The UK Singles Chart (currently entitled Official Singles Chart) is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV (Official UK Top 40), is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums.To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.
The Official Charts Company, also referred to as Official Charts is a British inter-professional organisation that compiles various "official" record charts in the United Kingdom, including the UK Singles Chart, the UK Albums Chart, the UK Singles Downloads Chart and the UK Album Downloads Chart, as well as genre-specific and music video charts. The OCC produces its charts by gathering and combining sales data from retailers through market researchers Millward Brown, and claims to cover 99% of the singles market and 95% of the album market, and aims to collect data from any retailer who sells more than 100 chart items per week.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.
The OCC website contains the Top 100 chart.Some media outlets only list the Top 40 (such as the BBC) or the Top 75 (such as Music Week magazine) of this list. The chart week runs from 00:01 Friday to midnight Thursday, with most UK physical and digital singles being released on Fridays. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday.
Music Week is a trade paper for the UK record industry. It is published by Future.
The Top 40 chart is first issued on Friday afternoons by BBC Radio 1 as The Official Chart from 16:00 to 17:45, before the full Official Singles Chart Top 100 is posted on the Official Charts Company's website.A rival chart show, The Vodafone Big Top 40 , is based on iTunes downloads and commercial radio airplay across the Global Radio network only, is broadcast on Sunday afternoons from 16:00 to 19:00 on 145 local commercial radio stations across the United Kingdom. The Big Top 40 is not officially regarded by the industry or wider media. There is also a show called "Official KISS Top 40", counting down 40 most played songs on Kiss FM every Sunday 17:00 to 19:00.
BBC Radio 1 is a British radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in modern popular music and current chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7 pm, including electronica, dance, hip hop, rock and indie. The choice of music and presenting style is entirely that of programme hosts, however those who present in the daytime have to rotate a number of songs a specific number of times per week. It was launched in 1967 to meet the demand for music generated by pirate radio stations, when the average age of the UK population was 27. The BBC claim that they target the 15–29 age group, and the average age of its UK audience since 2009 is 30. BBC Radio 1 started 24-hour broadcasting on 1 May 1991.
The Official Chart is a long-running United Kingdom music chart programme, airing each Friday afternoon on BBC Radio 1. It airs the UK Singles Chart compiled by the Official Charts Company, and is currently hosted by Scott Mills.
Kiss is a UK radio station which broadcasts nationally on DAB Digital Radio, as well as on FM in London, Bristol and the Severn Estuary, and East Anglia. Kiss plays contemporary hits with an urban and dance music lean during the day, with more specialist shows in the evening. It is notable for having originally started out as Kiss FM - a 1980s pirate radio station that was to become the UKs first legal radio station specialising in black and dance music.
The UK Singles Chart began to be compiled in 1952. According to the Official Charts Company's statistics, as of 1 July 2012, 1,200 singles have topped the UK Singles Chart.The precise number of chart-toppers is debatable due to the profusion of competing charts from the 1950s to the 1980s, but the usual list used is that endorsed by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and subsequently adopted by the Official Charts Company. The company regards a selected period of the New Musical Express chart (only from 1952 to 1960) and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts (none official) coexisted side by side. For example, the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; many songs announced as having reached number one on BBC Radio and Top of the Pops prior to 1969 are not listed as chart-toppers according to the legacy criteria of the Charts Company.
Record Retailer was a trade newspaper for the UK record industry. It was founded in August 1959 as a monthly newspaper covering both labels and dealers. Its founding editor was Roy Parker. The title changed to Record Retailer and Music Industry News shortly after launch.
Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly between 1 January 1964 and 30 July 2006. The programme was shown every Thursday evening on BBC One, except for a short period on Fridays in mid-1973 before being again moved to Fridays at 7:30 pm in 1996 and then to Sundays on BBC Two in 2005. Each weekly programme consisted of performances from some of that week's best-selling popular music artists, with a rundown of that week's singles chart. Additionally, there was a special edition of the programme on Christmas Day, featuring some of the best-selling singles of the year.
The first number one on the UK Singles Chart was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino for the week ending date 14 November 1952. As of the week ending date 25 April 2019, the UK Singles Chart has had 1353 different number-one hits. The current number-one single is "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X.
