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on 10 September 2017
No problems thanks all good
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on 27 April 2017
Encyclopedia of hit singles.. What more can you say..
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on 17 January 2017
Good book, buy it, and have fun fun fun! I love chart books, they help me remember the songs of my youth, and inform me how popular songs were relative to each other, by peak chart position and number of weeks on the chart. That said, there is one flaw to this book, and that is there was no “official” chart prior to Feb 1969. Rather there were 5 major independent charts (NME, Record Mirror, Melody Maker, Disc, Record Retailer) plus the BBC average chart (Pick of the Pops on radio, Top of the Pops on TV), over different overlapping time periods, that sampled a different number of record shops to produce their weekly charts. But to fill in the historical blanks prior to Feb 1969, decades after the fact the Official Charts Co. (and the previous Guinness books) declared the NME chart to be the “official” chart of the 50s (no problem with that since this was a good choice), and the Record Retailer (RR) chart to be “official” for the 60s (a horrendous and worst possible decision).

RR was the least accurate chart of the 60s, had the most problems getting their weekly data in on time, had the highest volatility in lower chart positions week to week, had the smallest circulation and visibility, and sampled the fewest number of record shops. Almost no one who followed pop music in the 60s knew that the RR chart even existed. It is a brazen rewrite of history to suggest RR was the “official” chart of the 60s. It would have been much better to go with either NME, Melody Maker, or the BBC.

One can say that all the charts basically agreed with each other, the same records were in the same general chart position vicinity across all the charts, they mostly only differed on exact positions. The biggest problem thus occurs when someone or something (books, magazines, contests) claims such-and-such a record of the 60s was or was not #1 on the charts, and they are using the RR/Official charts to base that claim. Here are the 2 most famous reasons why RR is inaccurate. In 1963, The Beatles “Please Please Me” reached #1 on the NME, Melody Maker, and Disc charts for 2 weeks, based on 270 record shops, and 3 weeks on the BBC average chart. It only reached #2 on the RR chart, based on 30 record shops. Which is more correct, 270 or 30? Unfortunately, PPM is being denied its true historical #1 position decades after the fact because of 30 record shops. What is even more outrageous is that The Beatles own record company left “Please Please Me” off their “1” CD, now denying that it was a #1 smash. Totally unbelievable, and total rubbish! The other reason, the same thing happened to The Rolling Stones “19th Nervous Breakdown” in 1966. #1 on the NME, MM, Disc, and BBC average charts for 3 weeks each, but only peaked at #2 on RR. The Official Charts Co says actual history is wrong, that it was instead only a #2 hit. Ugh...

What’s the solution to this dilemma? 2 parts. One: prior to the start of the official charts in Feb 1969, a record’s peak should be credited as the highest peak it received across all 5 of the major UK independent charts. No qualifiers. If a record hit #1 on any of the 5 charts, then it was a #1 hit, period. Two: the Official Charts Co should take the NME weekly charts (since they were the first, starting in 1952), and add the corresponding chart positions of all the other charts for each record, off to the right. So each record would display between 3 and 5 chart positions on each weekly chart. You could see right there in black and white the differences across all the charts. And throw in the BBC chart positions for extra measure, as this was the chart that most of the UK lived thru and followed each week as it was on radio and TV, you couldn’t get away from it.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how things were 1952 to Feb 1969. What the Official Charts Co claims as history prior to Feb 1969 is not true and factual, it flat out did not happen. But don’t take my word for it, do an internet search for “UKMix updated chart history” and you’ll find an article by UK chart historian and expert Alan Smith, who literally spent years in tracking down this information on the true history of the UK charts. Let me add I don’t intend to dismiss the RR chart flat out, it did represent about 13% of UK record shops 1962-69 (NME 30%, MM 40%, Disc 17%). It just did not represent 100% of them, and to assume so is completely wrong. For extreme chart nuts, you can also track down used copies of NME and Record Mirror chart books. I haven’t seen any Melody Maker or Disc chart books though. But all charts are also out there in internet land somewhere. Also beware that a lot of UK chart books and websites don’t give you the source of their data. Most are using the so-called “official” charts, i.e., NME for the 50s, Record Retailer for the 60s, and the Official charts after Feb 1969. The easy way to tell, if “Please Please Me” and “19th Nervous Breakdown” are listed as #2 hits, then it’s the so-called “official” charts. Just keep that in mind. Now buy this book and have fun fun fun!! (Please forgive the 3 star rating, I only did this to make my review stand out a little more so that people would discover the relevant information above)
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on 21 July 2014
A brilliant book that is worthy of the old Guinness Book and set up exactly like it used to be. A bit dated as it has not been re written since 2010 when it was written but is still good. The only downside is that the interesting facts would be better done on a page rather than throughout the book at various pages. It has the complete number 1s since 1952 until April 2010 and has all the singers and groups that had a chart hit and their place in the charts with the weeks there. The information on the band, or singer is fairly good and in some cases a bit more informative than the old Guinness Book. If you are studying to know UK chart muisc, this book is the one to get. It also includes downloads and is well written.
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on 9 November 2010
Virgin has certainly raised the bar in the past few years as been the definitive publisher of great UK Chart books. Last years Top 40 Charts was brilliant, their Hit Albums book was refreshing and stuffed with trivia, and now Hit Singles Volume 2 has well and truly captured the digital era, and brought this book right up to the present.
The fact that the listing of no. 1s goes right up to Scouting For Girls in April this year, shows the dedication and commitment contributors McAleer, White & Gregory have put into this book. My only surprise is that they haven't included the forthcoming Christmas No. 1.
As ever, you'd expect nothing less than loads of statistics, and boy, has this book got them? Okay! So, there's the usual `Most weeks at No. 1' etc, but it'll also tell you who is the biggest selling download artist ever in the UK? Who has had the most Top 40 hits? How many songs have sold over a million copies? What solo artist has the same amount of Top 10 singles as The Beatles? (Although he'll be one ahead by now). When was the last year Cliff Richard didn't have a chart entry? Who's the only female artist with two UK million sellers? or How many Michael Jackson singles entered the UK charts in the week following his death?
It's all here for you to enjoy, along with updated biographies (over 10,000 of them), then there's the current updated Top 100 selling singles ever, and the Top 50 Catalogue Downloads of Classic Songs which makes interesting reading and you'll get to know what classic songs (from the pre-download era) from the past 50 years are the best sellers since downloads became a part of the charts.
I'm running out of superlatives to describe these series of books, you'll find it hard to find fault with it, and I'm already looking forward to Volume 3.
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on 29 August 2013
i do love chart statistics...always have and probably always will!

