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Record Retailer Errors (1960-1994)

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  • BMRB supplied to RR and the BBC first though. Then RR passed the info to RM. By 1969 RM was a Billboard paper so Billboard would take the chart from RM who I still think were the most likely guilty party in messing up positions.

    The missing 33 in RR I berated above. That error should have been picked up at the print stage.
    The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by kingofskiffle View Post
      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.
      This seems ridiculous though to me - why bother compiling a list of so-called 'breakers' when you could surely just compile a Top 100? There easily would've been enough singles selling in enough quantities to render one compilable each week. One could surmise that they maybe didn't publish actual positions beneath 50 for reasons already covered above relating to smaller and smaller sales differences in the sample lower-down the list, but surely there would've been some truth in that statement for the albums rankings too? Yet they apparently did produce a Top 100 albums chart at that time.

      Also, wasn't there mention of the BMRB Top 100 in that famous article written about Beatles sales estimates? Something along the lines of "the reissue of 'Something' only reached the lower part of the Top 100 and so likely only sold a few more thousand copies"? I'd have to dig it out (Robbie probably has a direct link - he always does!) but surely this wasn't based entirely on fantasy and was cited after the author had presumably carried out some research that had revealed to him the full Top 100 weekly singles? Mind you, this would've been for the Beatles' 1976 picture sleeve re-releases; maybe there hadn't been a full 100 positions as far back as '74? But it still seems counter-intuitive to bother creating a breakers section but not have the complete positions as per the indication of the sample, even if it was thought best never to publish these in full.

      Sorry Lonnie; this post still finds itself somewhat off-topic as this new thread is about RR errors not BMRB extended unpublished charts!!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Gambo View Post
        Also, wasn't there mention of the BMRB Top 100 in that famous article written about Beatles sales estimates? Something along the lines of "the reissue of 'Something' only reached the lower part of the Top 100 and so likely only sold a few more thousand copies"?
        From Simon Walters 2002

        Something/Come Together (released 1969) 200,0000

        Excluding EPs, this is the first Beatles single since Love Me Do that was not eligible for a silver disc from Disc magazine.

        The 1976 re-issue got into the lower reaches of the BMRB Top 100 and sold a few thousand.

        On its 20th anniversary re-issue in 1989, it did not chart and sold around 5,000.


        ... this would've been for the Beatles' 1976 picture sleeve re-releases; maybe there hadn't been a full 100 positions as far back as '74?
        All 23 Beatles re-issues reached the BMRB Top 100 chart.

        10 Yesterday
        45 Hey Jude
        46 Paperback Writer
        53 Strawberry Fields
        55 Get Back
        59 She Loves you
        61 Help
        62 Love me do
        63 Yellow Submarine
        64 Let It Be
        66 A Hard Day's Night
        68 Can't Buy Me Love
        69 I Want To Hold Your Hand
        71 All You Need Is Love
        72 From Me To You
        74 Hello Goodbye
        75 Please Please Me
        76 Lady Madonna
        79 We Can Work It Out
        81 I feel Fine
        83 Ticket To Ride
        84 Something
        88 Ballad Of John And Yoko


        Comment


        • I know from 1978 their was a Top 100 compiled as the chart was a Top 75. I know, because Alan Jones said it, that each record company got sent the positions of records they had between 76 and 100. In order for him to compile a 76-100 for that week he had to ask them what their positions where. Thus Parlophone would know exactly which positions they would be in for those records in 1978. 8 May 1976 was a week that I know a Top 50 was compiled for, as it was printed in the book that name escapes me. I think that the rise in sample size meant that 31-50 became more accurate and os they felt that they can compile accurately a larger chart. Throughout 1976 the Breakers and then Longer Breakers where averaging about 25 positions, so if they had a good enough sample size, in their opinion, to accurately compile a larger chart they may have done so. I know from Jan 1983 we have a Top 200 (as in a Top 200 was compiled by Gallup) but no mention is made I can find of a Top 200 before then in Music Week, and only a Top 100 from 1978 in the writing of Alan Jones, as I said. And that would be in RM.
          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


          • Also in 1976, Back In The USSR got to 19. It and Yesterday (which got to 8) were given new catalogue numbers as they had not been singles before. As the others had never been deleted I suppose that technically they were re-entries, rather than re-issues - just that they were put in picture sleeves and given PR.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by brian05 View Post

              From Simon Walters 2002

              Something/Come Together (released 1969) 200,0000

              Excluding EPs, this is the first Beatles single since Love Me Do that was not eligible for a silver disc from Disc magazine.