"Here in My Heart" is a popular song, written by Pat Genaro, Lou Levinson, and Bill Borrelli, and published in 1952.
Al Martino was an American singer and actor. He had his greatest success as a singer between the early 1950s and mid-1970s, being described as "one of the great Italian American pop crooners", and also became well known as an actor, particularly for his role as singer Johnny Fontane in The Godfather.
"Old Town Road" is a song by American rapper Lil Nas X. It was initially released independently on December 3, 2018, and gained popularity on social video sharing app TikTok. As a result, Lil Nas X was signed to Columbia Records, which now distributes the single. A remix of the song featuring Billy Ray Cyrus was released on April 5, 2019, and another remix featuring Young Thug is in the works.
Before the compilation of sales of records, the music market measured a song's popularity by sales of sheet music. The idea of compiling a chart based on sales originated in the United States, where the music-trade paper Billboard compiled the first chart incorporating sales figures on 20 July 1940. Record charts in the UK began in 1952, when Percy Dickins of the New Musical Express (NME) gathered a pool of 52 stores willing to report sales figures. 's becoming a Top 20 in October 1955 and NME's becoming a Top 30 in April 1956. Another rival publication, Melody Maker , began compiling its own chart; it telephoned 19 stores to produce a Top 20 for 7 April 1956. It was also the first chart to include Northern Ireland in its sample. Record Mirror began running a Top 5 album chart in July 1956; from November 1958 onwards Melody Maker printed the Top 10 albums. In March 1960, Record Retailer began compiling an EP (album) chart and had a Top 50 singles chart. Although NME had the largest circulation of charts in the 1960s and was widely followed, in March 1962 Record Mirror stopped compiling its own chart and published Record Retailer's instead. Retailer began independent auditing in January 1963, and has been used by the UK Singles Chart as the source for number-ones since the week ending 12 March 1960. The choice of Record Retailer as the source has been criticised; however, the chart was unique in listing close to 50 positions for the whole decade. With available lists of which record shops were sampled to compile the charts some shops were subjected to "hyping" but, with Record Retailer being less widely followed than some charts, it was subject to less hyping. Additionally, Retailer was set up by independent record shops and had no funding or affiliation with record companies. However, it had a significantly smaller sample size than some rival charts.For the first British chart Dickins telephoned approximately 20 shops, asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs. These results were then aggregated into a Top 12 chart published in NME on 14 November 1952, with Al Martino's "Here in My Heart" awarded the number-one position. The chart became a successful feature of the periodical; it expanded into a Top 20 format on 1 October 1954, and rival publications began compiling their own charts in 1955. Record Mirror compiled its own Top 10 chart for 22 January 1955; it was based on postal returns from record stores (which were financed by the newspaper). The NME chart was based on a telephone poll. Both charts expanded in size, with Mirror
Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols to indicate the pitches (melodies), rhythms or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.
Before February 1969 (when the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) chart was established), there was no official chart or universally accepted source.Readers followed the charts in various periodicals and, during this time, the BBC used aggregated results of charts from the NME, Melody Maker, Disc and (later) Record Mirror to compile the Pick of the Pops chart. The Official Charts Company and Guinness' British Hit Singles & Albums, use as sources for the unofficial period, the NME before 10 March 1960 and Record Retailer until 1969. However, until 1969 the Record Retailer chart was only seen by people working in the industry. The most widely circulated chart was the NME one, as used by Radio Luxembourg's legendary Sunday night Top 20 show, as well as by ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars , which had an audience of up to 6 million on ITV.
Before 1969 there was no official singles chart.Record Retailer and the BBC commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to compile charts, beginning 15 February 1969. The BMRB compiled its first chart from postal returns of sales logs from 250 record shops. The sampling cost approximately £52,000; shops were randomly chosen from a pool of approximately 6,000, and submitted figures for sales taken up to the close of trade on Saturday. The sales diaries were translated into punch cards so the data could be interpreted by a computer. A computer then compiled the chart on Monday, and the BBC were informed of the Top 50 on Tuesday in time for it to be announced on Johnnie Walker's afternoon show. The charts were also published in Record Retailer (rebranded Record & Tape Retailer in 1971 and Music Week in 1972) and Record Mirror . However, the BMRB often struggled to have the full sample of sales figures returned by post. The 1971 postal strike meant data had to be collected by telephone, but this was deemed inadequate for a national chart; by 1973, the BMRB was using motorcycle couriers to collect sales figures. In May 1978, the singles chart was expanded from a Top 50 to a Top 75. A World in Action documentary exposé in 1980 revealed corruption within the industry; stores' chart-returns dealers would frequently be offered bribes to falsify sales logs.