this book lists every single that made it into the top 75, the chart positions the weeks on chart...as far as i know this is the most recent comprehensive guide of chart positions to date...it is a lot harder these days with downloads being incorporated into the lists (for example...if somebody sings a cover on x factor the original goes back into the top 75)...so the charts have changed a lots over the years..as digital seems to be the way to go!

if am not a fan of downloads...i like a cd with a case and cover...but these are getting rarer and rarer for singles...or maybe i am just getting old and can't keep up with technology!!!!

thankfully this book was released in 2010 before the downlaod era...it is also packed with loads of facts..such as rihanna has sold 4.4 million downloads...!

if you are as sad as me and love charts you need this!!! now i'm off to get me vinyl 12" out!!!
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on 16 November 2017
Was for a birthday present. We were impressed with it but have not had feed back yet from person it was for
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on 5 November 2010
Ok, here goes. I saw the original Virgin Book of British Hit Singles, and was one of the many who felt it was a poor substitute for the excellent Guinness works. The Guinness works had been getting worse and worse, but no-one could have foreseen how bad the Virgin book would be.

I never even considered that the Virgin Book of British Hit Albums would be any good, but when I found it brand new at an unmissably low price, I took it home and found it pretty un-put-downable. Not Guinness, not error-free, but very thorough and a welcome update. It inspired me to give Virgin Book of British Hit Singles Volume 2 a try, and I have been very impressed. Only in-depth reading will reveal how many errors there are (it is inevitable that there will be some), and there are some very puzzling editorial inconsistencies, but it strikes me that the author(s) really have tried to take on board readers' dissatisfaction with the first volume, and have made improvements accordingly. Crucially, the Top 75 weeks on chart are back!

At the opening price of £13, an avid chartwatcher should find this is well worth a punt, even though times are hard.
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on 28 October 2012
This sounds like a great buy, except for the ridiculous notion of referring to the last six years as official singles charts, purely because of the Christmas period (perennial re-downloading of old Christmas faves and purchasing of already heavily downloaded hits for new mp3 players people got for Christmas); Love The Way You Lie, Poker Face and Empire State of Mind had well over a month (two in LTWYL's case) before the official release purely because the album has just been released and, therefore, readily available to download as single tracks rather than wait for the official date and get included on the top 40 unfairly; famous icons' death; the odd BGT, X-Factor or Olympics performance propelling an old song back to the top 40 when they're NOT official singles at the time (There You'll Be, Sex on Fire (Sept 2009), One Day Like This and Fast Car to name a few); the greedy mass-releases of GLEE cover versions; and the extra-long drawn out trips of many singles (ie Sex On Fire, Rock Star, 4 Minutes, Patience, Valerie, Just Dance, I Gotta Feeling, Firework, Only Girl (In The World) and Apologize) which, particularly when they have been top 10 since October one year, people are STILL downloading in April, when there have been enough new songs to get the record buying public interested to forget the songs from the previous year. Fair enough, Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris was still languishing in the lower reaches of the top 40 by the end of April 1970, despite having spent SIX weeks at number one, even over Christmas. And as for the Christmas 2009 vendetta... don't get me started!
Until the compilers make the rules much tighter, like that of pre-2007, the chart stats are a joke, and thus, I record things as they ought to be, and where a long-running song has finally taken their bow, they are discredited thereon, to be fair to more newer releases. Anything up to 2007, fantastic, but since the above mistakes have happened, because the regulators have been too relaxed with the rules, I find it incomprehensible to call what has been referred to as the Official UK singles chart exactly that.
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on 18 December 2010
I bought this book as an up to date replacement for the now deleted British Hit Singles & Albums. It is not as good as the deleted book that I just mentioned due to the fact that it doesn't contain albums, that is a seperate book at extra cost, and the lay out is not as good as the outgoing title. But it serves it's purpose. If this is the first time you buy a book like this, then you won't be disappointed. It's only when you have experienced the old title and compare like for like as I did will you then understand why I prefer the old title, but as it is no longer published, this is the next best thing
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