              The 1976 re-issue got into the lower reaches of the BMRB Top 100 and sold a few thousand.

              On its 20th anniversary re-issue in 1989, it did not chart and sold around 5,000.



              All 23 Beatles re-issues reached the BMRB Top 100 chart.

              10 Yesterday
              45 Hey Jude
              46 Paperback Writer
              53 Strawberry Fields
              55 Get Back
              59 She Loves you
              61 Help
              62 Love me do
              63 Yellow Submarine
              64 Let It Be
              66 A Hard Day's Night
              68 Can't Buy Me Love
              69 I Want To Hold Your Hand
              71 All You Need Is Love
              72 From Me To You
              74 Hello Goodbye
              75 Please Please Me
              76 Lady Madonna
              79 We Can Work It Out
              81 I feel Fine
              83 Ticket To Ride
              84 Something
              88 Ballad Of John And Yoko

              What are these chart numbers? None of them correspond to the BMRB chart 1976 reissues, or the 20th anniversary reissues. For example, Love Me Do re-hit at #4 in Oct 1982.

              Comment


              • Nevermind, I think I answered my own question. These positions appear to be from the Mar-21-1976 chart. The first 3 are on the 'official' website within the Top 50, but alas the bottom 50 are not shown. That's quite the achievement for back in the day, 23 records by one artist in one Top 100 chart, wow, ha...

                Comment


                • Found something interesting. Alan Smith had said Record Retailer (in its early days?) was not available for single copy purchase at newsstands, one had to subscribe.

                  I threw out the question recently, at what point in time did RR become available for newsstand purchases? Graham suggested I seek out when a copy price first appeared on the cover page (upper right corner). So I've been searching, couldn't find anything on the internet other than the World Radio History site for the two 1969 RR issues, both priced at 2s/6d.

                  So I posted on the Melody Maker facebook page, and a gent Jim Clay came to the rescue. He found a cover of a RR issue on the 45worlds.com site under the 'magazines' tab dated Dec-15-1960 with a price of 1s/--. Most excellent !!

                  So what does this tell us? RR was available for purchase from the beginning, but most newsstands simply did not carry it? Or RR wasn't available, but they put a cover price on it anyway, as an approximate price to entice friends of subscribers to subscribe?

                  The more I learn, the less I know, ha... I know one thing, it sure is hard to find old copies, or even images, of RR anywhere. Suggesting it was not a well circulated paper back in the day...

                  Comment


                  • Graham76man
                    Graham76man commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Music Week was the same in the 1990's. The only place that sold them was Smiths and a lot of the time they didn't have it. Trade papers are a bit like that.

                • Those positions don't match exactly with the Mar 76 chart as printed, below 50 if the order of the Star Breakers is meant to match exactly.
                  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


                  • It's obvious why BMRB didn't publish a top 100, as the 1974 chart shows which kingofskiffle posted. It was only 104 sales at 50. By the time you reached the bottom of the 100 one shop could be representing the UK in many of the lower parts. And as it was pointed out, the BMRB were nuts about the chart being a national chart. So they had no choice but to stick to a top 50.
                    Back in the 60's one of the papers did extend to 100, but they frequently cut the numbers back due to low sales levels. Having seen it too it had a high turnover rate and wasn't very accurate at all.
                    Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

                    Comment


                    • One can’t go by the order of breakers. I tried that when we got hold of the top 200s of the last four weeks of Jan 83. Comparing the breakers to the chart positions was impossible because the breakers did not include all records moving upwards and in addition there was the problem of skipping downward movers from their real positions.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by RokinRobinOfLocksley View Post

                        The more I learn, the less I know, ha...
                        Ain't that just the way with all this stuff?!!

