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The Million Sellers (Omnibus Press)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
This is a hard back book with 288 pages published on 1st November 2012. (You can read all the million sellers on the OCC web site). The million sellers are categorized by decade, starting with the 1950s, with each million seller description being 2 pages long. Each single (or download track for last 5 or 6 years) has listed: writers, producer, album it came from, peak position, weeks at number one, weeks on chart (including re-entries) and total sales to date (vinyl, cassette, CD, digital) as calculated by the Official Charts Company (OCC). Sales are up to end of May 2012.
Each artist has a black and white photo. In my opinion the layout is not as good as the 2002 OCC book (also known as the 50th anniversary NME Top 100 singles, as seen on Channel 4). The 2002 book had colour photos and a trivia section (e.g. Christmas no. 1s).
Unfortunately the sales figures are rounded numbers, some to the nearest 10,000. As a result sales for Mull of Kintyre go down from 2.05m to 2.00m. Incidentally, Beatles Hey Jude is now a UK seller with 1.06m sales.
There are a number of articles from artists such as Cliff Richard, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Boy George reflecting on their time in the charts.
The book also gives a list of 13 singles which are close to a million sales (e.g. Beatles HELP is on 950,000). Today it was announced that Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe', has now reached a UK Million Sale. To W/E 3rd November, it has sold approximately 1,080,400 UK copies. So the book is already out of date!
Well-researched and an interesting read. I would recommend it - hope there are not too many mistakes in it (like Erasure did not include Dancing Queen on their Abba-esque EP). A worthwhile book for factual information, but could have been better.
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on 8 December 2012
As the UK Official Charts Company (O.C.C.) celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first chart in 2012, they have once again compiled their exclusive list of million-selling singles. 10 years on from the previous book (which listed only 76 million sellers), it has now grown to 123 songs, and they are all here with sales figures and all the statistics you'll ever need.
Listed in chronologically order, from the first million seller `Rock Around The Clock' in 1955 to `Somebody That I Used To Know' earlier this year, they are all covered extensively, and you'll learn things like that there were 27 million sellers in the 70s, while the 90s produced 32.
There's also recent interviews with a lot of the relevant artists, namely Cliff Richard, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bernard Sumner, Mel C, Midge Ure and Matt Cardle, all offering their own take on the importance of the charts.
As ever you'll be intrigued by some of the interesting facts contained within. Who's the only female artist to feature on 3 million-selling singles? What song spent 18 weeks at no. 1 in Norway? What U.S. group were the only act to have UK no. 1s in the 70s, 80s, and 90s? What song was a million seller 3 times? What is Holland's biggest selling single of all time? and What female singer sang backing vocals on `Torn'? The answers to all these questions are contained within.
There's even a synopsis of singles approaching the magical figure of 1 million. Kylie & Jason, and Elton & Kiki are only 10k off the mark, thanks to download sales while Amazing Grace, Whole Again, Mysterious Girl, and Bachelor Boy only need 20k to get over the line. It's also fascinating to read that songs like `Come On Eileen' have sold 100k on downloads alone since the format was introduced, so in years to come many songs that never thought they would make it, have a great chance of achieving this.
One note of disappointment about this book is that there are a couple of mistakes contained within regarding sales figures. Sales listed for `Tears' and `Mull of Kintyre' are lower now than they were 10 years ago.
Overall though, this is an excellent read, and in hardback too. The new interviews are refreshing and there's plenty to learn throughout.
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on 20 November 2012
This is what it says on the tin - the stories behind every single ever to have passed a millions sales in the UK. That means that it spans most of the biggest singles acts of the past 60 years, from Bill Haley right up to Rihanna, Jessie J and Maroon 5, via The Beatles, New Order, Queen, Oasis, Elvis, Cliff, Soft Cell and Human League, with plenty of novelty classics thrown in for good measure - in fact, every act mentioned on the cover. It also includes new two page interviews with some genuine legends, including Kevin Rowland, Bernard Sumner, Marc Almond, Cliff, Engelbert Humperdink etc. Spanning such a broad range of subjects, it's a perfect Xmas book, which will genuinely have something in it for everyone.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
This book is an absolute disgrace. It is from the so called "Official" Charts Company, but the authors cannot even check their own database. It is full of errors, such as stating that Tammy Wynette's "DIVORCE" was a UK Number 1 (it was the parody version by Billy Connolly that was) and that Slade had three consecutive singles that entered at Number 1 in 1973, when in fact between the 2nd and 3rd of these they had a Number 2 hit with "My Friend Stan". It doesn't mention that the 1991 re-release of "Bohemian Rhapsody" had another track as a double A side. It gets some dates mixed up, stating that the 1950s hit "Unchained Melody" was written in 1964! And I haven't even got a third of the way though the book yet so goodness knows what other inaccuracies are in there. The book is a sad celebration of sixty years of the UK Charts. I have wasted my money on it, I hope I cam prevent other people from doing the same.
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A cracking little book which tells the fascinating stories behind all the singles that sold over 123 millions in the UK, from Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock' in 1955 right through to the Goye's 'Somebody That I Used To Know' in 2012, and everything in between across seven decades. A wide range of styles is documented, ensuring that there's something for every music lover to enjoy.

Each entry is given two pages, and includes the stats of the song's writers, producers, it's mother album and it's chart position, how many weeks it spent in the charts, and how much it sold. There's also a picture of each of the artists, and although songs by the Teletubbies and Bob the Builder made me question the buying habits of us musical Brits, it was still fun to read about such novelties. In addiction to all of this handy information, the book also features some interesting, fresh interviews conducted with big names in the business, including Bernard Sumner (Joy Division, New Order), Cliff Richard, Sir. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Boy George, and Engelbert Humperdinck.

That's not to say there aren't any inaccuracies and typos, 'Unchained Melody' was not written in 1964, it was in fact 1955, and X Factor winner Shayne Ward released his debut album in 1996 did he? I don't think so, it was 2006 chaps. There are several more errors throughout the book, and this is somewhat shameful as it was compiled by guys at the Official Charts Company,

Despite the mistakes, this is a perfect birthday or Christmas present, 'The Million Sellers' serves as both entertainment, and as a very useful reference book.
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on 15 June 2015
Excellent read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2013
I downloaded this book because I have always had a real interest in the charts. This book has it all: useful info about each song plus chart stats to boot.

Uf you have a genuine interest in music and the UK top 40, this book is for you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2013
An excellent book that unpretentiously appraises all the songs in Britain that have sold that number. It reminds you of the diversity of our charts, and is written with a sesne of fun, without ever being patronising.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2012
Interesting to hear the facts behind the biggest songs and how they came about, a very fact filled book which is a must for music lovers
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