Question about chart compiling in 1985., When the chart was still revealed on Tuesdays
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zenon
post Apr 30 2018, 12:28 AM
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A couple of months back I was listening to a Radio 1 top 40 from 1985 and at the end of the show Richard Skinner said that due to the bank holiday the following week's chart would not be revealed until early Tuesday evening rather than that day's lunchtime. If that was the case then surely the technology by this stage would have enabled the new chart to be revealed early Monday evening on a normal week. If this was possible then why still embargo it until Tuesday lunchtime?
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kindagood
post Apr 30 2018, 10:18 AM
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What technology. Computers would have been basic.and it would have been based on returns from record stores which would have required manual counting. If the Monday was a bank holiday there would have been no one to count the returns until the Tuesday.
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Gezza
post Apr 30 2018, 11:38 AM
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Chart return shops were computerised by Gallup early on around 1983/84 but the software would take a while to run.
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Robbie
post Apr 30 2018, 01:29 PM
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The charts were compiled on a Tuesday morning until May 1986 when after this they were compiled on a Sunday afternoon. However the music industry didn't want them revealed until a Tuesday but Radio 1 pushed for them to be revealed on a Sunday afternoon as Radio 1 were losing listeners to the charts on independent local radio. It took until October 1987 before this happened. However Radio 1 did get to countdown the new chart on a late Tuesday afternoon from 1984 when Monday was a Bank Holiday. Prior to this the new charts weren't published until a Wednesday.
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Robbie
post Apr 30 2018, 01:49 PM
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An interesting article about the charts, from Record Mirror in May 1987, 5 months before the new chart was revealed on a Sunday

https://www.dropbox.com/s/voi4y3f5n80ih6g/G...Charts.pdf?dl=0


This post has been edited by Robbie: Apr 30 2018, 01:58 PM
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Gambo
post May 2 2018, 12:14 PM
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A fascinating article, and one that confirms the revelation (well, it was a revelation to me at least after more than 30 years) that the official Gallup chart was available on Sunday afternoons almost a year-and-a-half earlier than Radio 1 began broadcasting it in that slot! I'd assumed, as I suspect many at the time and since have, that until October 1987 when it finally caught-up a week, the tech just wasn't up to facilitating a completely-compiled (i.e. fully-checked for anomalies etc as described in the RM article) chart in the 17-hour period from the close of the sales survey week to the time the Top 40 chart show aired.

I've thought about this, but I really can't see why "the industry" at large would've sought to have retained the policy of airing the official new numbers to the then-vast amounts of the public interested in them, a whole two days after they were potentially available? What was the gain? Okay, back in the mid '80s the notion of having to get things 'out there' with any kind of immediacy wasn't as acute as it is now, when it is not only legitimate to expect it, but the speed of the way media is consumed online demands it. Things did, and so could, move at a slower pace in the physical rather than virtual world. But even so, not even a move to Monday? And all this with the Network Chart competition breathing down its neck on a Sunday? It can't have been because they believed the Tuesday lunchtime slot was such a great one for listeners that it was worth maintaining, when clearly so many more listeners would've been available to tune-in on a Sunday afternoon - or even a Monday evening pitch. I presume that all the pressure that eventually led them to move to Sunday 17 months late came from Radio 1 itself as it became acutely-conscious of growing disparity between its chart show listening figures and ILR's, and also that controllers tuned-in to the fact that it was no longer acceptable in an increasingly-computerised climate to dish-up a countdown for the week just outgoing rather than incoming, when it could be avoided. In catching-up a week, the Gallup chart was put back in front of the Network in terms of currentness, given the latter's survey week had already ended four days prior to broadcast (Gallup's would now be reflecting sales as recent as one day before).

Perhaps this just reflects the sort of arrogance we have seen from "the industry" since, when faced with even-more pressing and potentially damaging issues. An obvious one is the slow and confused response to the prevalence of illegal downloading by the turn of the century, which seemed to just rely on the rapidly-ageing models of selling physical product while making huge capital gains - we saw it in the insistence on charging 15 for CD albums well into the 2000s (and the deliberate withholding of radio singles to force album sales in the US). More recently, in the chart world we have the apparent complacency of the OCC, who seem to just simplistically-rely on the leverage they think they can always gain by being able to use the "official" tag for its output, despite the mess that it's made in trying to keep pace with digital developments, and the constant inconsistencies and errors it makes which many blithely accept because they are the sole authority on chart history, however appallingly it misinterprets or rewrites it. It is actually quite refreshing to see that in 1987, the fact that one chart may have had the "official" trump card to play wasn't ultimately enough to ensure its primacy in the face of alternatives, and a change in policy was forced. If only I could envisage something similar happening with the present dogged state of the UK (and the more I see of them, US) charts - not to mention that of their respective radio broadcasts!


This post has been edited by Gambo: May 2 2018, 12:16 PM
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