                        And Graham you are definitely right about MW even in the '90s. When I subscribed for a few years at that time (having arranged the necessary mortgage beforehand!) I did so through a small independent (but happily very industrious) local newsagent, who had to go to the ends of the earth to arrange it (he didn't stock the publication on his regular stand). He played down the effort involved but I got the impression that it was far from 'the done thing' for some unheard-of Joe Public to actually subscribe to MW through their newsagent, as opposed to a company immersed in the industry itself (if for little other reason that its ludicrous pricetag even on subs turned passing readers off). I daresay that most agents assumed that so few individual non-industry casual readers would want to buy MW in-store that it wasn't worth the bother stocking it - too specialised for the trade. Anyone into music bought MM, NME, Rolling Stone, Q mag, etc. Oddly, although circulation rates were already in decline, this started to improve in the '00s, with several stores near me (mostly WHS as Graham says) stocking it on their shelves and for a while I used to buy issue-by-issue, then did what most people did and read the bits I was most interested in in-store! But if that was the situation with it as late as then, it's perfectly feasible to imagine very very few local agents would've thought to stock it with any regularity in earlier decades.

                        Really interesting to see the historical cover prices above too - a shilling by late 1960 and over double that by '69! It's never been cheap that's for sure.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by RokinRobinOfLocksley View Post

                          What are these chart numbers? None of them correspond to the BMRB chart 1976 reissues, or the 20th anniversary reissues. For example, Love Me Do re-hit at #4 in Oct 1982.
                          I got them from Neville Stannard's The Long and Winding Road book, page 96, published in 1982. Date March 6th 1976 when all 23 singles were re-issued.

                          EDIT: The singles in the Top 50 do correspond to the OCC date of 27th March 1976. I assume the rest in the Top 100 came from an unpublished chart that Neville somehow managed to obtain.
                          Last edited by brian05; Tue April 27, 2021, 18:11.

                          Comment


                          • Strange how the discussion subsided once the theme got it’s own thread. It would be constructive if these who have checked for discrepancies could enlighten the rest of us about which years and weeks have been checked in addition to those weeks mentioned with different charts, so we would know where to continue to look for new differences. I believe that hits that charted on only one of the two charts will be even more interesting than breakers, and several of us have invested much effort into finding breakers with and without rankings. It feels right to suggest that hits on only the least reliable of the two charts should be ranked breakers of the first order and the other breakers ranked lower. So who will start informing us?

                            Comment


                            • It should be relatively easy to get at most of that info Kjell. The Top 20's could be checked by comparing the last Jasper book against the recent Graham Betts / 'official' 60s charts book. To go beyond the Top 20, we'd have to go to the Record Mirror charts on the World Radio History site. Though they are currently missing about 2/3 of 1962 and 1965.

                              But yeah, would be good to know if someone has already done the work and could inform us here.

                              Comment


                              • On the Missing Episodes forum 'NME Charts' thread someone mentions differences between RR and RM, including April/May 65, and Alan Smith replies:

                                "I have asked former editor of the 'Record Mirror' Peter Jones about those conflicting placings - but sadly he has no idea why they happened."

                                Comment


                                • I believe I have the first three Jasper books somewhere in the basement but not Betts. When was the last Jasper? Do we know the problem relates to only the 60ies?

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Splodj View Post
                                    On the Missing Episodes forum 'NME Charts' thread someone mentions differences between RR and RM, including April/May 65, and Alan Smith replies:

                                    "I have asked former editor of the 'Record Mirror' Peter Jones about those conflicting placings - but sadly he has no idea why they happened."
                                    I think Peter Jones's reply sums it up. The very fact the editor cannot give a bona fide reason as to chart differences surely leaves only one conclusion, RM transcribed some positions wrongly. The very fact the vast majority of the other chart positions in RM were identical to RR surely supports this fact.
                                    The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by MrTibbs View Post

                                      I think Peter Jones's reply sums it up. The very fact the editor cannot give a bona fide reason as to chart differences surely leaves only one conclusion, RM transcribed some positions wrongly. The very fact the vast majority of the other chart positions in RM were identical to RR surely supports this fact.
                                      Possibly, but Billboard also sometimes quoted the RM version and not the RR version. BB and RM couldn't have randomly made the same mistakes...

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by kjell View Post
                                        I believe I have the first three Jasper books somewhere in the basement but not Betts. When was the last Jasper? Do we know the problem relates to only the 60ies?
                                        The last Jasper "The Top Twenty Book" is the 6th edition, 1955-1993, (c) 1994.

