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Thread: How to handle US-Album-Charts 1959-1963 Mono/Stereo

  1. #1
    vdoerken's Avatar
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    10 Jul 2001
    Wuppertal, Germany
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    by » Sat July 6th, 2019, 17:52

    Hi from Germany!

    I have a question to all those guys who also try to analyse the old US-Album-Charts. In the years from 1959 to 1963 there were separated charts for mono and stereo albums. The mono-section had always more positions than the stereo one. So it seems to me as if they were more important.

    How do you handle this period with the two charts? For example, West Side Story is said to be at #1 for 54 weeks. But 53 weeks were on the stereo-chart and one week when the charts were combined again in 1963. On the mono chart this record was at # 1 for „only“ twelve weeks.

    In my database I normally have one chart for one week, but in this period it seems to be complicated. Is there one chart, you accept as the official one? I know for some time they were even divided into action and inventory-charts. It’s a similar problem like the single-charts before August 1958, until all the different charts (Airplay, Jukebox, Sales) were combined into the Hot 100.

    Have a nice weekend.

    The Singles-Chart-History with lots of artists and information:

  2. #2

    by » Sun July 7th, 2019, 13:28

    Looking at the old Billboard magazines it is probably easy to find mono and stereo album sales in those years. I assume (but that's not true, you have to check): stereo albums are 10% of the total, mono albums are 90% of the total. So for me, the only significant chart is the mono chart.
    italian charts: (old web site) (will be out on next months)

  3. #3
    WolfSpear's Avatar
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    19 Jun 2008
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    by » Sun July 7th, 2019, 19:51

    I treat the Mono chart as the king of the land.

    It would be unfair to compare West Side Story’s stereo run to Thriller. The Stereo chart favored albums of classical and broadway interests... people who could afford stereophonic record players. Granted, the LP market was still in the hands of the pre-boomer generation at that time, so there’s quite a bit of the same titles on both charts.

  4. #4
    RokinRobinOfLocksley's Avatar

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    10 Sep 2013
    Richmond, VA
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    by » Sun July 7th, 2019, 20:34

    The simple thing to do would be to use the mono album charts. Whitburn did a hybrid for his Record Research albums book, combining mono and stereo album info together, crediting an album with the highest peak it achieved on either the mono or stereo chart, and giving it a total number of weeks for when it appeared on either chart. That is interesting, but it isn't the facts, it's an interpretation.

    Me being a chart purist, I would first want the facts as they were, without interpretation. Thus I would create a database showing both mono and stereo chart runs. Then second, add an alternate interpretation if you wish. But that's just me, ha...

    So many do-gooders are out there, seemingly helping us with chart history, but they give us extra stuff without giving us the original stuff. As I like to say, do me a favor and don't do me any favors: give me the facts first, and then add other details with a note or whatever.

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