Once again Virgin books have come up trumps with another excellent Chart book, following on from the success of their UK `Hit Singles' and `Hit Albums' books in recent times.
`Top 40 Charts' does exactly what it says on the tin. Unlike the numerous hit singles books that have been produced over the years, this book lists every Top 40 Charts since its inception in March 1960, right up to the end of 2008.
It's 12 years since the last edition, so an updated version is a welcome addition for chart and music fans alike. What makes this book unique is that you can pick, the date you were born, date you got married, or any significant date of interest to you, and get the complete Top 40 rundown for that week.
It'll tell you things like; that Heavy D and the Boys, Extreme, Right Said Fred, Salt `n' Pepa, The Scorpions, and 2 Unlimited all were unfortunate to be stuck at no. 2 while Bryan Adams ruled the roost for 16 weeks in 1991.
With over 1,000 trivia facts sprinkled throughout the book you can baffle your friends with the knowledge of knowing who the first Spanish act to top the charts were, who's speech inspired Lionel Richie to write `Three Times A Lady', what Aswad means in Arabic, what three female singers turned down `Everything I Do (I Do It For You)', or who originally recorded `Mistletoe And Wine'?
As well as all the Top 40s, the pre-Top 40 period (1952 - 1960) is covered with a synopsis of each year splendidly written by Dave McAleer. You know anything this man puts his signature to, is going to be definitive, as accuracy is his middle name.
Now almost 50 years on since that first Top 40 Chart, over 1,000 no. 1s and well over 2.000 charts have been compiled and luckily for you and me, they're all here in one concise volume which includes an A to Z of almost 20,000 songs that have graced the charts over the years. All your Christmases have come at once. It doesn't get any better than this. An absolute necessity for any music fan.