From 1983 to 1990, the chart was financed by BPI (50 percent), Music Week (38 percent) and the BBC (12 percent).On 4 January 1983 the chart compilation was assumed by the Gallup Organization, which expanded the chart with a "Next 25" in addition to the Top 75 and began the introduction of computerised compilers, automating the data-collection process. In July 1987, Gallup signed a new agreement with BPI, increasing the sample size to approximately 500 stores and introducing barcode scanners to read data. The chart was based entirely on sales of vinyl single records from retail outlets and announced on Tuesday until October 1987, when the Top 40 was revealed each Sunday (due to the new, automated process).
The 1980s also saw the introduction of the cassette single (or "cassingle") alongside the 7-inch and 12-inch record formats; in 1987, major record labels developed a common format for the compact disc single.In May 1989, chart regulations kept Kylie Minogue's song "Hand on Your Heart" from entering at number one because sales from cassette singles were not included (they were sold for £1.99 – cheaper than allowed at the time). Following this, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reduced the minimum price for cassette singles to influence sales figures. In September 1989, W H Smith began to send sales data to Gallup directly through electronic point of sale (EPoS) terminals.
In January 1990, the BPI gave notice to Gallup, BBC and Music Week; on 30 June 1990, it terminated its contract with them because it "could no longer afford the £600,000 a year cost". – representing retailers, including W H Smith, Woolworths, HMV and Virgin – who agreed to exclusively supply sales data to the CIN. A Chart Supervisory Committee (CSC) represented the BBC, CIN and retailers. The BPI were reluctant to join and "consider[ed] the option of launching a rival chart" but in September an agreement was reached, and it joined the CSC. For this period, the chart was produced by Gallup and owned by CIN and Music Week (who would then sell it to the BBC and BPI).From 1 July 1990, the Chart Information Network (CIN) was formed by Spotlight Publications (publisher of Music Week ), in cooperation with the BBC and the British Association of Record Dealers (BARD)
In January 1991 the CIN became a joint venture between Link House Magazines (formerly Spotlight Publications, later Miller Freeman, Inc.)and the BPI; they shared the revenue and costs (reportedly between £750,000 and £1 million). During this time, other retailers (such as Woolworths and John Menzies) began submitting data using EPoS terminals. In late 1991 the sample consisted of 500 stores scanning barcodes of all record sales into an Epson PX-4 computer, and 650 other stores providing sales data through their own EPoS computerised tills. These computers were to be telephoned six times a week, providing the data to Gallup. In June 1991, the BPI reduced the number of eligible formats from five to four.
In November 1990, the "Next 25" section of the UK singles chart (positions 76–100, with special rules) ceased to be printed in the trade magazine Music Week.[ citation needed ] In April 1991, Record Mirror ceased publication, along with the "Next 25". Virgin installed JDA EPoS terminals in September 1993, and began providing sales data to Gallup.
In February 1993 the research contract for the chart was put out to tender, with a new four-year contract beginning 1 February 1994 offered. Millward Brown, Research International and Nielsen Market Research were approached, and Gallup were invited to re-apply.In May, it was announced that Millward Brown had been accepted as the next chart compilers, signing a £1-million-a-year contract. Millward Brown took over compiling the charts on 1 February 1994, increasing the sample size; by the end of the month each shop sampled used a barcode scanner linking via an Epson terminal with a modem to a central computer (called "Eric"), which logged data from more than 2,500 stores. Gallup attempted to block Millward Brown's new chart by complaining to the Office of Fair Trading about the contractual clause in which BARD retailers exclusively supplied sales data to the CIN, but the interim order was rejected. In June 1995 the case was dropped, after the clause allowing BARD retailers to supply sales information to other chart compilers was deleted; because CIN retained the copyright, other compilers could not use (or sell) the information.
