It was 60 years ago this week. The British music industry decided to compile a list of the tracks that had been the most bought through the week. The most bought track was "Here In My Heart" by crooner Al Martino. Little did they know what would become of it. It has now been 60 years since that first ever singles chart, and therefore it seems a fitting time to go through the 100 greatest acts ever to have hit the chart.
There's going to be plenty of big names throughout, and doubtless more than a few surprising positions. However, I think this list of 100 classic acts really sums up the full breadth of UK music history.
First of all some explanations.
The data used is the UK singles and albums charts. It's the officially published chart at whatever length that was up to a top 75. At times when more than 75 positions have been published, those outside the top 75 have been disregarded.
Where two clearly distinct acts have collaborated (e.g. "Beautiful Liar" by Beyonce and Shakira) then the score for the song/album in question is given to both of them. If it is credited as "featuring" (e.g. "Crazy In Love" by Beyonce featuring Jay-Z) then the featured act only gets half points. If someone provides uncredited vocals (e.g. Cher on Meat Loaf's "Dead Ringer For Love") then obviously they get no points at all.
This countdown also raised the prickly issue of two rather successful "artists". First up is the act "Original Soundtrack" - or any plethora of other names it could be listed as. Basically, there is one entry for each film or theatrical production. For example, there is just one entry for "Cast of West Side Story", despite multiple recordings of the soundtrack have charted for different groups of people.
The second "artist" in questino is "Various Artists". The rule here is simple. A separate release gets a separate entity. However, if it's a very clear series of albums (e,g, "British Motown Chartbusters Volume 4" etc) then the series has a combined entry.
The countdown will run like the 90s and 00s decade ones did, though don't expect a guaranteed update every day - I'll update as and when I can, and I'm more likely to be more reliable after Christmas, but I'll see what I can do between now and Christmas.
So - predictions, people. Who do people think might get to No. 1, and who might land lower than people expect? I can tell you that No. 100 is a very surprising crashout...