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Record Retailer Errors (1960-1994)

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  • Record Retailer Errors (1960-1994)

    Please check RR chart for 6th April.
    How could Cliff go back to no. 1?
    From on-line RM magazine the top 5 should be,

    1 Gerry
    2 Ned
    3 Cliff
    5= Billy
    5= Shadows

    No no. 4?
    Last edited by brian05; Thu April 22, 2021, 13:28.

  • #2
    The chart for 6 APr is correct as per RR at the time. However, the 13 Apr RM scan does have “wrong” last week positions for the previous weeks chart. I don’t have a copy of RM for 6 Apr, but it could be that the chart was printed wrongly by them? RR for 13 Apr shows last week positions that match the chart they printed. RM could be the chart in error here.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/j9ww0asphh...t%201.pdf?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/32qwew7ol1...t%201.pdf?dl=0

    Further research of the Top 20 Charts Book by Tony Jasper - which uses the RM chat rather than RR as the source - shows the RM chart was printed as above!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/l2rjo58j8o...M6Apr.jpg?dl=0

    So does this mean that RR chart is wrong?

    http://thechartbook.co.uk - for the latest are best chart book - By Decade!
    Now including NME, Record Mirror and Melody Maker from the UK and some Billboard charts

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd say the 1 2 3 5 5 is a strong indication that there was something wrong on the RM side that week.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would to - or.... it's an RR 3 way tie and RM printed the chart incorrectly based on that info.
        http://thechartbook.co.uk - for the latest are best chart book - By Decade!
        Now including NME, Record Mirror and Melody Maker from the UK and some Billboard charts

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by brian05 View Post
          Please check RR chart for 6th April.
          How could Cliff go back to no. 1?
          From on-line RM magazine the top 5 should be,

          1 Gerry
          2 Ned
          3 Cliff
          5= Billy
          5= Shadows

          No no. 4?
          I've checked RR itself Brian and the top 5 is defo

          Cliff 1
          Gerry 2
          Ned 3
          Shadows 4
          Billy 5

          From memory I believe there was a RM error when reproducing the RR chart when the RM chart was published in Tony Jasper's earlier top twenty books.
          The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

          Comment


          • #6
            On looking at the RM chart for 13th April 1963 I think it most likely that RM just got the 'last week' figures wrong'. They used the RR chart by that time and the RR chart confirms the positions I entered above for April 6th.
            The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok - that's fine.
              So Cliff in RR/RM chart went 1, 2, 1. Yet he was no. 4 in every other chart. Then dropped to no. 6.
              I never knew that before. I wrote it down in 1963 that Gerry was no. 1 in RM. (I did my analysis of the 5 charts long before spreadsheets were invented).

              Comment


              • #8
                As I said, it is possible that RR had these as a 3 way tie and thus broke the tie as explained above. RM then got the original chart and printed before the tie was sorted, instead numbering in the way they where on the sheet in whatever order. Either way, I feel that as both sources had consistent lwk placings with what they had printed the previous week that something is wrong in one of them but that I can't change RR in the database as this was what they printed and whilst it may be wrong, we need a third source. Billboard printed NME Singles at this time so can't use that. Who else carried the RR chart at this point?
                http://thechartbook.co.uk - for the latest are best chart book - By Decade!
                Now including NME, Record Mirror and Melody Maker from the UK and some Billboard charts

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kingofskiffle View Post
                  Who else carried the RR chart at this point?
                  The BBC did, indirectly. They appear to confirm the RR positions as shown with The Shadows (10 points) above Ned (11 points). The RM positions would have put The Shadows (11 points) below Ned (10 points). Even if RM had intended The Shadows to be at 4 it would have resulted in a tie at 10 points each.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As I said, it is possible that RR had these as a 3 way tie and thus broke the tie as explained above. RM then got the original chart and printed before the tie was sorted, instead numbering in the way they where on the sheet in whatever order. Either way, I feel that as both sources had consistent lwk placings with what they had printed the previous week that something is wrong in one of them but that I can't change RR in the database as this was what they printed and whilst it may be wrong, we need a third source. Billboard printed NME Singles at this time so can't use that. Who else carried the RR chart at this point?
                    I have a scan of the actual chart from RM for April 6th and can confirm that the positions shown were as follows:

                    1 (10) Gerry & Pacemakers
                    2 (4) Ned Miller
                    3 (2) Cliff & Shadows
                    4 (1) Shadows

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Splodj View Post
                      And the mistake could have boiled down to one thing - that they discovered they had allocated too many points to Cliff.
                      Exactly, because Gerry and Ned are in the correct order.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Splodj View Post