On 2 April 1995, the number of eligible formats was reduced from four to three. – at number 1 with sales from the three eligible formats, and at number 71 from sales in a fourth (12-inch) format.The decision came after nine months of negotiations with BARD, which objected that it would adversely affect the vinyl record industry. Although record labels were not prohibited from releasing singles in more than three formats, they were required to identify the three eligible formats. This resulted in a reduction in the number of singles released in 7-inch format; the most common three formats were 12-inch single, cassette and CD, or a cassette and two CD versions. The ruling resulted in the Oasis single "Some Might Say" charting twice in one week
Subsequently, CIN sought to develop new marketing opportunities and sponsorship deals; these included premium-rate fax and telephone services and the chart newsletters Charts+Plus (published from May 1991 to November 1994) and Hit Music (published from September 1992 to May 2001). Beginning in May 1991 Charts+Plus featured singles charts with positions 76–200 (plus artist albums positions 76–150, Top 50 compilations, and several genre and format charts). In September 1992, a second newsletter was created: Hit Music, a sister publication of Music Week featuring (among other charts) the singles Top 75 and a revived "Next 25". In November 1994, Charts+Plus ceased publication; Hit Music expanded its chart coverage to an uncompressed (without special rules) Top 200 Singles, Top 150 Artists Albums and Top 50 Compilations. In November 1996, the Artist Albums chart extended to a Top 200. Hit Music ceased publication in May 2001 with issue number 439.
In February 1997, CIN and BARD agreed to a new 18-month deal for the charts.In 1998 the CSC agreed to new rules reducing the number of tracks on a single from four to three, playing time from 25 minutes to 20 and the compact disc single minimum dealer price to £1.79. This particularly affected the dance music industry which had previously released CD's full of remixes, with some labels having to edit or fade out remixes early in order to fit them on a CD single. On 1 July 1998, BARD and BPI took over management of the chart from the CIN (a Miller Freeman and BPI venture) with new company Music Industry Chart Services (Mics); however, in August they decided to return to compiling the charts under the name CIN.
In 1999, Millward Brown began "re-chipping" some retailers' machines, in anticipation of the millennium bug.However, some independent retailers lost access to the record-label-funded Electronic Record Ordering System (Eros); it was "too costly to make it Year 2000 compliant". Towards the end of the 1990s companies anticipated distributing singles over the Internet, following the example of Beggars Banquet and Liquid Audio (who made 2,000 tracks available for digital download in the US). In November 2001, Chart Information Network (CIN) changed its name to "The Official UK Charts Company".
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In January 2004, MyCokeMusic launched as the "first significant download retailer".Legal downloading was initially small, with MyCokeMusic selling over 100,000 downloads during its first three months. In June the iTunes Store was launched in the UK, and more than 450,000 songs were downloaded during the first week. In early September the UK Official Download Chart was launched, and a new live recording of Westlife's "Flying Without Wings" was the first number-one.
In 2005, Wes Butters presented his final UK Top 40 show, concluding his tenure at Radio 1. The chart show was then rebranded for the chart week ending 16 April, and the first singles chart combining physical-release sales with legal downloads began. Several test charts (and a download-sales chart) were published in 2004; this combination (within the official singles chart) reflected a changing era in which sales of physical singles fell and download sales rose. On 17 April 2005, hosts JK and Joel commented during their BBC Radio 1 broadcast that the incorporation of download sales resulted in an approximate doubling of singles sales for the week. For the first week's combined chart the impact of this doubling was not readily apparent at the top of the chart, although a few singles in the middle positions benefited.
Initially, the British Association of Record Dealers was concerned that the popularity of downloading would siphon business from the High Street.[ citation needed ] It also complained that including singles not available physically would confuse customers and create gaps in stores' sale racks. However, it agreed to the new rules provided that digital sales were only included to a single's sales tally if there was a physical equivalent sold in shops at the time. Since there was no rule governing a minimum number of pressings, Gorillaz released only 300 vinyl copies of their single "Feel Good Inc." on 12 April 2005 (a month before its general release). This allowed it to debut in the chart at number 22 (eventually reaching number 2), and remain in the Top 40 for a longer period.
