was supposed to have been a site where you could view all Official Chart information from January 1974 - present day and perform searches within our Database. The "Comparison" chart compares both the UK's main charts, so you only have to visit this site to find out how your popular music songs are really doing!
During 2006 and early 2007, we spent a small fortune expanding our database to cover the Top 40 and are now able to cover the current charts and "Retro Charts" going back a pretty impressive 39 years. "Year End" charts cover the same period, making us the only chart resource web site you're ever likely to need, though these do need to be requested via e-mail at the moment!
Where does the information come from?
In the 1980s, the Radio 1 Chart show was recorded each week and the positions "typed" for use on Thames Radio 281. These sheets were retained (fortunately). In the mid 1990s, the BBC published these on Ceefax - however, these were not always correct. Any Retro charts for mid 1995 - 1999 posted before 17th April 2007 should be checked again, as a number of these have been "corrected", whilst we converted the Top 30 charts to Top 40 (and took the opportunity to check the complete chart information, not just 31 - 40)!
All "new entries" have been checked using the "Guinness Book of Hit Singles" and "Complete Book Of The British Charts", this gives us our accuracy as some of the original spellings from listening to the radio weren't quite right!
It can take up to 45 minutes to produce 1 week's sheet by the time new entries are referenced, so you can imagine how much effort has gone into this site and why it has taken 5 solid years to get to this point.
Since 17th March 2002, the information comes from web sites. Often some of the "last week's" positions are quoted incorrectly - "accuracy" was one of the reasons given for not allowing us to publish our database! If the web sites aren't up to date by the time we're ready to produce our current week's chart, recordings of both charts are played back (our insurance policy!) and new entries are checked out via HMV etc. Occasionally, the chart is compiled as each track is played on the chart shows - but you end up with a headache by the time you've finished when two radios have been playing in the background!
All previously published charts are being scrutinised before the additional 10 positions are added, so where official charts have been "corrected", this will follow through here. EPs are listed with their "title" and "lead" track. This format still has to be applied to some of the first retro charts added to our database between 2002 and 2004, therefore some chart entries may look different when next published.
We have been surprised at how many students use this site for coursework and have received numerous requests from people wanting to purchase a copy of our main database!
We have obtained the missing data covering September 1983 - April 1984 and beyond. We have also managed to get hold of second hand copies of "The Guinness Book Of Top 40 Charts" and "40 Years Of NME Charts" so are technically in a position to cover every single chart since 1952.
Since The Official Chart Company has decided to host "Retro" charts themselves during 2010 (and appear to have done an excellent job), will now concentrate on bringing you the week's "Comparison" charts, which is a service reliably maintained every week since March 2002 - and something not available anywhere else!
In March 2014, we were going to cease offering "Retro" charts, but having applied a minor change to the settings within our chart table pages published 17/03/2014 as an experiment - the result was that the spacing is "correct" across most internet browsers once again. Therefore, we have decided to apply these new settings to ALL the pages within our database, at the rate of 40 pages per week, which should see the cycle of our "Retro" charts service safe until March 2015.
This gives everyone who has previously requested chart sheets from us since 2012 the opportunity to request again and receive their charts in a much clearer to read format. As ever, we will monitor usage before a final decision is made regarding the future of "Retro" charts next year.
From our "Thames Radio 281" page, you can see the various "Airplay" charts which were compiled from the Station's playlists. These are not "Official Charts", but they do give an idea of the most popular songs of the year - take a trip down memory lane and see how many YOU can remember!
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