                        It also says that the BBC and RR put in the same amount of money. On the face of it the broadcast rights seem more valuable than the press rights (although I seem to recall that when The Sun went tabloid it took the chart) so I wonder if this is the main reason the BBC took only the Top 30 - to redress this imbalance somewhat by giving RR/RM the exclusive rights to publish positions below 30.
                        The article also said that the differential in sales figures for records below no 30 was minimal and therefore accuracy was more difficult because of this in positions 31 to 50. I seem to recall from somewhere that this was the reason the BBC only used the Top 30.
                        The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrTibbs View Post

                          The article also said that the differential in sales figures for records below no 30 was minimal and therefore accuracy was more difficult because of this in positions 31 to 50. I seem to recall from somewhere that this was the reason the BBC only used the Top 30.
                          I did read somewhere that the BMRB could not vouch for the accuracy of the chart below number 30 in the same way it could for the top 30 due to sales being so close and therefore positions below number 30 would more likely to be affected by sampling error or human error. The 31-50 part of the chart (and below that, Breakers) could only indicate trends.

                          Again, looking at the two BARS chart print outs I have (one for 1974, the other 1975, both for Week 31), sales below number 30 are tight. Below number 40 and into the Breakers they are incredibly close. In addition, as neither chart was compiled from 250 diaries it meant that panel sales were being weighted upwards. That means that the raw panel sales data would have been even closer. Back in 1969 it would have been even closer still.

                          The BBC chart only extended to a top 40 in May 1978 when the total number of shops sampled each week was increased from 300 to 450, thus enabling the BMRB to have more confidence in the lower part of the chart (which was also extended to a top 75).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the rights would have belonged to the BMRB and of course later the OCC. They were producing the charts. They would have made any money from selling rights to the press. The BBC had only the rights to broadcast the chart. Robbie is right, the BBC knew that it was possible to buy records into 50 to 31. If anything the Melody Maker farce had ironically already shown that. Plus the BBC didn't want the chart to be a top 40, as that was too American. And there was lots of opposition to that. It only changed when the local commercial stations were all using top 40 charts. Leaving the BBC the odd man out!
                            Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                              Again, looking at the two BARS chart print outs I have (one for 1974, the other 1975, both for Week 31), sales below number 30 are tight. Below number 40 and into the Breakers they are incredibly close. In addition, as neither chart was compiled from 250 diaries it meant that panel sales were being weighted upwards. That means that the raw panel sales data would have been even closer. Back in 1969 it would have been even closer still.
                              Robbie, could you please scan and post, or dropbox / internet archive, those 2 BARS chart print outs you have? Would love to see those, they would be good company to the Michael Cable book 1976 BARS info. Cheers n chips !!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Stumbled across a short article from 2006 about chart nuts, that mentions our guru / friend Alan Smith, worth a chuckle, ha:

                                https://www.theguardian.com/theguide...831551,00.html

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My reading of the article is that RR received the income from selling on the charts to newspapers.

                                  There is a distinction between saying that the sales for 31+ were too close for accuracy and that they feared hyped records, which the security/verification process was designed to eliminate.

                                  As mentioned before, many ILR stations chose to have only a Top 30.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RokinRobinOfLocksley View Post
                                    Stumbled across a short article from 2006 about chart nuts, that mentions our guru / friend Alan Smith, worth a chuckle, ha:

                                    https://www.theguardian.com/theguide...831551,00.html
                                    That's quite a find! I enjoyed reading that, quite a tongue-in-cheek look at us chart obsessives. Not only Alan and Dave McAleer from the article that I recognise but also Elliot Costi who posts, or used to post at a forum I used to frequent for many years.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Although I know someone who bought the Guinness Book of Hit Singles who was the opposite of a chart fanatic. Rather she was a crossword fanatic who found that pop music was the main gap in her knowledge for completing them, hence the need to buy the book.
                                      Last edited by Splodj; Fri April 23, 2021, 11:54.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        As a footnote to the point about the accuracy (or lack of) in determining positions on the BMRB charts is this excerpt from an article written in Summer 1977 by one Simon Frith for 'Wedge' magazine entitled 'How The Pop Charts Work':

                                        "There is already some distrust of the bottom part of the Top 50 – many shops and playlists emphasise the Top 30 – the fact is that these 30, in both the singles and albums charts, account for about 80% of record sales. The difference recorded between the records in the lower part of the BMRB chart sample are often statistically insignificant (and their precise chart position consequently meaningless). The only point in taking account of events down there is if they anticipate sales to come."