After pressure from elsewhere in the music industry a second compromise was reached in 2006, which now allowed singles to chart on downloads the week before their physical release. The first song to make the Top 40 on downloads alone was "Pump It" by The Black Eyed Peas, which charted at number 16 on 12 March 2006. Three weeks later, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley became the first song to top the charts on download sales alone. As part of the revised rules, singles would now be removed from the chart two weeks after the deletion of their physical formats; "Crazy" left the chart 11 weeks later from number 5 and a subsequent chart-topper, Nelly Furtado's "Maneater", disappeared from number 10. This was in addition to the existing rule that to be eligible for the chart, the physical single had to have been released within the last twelve months, supporting the general view that the chart reflected the top-selling "current" releases.
Over the coming months digital sales continued to increase whilst physical sales continued to fall; more artists entered the top 40 early, and fewer singles entered the chart directly at number 1. Whilst initially the proportion of digital sales to physical sales in the combined tally was relatively low, a majority of singles by 2012 saw more than 50 percent of their sales coming from online. Sales through mobile phones are also counted.[ citation needed ]
On 1 January 2007 the integration of downloaded music into the charts became complete when all downloads – with or without a physical equivalent – became eligible to chart, redefining the UK singles chart by turning it into a "songs" chart. This saw a few singles gain publicity: "Crazy" and "Maneater" (still selling strongly on downloads some time after their physical equivalents had been withdrawn) returned to the chart with several others which had been removed in the preceding months. "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol returned at a Top 10 position (number 9, just three places below the peak it had reached the previous September), while "Honey to the Bee" by Billie Piper (following a tongue-in-cheek promotional push by Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles to test the new chart rules) reappeared at number 17 (nearly eight years after its original appearance on the charts).
The second song to return to the Top 40 several years after its first hit run was "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, which reappeared at number 32 a decade after it originally topped the chart. The impetus this time was Puff Daddy's recent performance of a new version of the track at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium. Two months later Luciano Pavarotti's "Nessun Dorma" returned to the chart at number 24 during the week following his death (17 years after it was first a hit), climbing to number 12. A drumming gorilla in a Dairy Milk television advertisement helped "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins to climb to number 14, 26 years after it was first a hit and 19 years since its last chart appearance as a remix. None of these songs had been officially re-issued.
"Blag, Steal and Borrow" by Koopa became the first song to chart without being released physically (and the first by an unsigned band to do so). Later they would do it again twice, with "One Off Song for the Summer" and "The Crash" reaching No. 21 and No. 16 respectively (while the band remained unsigned until the following year).
Following the cancellation of its physical release, "Say It Right" by Nelly Furtado was the first Top 10 hit to pass through its chart career without a single copy appearing in a shop. "Lord Don't Slow Me Down" by Oasis became the second, "Violet Hill" by Coldplay the third, and "Disturbia" by Rihanna the fourth; "Candyman" by Christina Aguilera had a chart run that took it into the Top 20 (number 17) entirely on downloads.
The first number-one hit never released physically was "Run" by Leona Lewis, the 11th song in total to reach number one on downloads alone. Unlike the previous 10, it did not receive a physical release in subsequent weeks (although it was released physically overseas, notably in Germany).
The second occurrence was on 20 December 2009, when "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine became the first song that was not a new release to reach No. 1 on downloads alone. This was the result of a Facebook campaign urging people to download the song in a bid to prevent The X Factor winning song from becoming the Christmas No. 1 single again after four consecutive years. The song originally peaked at No. 25 in 1992.
New rules were added to the chart on 16 September 2007 to include one-track CD singles (with a limit of 15 minutes) and to retail at a minimum of 40p per one-track CD single.
A notable effect of the new chart rules is to demonstrate the enduring appeal of many downloads, especially if a physical copy is no longer (or never has been) available. Despite a seven-week gap in its chart run in late 2006 while ineligible under the old rules, Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" clocked 108 weeks on the chart, a record bettered by only one single in chart history ("My Way" by Frank Sinatra with 124 weeks). Numerous other hits are on for more than 40 weeks.