                                        Some of us were still noting RM / RR discrepancies into the BMRB era...
                                        Last edited by RokinRobinOfLocksley; Wed April 28, 2021, 23:54. Reason: era not error, ha

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by RokinRobinOfLocksley View Post

                                          Possibly, but Billboard also sometimes quoted the RM version and not the RR version. BB and RM couldn't have randomly made the same mistakes...
                                          But not if it was RM that supplied the chart info to BB and not RR. I remember reading at some point that BB owned RM so that could explain the chart similarity.
                                          The Ultimate Averaged Chart. The Definitive Chart Reflecting The Fifties and Sixties.

                                          Comment


                                          • Originally posted by MrTibbs View Post
                                            BMRB supplied to RR and the BBC first though. Then RR passed the info to RM. By 1969 RM was a Billboard paper so Billboard would take the chart from RM who I still think were the most likely guilty party in messing up positions.

                                            The missing 33 in RR I berated above. That error should have been picked up at the print stage.
                                            Having been involved with paper print productions. I suspect that the artwork for 33 was pasted on to a blank sheet of the chart and all the rest of the numbers too. Number 33 fell off at some stage and the chart page "plate" was made. Once the plate is made corrections can not be made. Since the plates are expensive it's cheaper to just run the offset-lithio printer on what you have. I think nearly all the rest of the paper would be ready to go each week, with just the latest charts holding off the commencement of the print run. The printing people don't like the machines waiting and can charge more money if you are late getting the artwork or plates to them. Since the print run wouldn't have been massive for this trade only paper, once running the plates would have done the entire batch. On much bigger publications the plates would wear out so new ones would be needed and they could have made corrections then. Leading to some issues with errors and some not.
                                            Not all printers offered plate making services and sometimes it was cheaper to farm out the plate making to another company. Plate making was essential a photographic process. You photographed the artwork with a camera and it was developed on to either metal or paper plates. Metal plates were more expensive, but lasted longer.
                                            Sometimes the magazines put the names of the printers etc in the paper.
                                            Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

                                            Comment


                                            • Thanks Robin. Are those notings easily available? By the way, I see you concluded quite rightly about the 23 Beatles hits. They were presented in Music Week at the time, but the positions below 75 were not quoted then, only that they were in the top 100. Filled them into my system now.

                                              Comment


                                              • Originally posted by MrTibbs View Post

                                                But not if it was RM that supplied the chart info to BB and not RR. I remember reading at some point that BB owned RM so that could explain the chart similarity.
                                                Apparently it's more complicated, ugh. Hold onto your hats, ha...

                                                Alan says RR was owned / begun by holding company Telltime Ltd in 1959. Billboard took over "Telltime" holdings in Aug 1966, so Billboard thus owned RR in 1966. In 1969, Billboard was now fully in charge of RR. 1972, RR changed their name to Music Week. In 1976, Billboard sold MW to United Business Media.

                                                According to Wiki, in 1962 Record Mirror was the only remaining independent popular music paper. It was acquired by RR in 1969, so from 1969 RM was indeed owned by Billboard.

                                                Still from Wiki, in 1975 Disc was incorporated into RM. In 1977, Billboard sold RM to the Morgan-Gampian Group.

                                                ----------------

                                                So as best as I can tell from the above, and boy does this get tangled:

                                                --RR/MW and BB were owned together from 1966 to 1976

                                                --RM and RR/MW were owned together from 1969 to 1976

                                                --RM and BB were owned together from 1969 to 1977

                                                --Thus RM + RR + BB were all owned together from 1969 to 1976

                                                ----------------

                                                --RM carried the RR charts from 1962 to 1969

                                                --BB carried the RR charts from 1966 to 1969

                                                --RM + RR + BB carried the BMRB charts from 1969 to 1976, and maybe beyond?

                                                ----------------

                                                But there were occasional (not infrequent?) mix ups:

                                                --sometimes RM differed from RR

                                                --sometimes BB agreed with RM and not RR; sometimes BB agreed with RR and not RM

                                                ----------------

                                                So who supplied the charts to whom?

                                                ----------------

                                                Whew, I'm getting a headache...

                                                Comment


                                                • ^

                                                  Music Week and Record Mirror continued to have the same owners beyond 1976. Indeed they had the same owners from 1969 to 1991, when Record Mirror closed as a standalone publication and was incorporated into Music Week.

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