The poster Gezza at Haven once posted a number of threads of top 10 sales in the 1980s. The sales were estimates based on the BMRB / Gallup chart panel sales from the time and which applied the relevant multipliers in use at the time. Sales were rounded to the nearest thousand.Passing_Strang wrote:Robbie, thank you for this fascinating story! Never knew records could be so close at the top. Indeed, Altered Images topped every other chart so the race must've been pretty close. Which takes me back to Vienna vs Shaddap You Face case - is it known how big was the latter's lead? Still find it very strange that Ultravox didn't manage to sneak out even one week at the top, given how they topped other charts and eventually outsold their rival quite considerably.
Also strange that there was never such a thing as joint No. 1 in singles chart in case of such close battle - whereas I remember ABC and Kids from Fame sharing No. 1 in the LP list for a week in 1982. Surely wouldn't have hurt to award the top position to two acts...
The following might interest you!
14 February 1981
1- WOMAN- John Lennon (130,000)
2- VIENNA- Ultravox (93,000)
3- SHADDAP YOU FACE- Joe Dolce Musical Theatre (92,000)
21 February 1981
1- SHADDAP YOU FACE- Joe Dolce Musical Theatre (126,000)
2- VIENNA- Ultravox (124,000)
3- WOMAN- John Lennon (82,000)
28 February 1981
1- SHADDAP YOU FACE- Joe Dolce Musical Theatre (154,000)
2- VIENNA- Ultravox (104,000)
3- I SURRENDER- Rainbow (84,000)
7 March 1981
1- SHADDAP YOU FACE- Joe Dolce Musical Theatre (138,000)
2- VIENNA- Ultravox (89,000)
3- JEALOUS GUY- Roxy Music (86,000)
14 March 1981
1- JEALOUS GUY- Roxy Music (122,000)
2- KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER- Adam & The Ants (114,000)
3- SHADDAP YOU FACE- Joe Dolce Musical Theatre (113,000)
4- VIENNA- Ultravox (62,000)
5- DO THE HUCKLEBUCK- Coast To Coast (57,000)
So Vienna was close to being number 1 on the chart dated 21 February 1981 but in every other week it was at number 2 it was well beaten...
and that chart from 7 November 1981, for 'It's My Party' and 'Happy Birthday'...
1- IT’S MY PARTY- David Stewart & Barbara Gaskin (93,000)
2- HAPPY BIRTHDAY- Altered Images (93,000)
3- EVERY LITTLE THING SHE DOES IS MAGIC- The Police (73,000)
4- LABELLED WITH LOVE- Squeeze (71,000)
5- WHEN SHE WAS MY GIRL- Four Tops (66,000)
6- GOOD YEAR FOR THE ROSES- Elvis Costello (58,000)
7- JOAN OF ARC- O.M.D (58,000)
8- ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS- The Jam (56,000)
9- THE BIRDIE SONG (THE BIRDIE DANCE)- The Tweets (53,000)
10- OPEN YOUR HEART- Human League (53,000)
but as I have posted, 'It's My Party' was number 1 by about 10 sales.
Joint positions were allowed under both BMRB and Gallup (until some point in 1987 and then again from 1991 to 1994) but the way the chart was compiled it made joint positions almost impossible to achieve. The industry chart print out rounded chart panel sales to whole numbers but the raw figures used to compile the chart measured chart panel sales down to tenths of a whole sale. The joint number 1 on the Albums chart in 1982 meant that both titles had the exact same chart panel sales down to the same decimal point.