Jeff Buckley's 1994 cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" charted at number 2 on 21 December 2008 on downloads alone, following the formation of a 110,000-strong protest group on Facebook to get it above (winner of The X Factor 2008) Alexandra Burke's version for the Christmas number one.
Another consequence of the chart rules is that in the event of a new album release by a well-known artist, all (or most) of its tracks could appear on the singles chart due to buyers downloading individual songs rather than the complete album. There was no significant example of this until early October 2007, with the cast of High School Musical 2 placing six of its songs in the Top 75 (although these were credited to their individual performers) and a further four just outside. A month later, Leona Lewis placed five tracks from her album Spirit simultaneously on the singles chart. Another example was anticipated with the arrival of The Beatles' catalogue online, with forecasters predicting the entire top 10 being taken up by Beatles songs.This chart domination never occurred; only four Beatles songs re-entered the Top 75, the highest-placed being "Let It Be" at number 38.
Yet another effect of the new rules was the reappearance in the chart of a number of seasonal favourites during Christmas 2007. A total of 19 achieved this without being officially re-issued (on downloads alone). Two of these (by Mariah Carey and The Pogues), reached the Top 5. Eleven Christmas hits returned to the Top 75 for Christmas 2008, nine in 2009, eight in 2010 and twelve in 2011, with the Mariah Carey and Pogues songs faring best each year.
The first unsigned artist to break the top 5 was Alex Day, who reached number 4 with his single "Forever Yours" in the Christmas chart, beating Coldplay and Olly Murs,following a large-scale social media campaign. In February 2013, unsigned artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis topped the chart with "Thrift Shop".
The death of Michael Jackson on 25 June 2009 triggered a surge in sales of his recordings; this was the first time in the download era that the effect of a major star's death on the chart could be observed. During the week beginning 28 June, a total of 16 of his solo hits (plus four more by The Jackson 5) re-entered the chart. The following week, the momentum continued; 27 Jackson titles charted in the Top 75 (21 solo, one with his sister Janet and five by The Jacksons) with "Man in the Mirror" charting the highest, at number 2. The second chart invasion of the download era resulting from the death of a major artist was observed in late July 2011 following the death of Amy Winehouse, with seven former singles charting and one other song appearing for the first time.
It was announced in June 2014 that as of Sunday, 29 June, audio streams from services such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks, Xbox Music, Sony Unlimited and rara would be counted towards the Official Singles Chart, in order to reflect changing music consumption in the United Kingdom.The final number one on the UK Singles Chart to be based on sales alone was "Gecko (Overdrive)" by Oliver Heldens featuring Becky Hill. On Sunday 6 July 2014, the Official Charts Company announced that Ariana Grande had earned a place in UK chart history when her single "Problem" featuring Iggy Azalea became the first number-one single based on sales and streaming data.
On 7 December 2014, Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" became the first single to reach number one as a direct result of streaming inclusion. Despite Union J's "You Got It All" topping the Sales Chart that week, "Thinking Out Loud" was streamed 1.6 million times in the same week, resulting in an overall lead of 13,000 chart sales.
On 10 March 2017, Ed Sheeran claimed 9 of the top 10 positions in the chart when his album ÷ was released.The large number of tracks from the album on the singles chart, 16 in the top 20, led to a change in how the chart is compiled with tracks from a lead artist eligible for entry limited to three.
With no official chart before 1969, a number of periodicals compiled their own charts during the 1950s and 1960s. The five main charts (as used by BBC's Pick of the Pops ) were:
The full regulations may be downloaded from the Official Charts Company website (see "External links", below).
To qualify for inclusion in the UK singles chart, a single must be available in one or more of the following eligible formats:
There are minimum sales prices for all formats apart from on demand digital streams which may be from subscription or advertising funded providers. The streams were initially counted at 100 streams equivalent to one paid download or physical sale, but changed to 150 to 1 in January 2017.Starting with charts published 7 July 2017, tracks by a lead artist eligible for entry in the top 100 would be limited to three. The streams-to-sales ratio for tracks whose sales (including streams) have declined for three consecutive weeks and have charted for at least ten weeks is changed to 300:1 to accelerate removal of older songs.
