Was there an official UK-singles-Top 100 in 1980

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Postby vdoerken » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:36 am

Hi from Germany!

Maybe you can help me.

When I created my charts-video for Shakin' Stevens I got the remark on Facebook the I forgot to singles:

Hey Mae #83 and Shooting Gallery #79, both from 1980.

On my remark that the official Top 100 was introduced not before 1983, he sent me a screenshot from a Shaky-Website, where these two peaks were shown.

He insists on the statement that this was already an official Top 100 in 1980.

Who is right?

Thanks in advance!

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Postby kjell » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:28 pm

No, the official chart was a top 75 in 1980. However, there was this competing chart in Record Business magazine that had a top 100 chart plus at this time 20 ranked breakers.
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Postby Gambo » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:15 pm

This is covered elsewhere in more depth, most authoritatively by Robbie, but in short: the British Market Research Bureau, who were compilers of the official music charts during that period, did apparently compile a Top 200 ranking of bestselling singles each week, but this was strictly for industry eyes only and was never published, with the Top 50 (and from May 1978 the Top 75) being the only section of their tabulation to appear in print via Music Week/Record Mirror. It was considered that positions below 75 were increasingly unreliable at that time, given the limitations on the compilation methodology which meant that very few panel sales separated one title from another the further one went down the chart.

I say it was "never" published; that is technically not quite true. Although it was never routinely made public, a complete Top 100 rundown was given by the then-fledgling Alan Jones in RM as a curio in one of his weekly commentaries. I think it was for the chart dated 8th March 1980 (could've been 15th otherwise) - there is a link to a scan of the original article on another thread somewhere but I haven't time just now to fish it out for you. Doubtless a keenly-worded search on this forum will alight upon it. As far as I know, that was the only occasion on which the full, presumably unrestricted, Top 100 was disclosed beyond industry insiders before Gallup took over and inaugurated their Top 75+next 25 tabulation in January 1983, and as you might guess it is a source of constant consternation to the completist UK chartologist that there seems to be no hope of any others coming to light, if indeed they are all still in existence (we think they are at the BPI library in London, but it's not been open to public visits since 2009).

As to whether the two tracks by Shakin' Stevens you cite below were on that particular Top 100 I can't recall, but as you say they were from '80 it is entirely possible, given that Shaky had just begun his surprisingly-enduring hitmaking career that January. If they weren't, either the Shaky website source has got it wrong; they are quoting positions from another chart, or they have detailed inside info on sub-75 UK chart positions from that era - if it's the latter, we need to engage them on this forum ASAP!
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Postby Robbie » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:20 pm

Yes, Alan Jones once listed positions 76-100 on the larger Top 200 chart. It was the chart of 8 March 1980. The post I made about it is at:

https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic. ... 5#p2393395

The original chart compilers (BMRB) did in fact compile a Top 100 until May 6 1978 and then from 13 May 1978 to their last chart, 25 December 1982, they compiled a Top 200. But as Gambo states, the larger chart was for industry eyes only. Those larger charts were used to compile the Star Breakers chart (until 6 May 1978) and the Bubbling Under (next 25) from 8 August 1981 to 25 December 1982. Alan Jones would sometimes quote chart positions of records which were below the top 75. As well as the 76-100 positions listed in the above link he also mentioned chart positions of other singles below the top 75. For example, a few weeks after John Lennon was murdered Alan Jones listed the positions on the top 200 of some Lennon and Beatles tracks:

1- Imagine
3 - Happy Xmas
5 - (Just Like) Starting Over
118 - Power To The People
126 - No. 9 Dream
130 - Give Peace A Chance

139 - Balld Of John & Yoko
156 - Love Me Do
178 - Can't Buy Me Love

(chart dated 17 January 1981).

(an interesting bit of trivia in the same Alan Jones article: 'Woman' which entered the chart at number 3 on 24 January 1981 had also been released as a limited edition cassette single totalling 20,000 copies. When it climbed to number 1 two weeks later it therefore became the first number 1 single to be available as a cassette).

Another Beatles related sub-75 listing: in September 1980 Paul McCartney released 'Temporary Secretary' as a 12" only, limited edition, single release. It peaked on the larger chart (dated 4 October 1980) at number 76 before falling back to number 121.

Other sub-75 chart positions can be found in another page of the thread I linked to above

https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic. ... 6#p1516636

Most are from January 1983+ and therefore are from below number 100 but 'Hey Mae' is mentioned. In addition there are two records from 1978 and 1979 listed there too (one, 'Down In The Park' by Tubeway Army is a classic yet it peaked at number 198 in 1979).
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Postby tonyiow » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:38 pm

only just seen this one let me try and help there are people who have industry charts etc who are still with us. daffyd rees alan jones
when I believe the news broke about the bpi library holding charts for top100/200 and unstarred. Lonnie mfr and I visited. and the place contained ledgers as mfr said of full unstarred charts I think from 1978? up to . ? they were as mfr said quite capable of holding as low down as 400 plus positions . and much to my deep regret I went totally unprepared for the overwhelming amount of info available just my phone and a handheld ancient scanner which was useless I think Lonnie was better equipped but short of time. and then they suddenly closed. I managed to contact them but they kept saying its all in storage boxes under sinks and stairs etc where I hope it still lays. I was under assumption topicel has many bmrb top 200s from that era as he once had a site where he published some which I have found part of for July 1980 but I think there may be monthly reports not weekly. his own site has long gone and he rarely posts on here but he is a mine of knowledge and can help. clarify this situation. my question is are all avenues closed.
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Postby fiesta » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:43 pm

If the bpi dont want these ledgers maybe they might accept an offer of money in exchange for them or to allow access to them?
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Postby Gambo » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:16 pm

On the face of it, that sounds like such a fair deal, doesn't it? But whether or not the BPI would have any fundamental objection to such a proposal, I strongly-suspect that the OCC - who I'm reliably-informed are just down the corridor or something in the old GLC building in London - would. If they were to learn that such items were being sold-off to private hands I'm fairly sure they'd seek to prevent it, as they're so paranoid about whatever they hold and publish on their own site by their own rules being the 'single source of truth' for the UK charts, and anyone being in a position to offer an alternative, or even just wider, picture of those charts would I think find themselves in difficulty, even if they'd got to the stage of obtaining the raw materials from these fabled boxes under the stairs. But nothing ventured and all that, if someone has the wherewithal to put such an offer to them. Or, should I say someone who if successful in such a bid for this content, would have the time and inclination to do it justice.
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