                                        I assume this was partly what influenced their decision two years earlier to subject positions 41 to 50 on the singles chart to sales-related exclusions? Given the closer proximity of sales estimates from the sample the further one went down the chart below No 30, it would've seemed harmless and indeed perfectly sensible to use the bottom ten rungs as a sort-of extension to the sub-50 breakers by giving artificially-heightened promotion to up-and-coming singles that may well have built up enough steam to eventually break the Top 30 and beyond, but without the removal of steadily-declining older hits would still be languishing outside the 50 without a published position or any profile beyond the limitations of the breakers list in RM. Presumably a similar argument applied when Gallup and its sponsors decided to apply exclusions to its 76-200 positions; although by then accuracy will've improved through EPOS usage and increase of panel/sample size, the difference between sales at each rung would doubtless still have got smaller and smaller the further down one delved, rendering the attribution of specific actual positions less and less worthwhile (a fact which I think probably still holds true today, if not even more so given the sheer number of titles available to download or stream).

                                        Of course, none of this diminishes the average 'chart nut's alacrity to see the fullest and most accurate weekly rankings of releases available at any time though, however unreliable positions might've been as one descended the complete, uncompressed chart. However faulty, I doubt there's anyone regularly using this forum who wouldn't delight in having access to the full BMRB Top 100s from the 1970s/early '80s?!

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by RokinRobinOfLocksley View Post
                                          Stumbled across a short article from 2006 about chart nuts, that mentions our guru / friend Alan Smith, worth a chuckle, ha:

                                          https://www.theguardian.com/theguide...831551,00.html
                                          Well my hand is held high as one of the 'chartoholics'. I have obsessed over them since TOTP started way back in Jan '64. I enjoyed reading that article a lot.

                                          I love it when you guys come across snippets like that and post them. Robbie I too would love to see the two BARS charts you have if you could post them here for us ta.
                                          The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Gambo View Post
                                            As a footnote to the point about the accuracy (or lack of) in determining positions on the BMRB charts is this excerpt from an article written in Summer 1977 by one Simon Frith for 'Wedge' magazine entitled 'How The Pop Charts Work':

                                            "There is already some distrust of the bottom part of the Top 50 – many shops and playlists emphasise the Top 30 – the fact is that these 30, in both the singles and albums charts, account for about 80% of record sales. The difference recorded between the records in the lower part of the BMRB chart sample are often statistically insignificant (and their precise chart position consequently meaningless).

                                            Of course, none of this diminishes the average 'chart nut's alacrity to see the fullest and most accurate weekly rankings of releases available at any time though, however unreliable positions might've been as one descended the complete, uncompressed chart. However faulty, I doubt there's anyone regularly using this forum who wouldn't delight in having access to the full BMRB Top 100s from the 1970s/early '80s?!
                                            Yet another factually interesting article. Thanks Gambo for sharing that with us. Although unreliable I always still followed what was happening in the 31 to 51 positions with as much interest as the upper reaches of the chart. I too like you suggest salivate at the thought of seeing the BMRB Top 100's from back then.
                                            The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              The Simon Frith article can be found at https://coventrymusichistory.typepad...mon-frith.html

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                Whats interesting is I think it's only Albums that had the Top 100 produced. Singles - at least in 1974 when I have info - where the Top 50, Breakers and then Long Breakers.

                                                Below is for 12 Jan 1974.
                                                Positions 41-50 and Breakers
                                                https://www.dropbox.com/s/annukicmwz...akers.jpg?dl=0

                                                Longer Breakers
                                                https://www.dropbox.com/s/c89p09sd8m...akers.jpg?dl=0

                                                They don't even list sample size, etc.

                                                It seems to be this chart (1974-10-05) when they add these (though I am missing Jun-Oct)
                                                https://www.dropbox.com/s/woq39gmk6c...akers.jpg?dl=0

                                                They also start listing diaries received on time....

                                                You can also see the level of sales of each of those recordings. I know this is data for the 70's, so outside the scope of this thread in a way, but I feel this is sort of relevant.
                                                http://thechartbook.co.uk - for the latest are best chart book - By Decade!
                                                Now including NME, Record Mirror and Melody Maker from the UK and some Billboard charts

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  I'm seeing something here in these articles I had not known/realized before. The BARS reports are noting 'effective sample size 300', 'diaries received on time 216', and from the Frith article only half = 150 of the diaries are actually used week to week, rotating among the shops. This is in the mid-70s.

                                                  So maybe Brian might want to use for the Feb 1969 to 1971 Ultimate Chart at most a ramp up value of 150 BMRB charts in 1971, and not 200. That is, half of the effective sample size = the number that were actually used, and not the actual diaries received on time.

                                                  Hmmm...

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