The BBC aired Pick of the Pops on its Light Programme radio station on 4 October 1955.Initially airing popular songs, it developed an aggregated chart in March 1958. Using the NME, Melody Maker, Disc and Record Mirror charts, the BBC averaged them by totalling points gained on the four charts (one point for a number one, two for a number two, etc.) to give a chart average; however, this method was prone to tied positions. Record Retailer was included in the average on 31 March 1962, after Record Mirror ceased compiling its chart. David Jacobs and Alan Freeman both had stints presenting the Pick of the Pops chart. Freeman took Pick of the Pops to its regular Sunday afternoon slot in early 1962. Freeman (along with Pete Murray, David Jacobs and Jimmy Savile) was one of the four original presenters on Top of the Pops , which first aired 1 January 1964 on BBC One (then known as BBC TV). Top of the Pops, like Pick of the Pops, used a combination of predominant periodicals until the formation of the BMRB chart in 1969.
From 30 September 1967 BBC Radio 1 was launched along with BBC Radio 2, succeeding the Light Programme,and the Top-20 Pick of the Pops chart was simulcast on both stations. Freeman continued to present the show until 1972, and was succeeded by Tom Browne. Simon Bates took over from Browne, and under Bates it became a Top-40 show in 1978. Bates was succeeded by Tony Blackburn, who presented the show for two-and-a-half years; Tommy Vance, who presented for two years, Bates returned in January 1984 and presented the show until September that year, then Richard Skinner for eighteen months. Bruno Brookes took over in 1986 and, in October 1987, automated data collection allowed the countdown to be announced on the Sunday chart show (instead of on Tuesdays).
In 1990, Brookes was replaced as presenter by Mark Goodier, but returned 18 months later. Goodier took over from Brookes once more in 1995 and continued presenting the show until 2002.In February 2003 Wes Butters hosted the chart show; two years later his contract was not renewed, and he was replaced by JK and Joel. The duo were made redundant by Radio 1 in September 2007; Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates replaced them at the helm of the chart show. Cotton left in September 2009, and until 2012 the chart show was hosted by Yates. Yates left Radio 1 at the end of 2012, because he wanted to spend more time with his family, as well as focusing more on television. Jameela Jamil took over from him in January 2013, becoming the first woman to host, alone, the BBC Chart show before being replaced by Clara Amfo. On 10 July 2015, Greg James took over from Amfo, when the new chart announcement was moved to Friday afternoons.
From March 2010 Greg James hosted a half-hour show at 3:30 pm on Wednesdays, announcing a chart update based on midweek sales figures previously only available to the industry. The chairman of the Official Charts Company said it would provide "insight into how the race for number one is shaping up".Scott Mills became the host of the Chart Update from April 2012, due to schedule changes which saw Mills host what was Greg's early afternoon show. When the chart moved to Fridays in July 2015, the chart update moved to 5:30 pm on Mondays. The show was then once again hosted by Greg James and the top ten songs are quickly overviewed with the top three being played in full before Newsbeat at 5:45. It is currently presented by Nick Grimshaw due to his swap of times with Greg James.
In 1999, the chart was sponsored by worldpop.com with the company receiving name recognition during the BBC programme. However, the deal ended when the website went out of business in late 2001. As part of an agreement with Billboard to publish the UK chart in section of their magazine, Billboard required the chart to have a sponsor. In 2003, it was announced that Coca-Cola had signed a two-year contract with the Official Charts Company beginning 1 January 2004. Although the amount was not publicly disclosed, it was believed to be between £1.5 million and £2 million. Since advertising on the BBC is prohibited under the BBC Charter and the government was attempting to reduce childhood obesity, the decision was widely criticised. Coca-Cola was restricted to two on-air mentions during the chart show, with the BBC justifying the deal by saying it did not negotiate or benefit financially. A few days into the contract, the BBC agreed to drop on-air mentions of the brand.
