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The Virgin Book of Top 40 Charts (Virgin Books) [Paperback]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 22.00
Price: 17.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 2009 Virgin Books

The charts are the evening news of the music industry. Collected here, they show the rapid rise or demise of each single as it enters the charts, either winning over a large audience or just making music for its own smaller group of fans. Top 40 Charts is required reading for every music buff, and for anyone else who'd like to know what song was number one on their birthday or any other memorable day.

With every Top 40 singles chart from 1960 to the present day, this is the definitive music chart book. Includes the song title, act, record label and total number of weeks on chart for every single, as well as a detailed history of the pre-1960s charts.

Published using data from the Official Charts Company.

Frequently Bought Together

The Virgin Book of Top 40 Charts (Virgin Books) + The Virgin Book of British Hit Singles: Volume 2 + The Virgin Book of British Hit Albums
Price For All Three: 47.75

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (5 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753522004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753522004
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.8 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The ideal Christmas gift for all pop music buffs. A totally fascinating read." (Scunthorpe Telegraph)

"Granted, a tome which runs to over 1000 pages with every Top 40 Singles Chart from 1960 to present day is not going to be everyone's cup of tea but for me it's heaven" (Blackpool Gazette)

"Hard to put down" (The Times)

Book Description

The most comprehensive record of the UK singles chart ever produced

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome update since Guinness' 1996 last issue 2 Nov 2009
Received this today and had a quick flick through it.
Glad to say at first glance this is a good update for the similar Guinness Book Of Top 40 Charts which only had two editions, the last published in 1996.
This Virgin edition is 1054 pages long and features a listed Top 40 for every week from week ending 10th March 1960 to week ending 3rd January 2009.
I had worried that with it spanning so many years, that Virgin may have taken the option of a monthly chart listing the first week of that month, with columns for the other three weeks denoting the relevant positions for each song. Thankfully that's not the case, each Top 40 singles chart is listed in full for each week. Information given is: postion, last week's position, title, artist, label, weeks on chart. The bottom of each page gives a little factoid relevant to a particular chart on the page. There's an A-Z listing at the back of the book, sorted by Title that also lists the chart entry date. The beginning of the book has a 10 page preamble about the chart from each year 1952 to 1959.
So in conclusion, a valuable reference book for any avid listener of the UK Top 40 countdown, and hopefully this new edition will put a stop to the silly money people have been shelling out for the 1996 Guinness edition on ebay and the like.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Essential Chart Book !!!!!!! 3 Nov 2009
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.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
When I got this brill 1053-page paperback (compiled by DAVID McALEER), I hardly knew where to start...the detail is gargantuan. It contains every Top 40 UK Singles chart beginning at 10 March 1960 and ending at 3 January 2009.

It breaks down like this... To the far left is the chart position (1, 2, 3 etc), then to the right of that is a column that gives you 'last week's chart position' - which allows you to trace back when the record first showed up on the charts. The title of the song is in BLOCK CAPITOLS while the artist is standard print so you can differentiate quickly and easily which is which. It then gives you the label (Capitol, HMV, RAK, Bell, Polydor etc), but unfortunately not the catalogue number (you need the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles for that). It is updated to 2009 - which the Guinness one isn't.

Another real ace is a track-by-track index in the rear; say you want to check on "Give Me The Night" by GEORGE BENSON - it tells you look at the week ending 2/8/80 which is when it first charted - you know exactly where to locate it - very handy. The final column to the far right gives you the number of weeks it's been on chart (3, 7 etc).

Browsing through the years if of course half the fun. You notice stuff. There were an awful lot of Number 1's that were truly awful - and seemed to stay there for an eternity. It's also interesting to notice that despite having actually lived when "Ride A White Swan" by T.REX first hit the charts in October 1970 - there are titles in that week and the subsequent weeks that I don't remember at all (and some you'd rather forget).

I then figured I'd try to set up some of these Top Forty lists in iTunes on my computer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I could ever ask for and more! 5 Mar 2010
The Virgin Book of Top 40 Charts (Virgin Books)
This book is better than I expected. With a footnote at the bottom of every page detailing specific achievements of a selected song, I found out several things that, until I studied the book, didn't realise, (and I thought that I knew a fair bit about the music charts). I honestly thought that, after reading other comments about it before I bought it, I would think that it was worse than when Guinness published the chart books. It doesn't contain pictures like the Guinness publications did, but if all you want is just the chart positions for each week with no gloss, then this book is definitely the book to choose!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Published 3 months ago by KEVIN LEYS
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
An excellent book. Only wish I'd bought it sooner!
This book contains all of the chart information of the top 40 from late 1960 up until the 2010s. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. T. C. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a must for the record enthusiast. I had purchased other volumes and therefore had to have the latest volume.
Published 7 months ago by davewhelan
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin
It is exactly as it says. The only down side is the layout is pretty boring. However, it is factually accurate so it's good.
Published 8 months ago by Angela K
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant compilation
For an old charts freak like myself, this a fantastic accompanyment to the Guinness/Virgin book of hit singles editions. Just what the doctor ordered!
Published 11 months ago by Mr M C Jerrard
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Having used a different reference for my music before this, thought I'd try Virgin's tomes and am quite pleased with them. Read more
Published 13 months ago by RedAlFire
5.0 out of 5 stars great work of reference
This was a present for my son but I looked up some references before I wrapped it and it seemed great and I'm sure my son likes it
Published 15 months ago by Bryan Dinsdale
5.0 out of 5 stars book review
The book was exactly as i had hoped for, its a pity it doesnt cpme out a little bit more often. The service & delivery were first class than you
Published 18 months ago by ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Virgin Book Of Top 40 Charts
This product has the relevant information that you require to know everything about the Top 40 British Singles Chart from 1960 till 2009 inclusive. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by goldberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says
Provided exactly the information i was looking for and more that i wasn't.Anyone interested in finding out information about the charts should take a look at this.
Published on 20 Sep 2011 by martinr68
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