The artists credited as a named artist on the most UK number-one singles are:
The songs which spent the most weeks at number 1 are:
Note: Songs denoted with an asterisk (*) spent non-consecutive weeks at number one.
|1997||"Candle in the Wind 1997"||Elton John||4,935,426|
|1984||"Do They Know It's Christmas?"||Band Aid||3,802,066|
|1977||"Mull of Kintyre" / "Girls' School"||Wings||2,086,183|
|1978||"You're the One That I Want"||Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta||2,072,035|
|1984||"Relax"||Frankie Goes to Hollywood||2,066,230|
|1978||"Rivers of Babylon" / "Brown Girl in the Ring"||Boney M.||2,032,656|
|1963||"She Loves You"||The Beatles||1,922,275|
|1994||"Love Is All Around"||Wet Wet Wet||1,898,790|
The UK Singles Chart is a weekly record chart which for most of its history was based on single sales from Sunday to Saturday in the United Kingdom. Since July 2014 it has also incorporated streaming data, and from 10 July 2015 has been based on a Friday to Thursday week. As of 27 January 2017, 1319 singles have reached number one. The chart was founded in 1952 by Percy Dickins of New Musical Express (NME), who telephoned 20 record stores to ask what their top 10 highest-selling singles were. Dickins aggregated the results into a top 12 hit parade, which was topped by "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino. NME's chart was published each week in its eponymous magazine.
The UK Singles Downloads Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the music industry. Since July 2015, the chart week runs from Friday to Thursday, with the chart date given as the following Thursday.
A hit song, also known as a hit record or hit single, is a recorded song or instrumental that becomes broadly popular or well-known. Although hit song means any widely played or big-selling song, the specific term hit record usually refers to a single that has appeared in an official music chart through repeated radio airplay or significant commercial sales.
UKChartsPlus is an independent weekly newsletter about the UK music charts. It was first published in September 2001 as ChartsPlus in order to authoritatively record the official music chart information in the United Kingdom, as compiled by the Official Charts Company. Its publication began after Hit Music ceased publication in May 2001. The newsletter was established to be totally independent of Music Week, licensing the chart data directly from Official Charts Company and other chart providers.
The Commercial Radio Chart Show was a radio programme, which broadcast across adult contemporary and contemporary hit radio stations across the United Kingdom from September 1984 to December 2018. It had many different names over it’s 3 and a half decades in service, beginning with simply The Network Chart Show in 1984 before securing sponsorship with Pepsi between 1993 and 2003 which led to the birth of The Pepsi Chart. Since, it has been known as Hit40UK, The Big Top 40 Show, The Vodafone Freebees Big Top 40, The Vodafone Big Top 40 and, finally, The Official Vodafone Big Top 40 between October 2017 and December 2018. The show was discontinued as a networked product across stations owned by various different operators in 2018 after the producers, Global Radio, withdrew it from syndication following Bauer Radio’s decision to pull out. The final syndicated commercial radio chart show was broadcast on Sunday 30th December 2018 by Marvin Humes and Kat Shoob.
The 1Xtra Chart was a weekly record chart based on sales of singles in the United Kingdom. It listed the 40 biggest-selling urban music songs released within a three-month time period, and featured genres such as hip hop, R&B, dancehall and rap. The chart was compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the UK music industry, and each week's new number one was announced on The 1Xtra Chart with Adele Roberts at 1 p.m. on Saturdays on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Adele Roberts took over from Sarah-Jane Crawford in spring 2012, and it had been hosted by Ronnie Herel until December 2010. The chart was also listed on the official websites of both BBC Radio 1 and the OCC.
The Official Classical Singles Chart was a record chart based on downloads and streaming of classical music in the United Kingdom. Each week's chart was compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) and was first published on Monday afternoon on their official website. The chart ran for 140 weeks from 2012 to 2015, during which time a total of 23 singles by 22 artists reached number one. The most successful artist was the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, who topped the chart with three singles for a total of 54 weeks, while the most successful record label was Decca Records, which spent 89 weeks at number one with six singles. Einaudi's track "I Giorni" from his album of the same name spent 51 weeks at number one, longer than any other single. In January 2013, following the release of Einaudi's album In a Time Lapse, singles by the pianist accounted for 13 of the Top 20 on the Official Classical Singles Chart. Martin Talbot, managing director of the OCC, described him as one of the chart's "biggest and most consistent stars".