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All charts: Charts 1940 - 1949 Charts 1950 - 1959 Charts 1960 - 1969  
  Charts 1970 - 1979 Charts 1980 - 1989 Charts 1990 - 1999  
  Charts 2000 - 2009      
Nr. 1 hits: Charts 2004 - 2009 Charts 2010 - 2016    
Year-End Charts UK & USA 1953 - 1989      


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USA Charts 1940-49
USA Charts 1950-59
UK Charts 1952-59
USA Charts 1960-69
UK Charts 1960-69
USA Charts 1970-79
UK Charts 1970-79
USA Charts 1980-89
UK Charts 1980-89

USA Charts 1990-99
UK Charts 1990-99
NEW: UK Charts 2000-09











Sixties Top 2000 on Spotify



The first British singles chart was published in the November 14, 1952 edition of the New Musical Express. It was at first little more than a gimmick, a tool in the circulation war against NME's much older (and more popular) rival Melody Maker. The chart, at first a top 12, was the creation of the paper's advertising manager, Percy Dickins, who compiled it by telephoning around 20 major record stores and aggregating their sales reports. He would continue to personally oversee the compilation of the chart well into the 1960s.

The chart rapidly became one of the paper's most popular features. After only a few weeks, it started being quoted in record company advertisements and press releases. The chart also spawned imitators - Record Mirror launched its own chart in 1955 and Melody Maker in 1958.

The forerunner of today's official chart first appeared in the music trade publication Record Retailer (now Music Week) in 1960 as a Top 50, but was not immediately recognised as the definitive chart in the country. Arguably, the NME chart was still the most recognised chart, and had the advantage of widespread exposure due to its use by Radio Luxembourg. Throughout the sixties, the various different charts vied for public recognition, leading to some historical anomalies for example, The Beatles' second single "Please Please Me" was a number one on most charts, but not in Record Retailer. To add to the confusion, the chart used by the BBC on their popular shows Pick of the Pops and Top Of The Pops was actually calculated by averaging out all the others, and so didn't agree with any of them, and was prone to tied positions.

It wasn't until 1969 that a truly reliable, official chart emerged, from an alliance between the BBC and Record Retailer. For the first time a professional polling organisation, BMRB, was commissioned to oversee the chart, and a pool of 500 record shops was used - more than twice as many as had been used for any previous chart. The new Official Top 50 was inaugurated in the week ending 12 February 1969.

In 1978, the singles chart was extended from a Top 50 to a Top 75.

In 1982, BMRB lost their contract to Gallup, who arranged for electronic data gathering to replace the old sales diary method of compilation. The first chart terminals appeared in record shops in 1984. As a result, in October 1987, it was now possible for the chart, incorporating sales up to close of business on Saturday, to be announced on Sunday afternoon, rather than being delayed until Tuesday as was previously the case.

In 1990, the chart came under the auspices of CIN (Chart Information Network), a syndicate including the BBC, Spotlight (publishers of Music Week), the BPI and BARD (British Association of Record Distributors). This was basically a formalisation of the previously-existing informal arrangement, and did not significantly affect compilation.


The earliest charts probably came in late 1929.

In the 30's there were Downbeat and Metronome Charts and maybe there were others. The Billboard Charts started in 1940, Cashbox in 1944.


The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs or albums in the United States. The results are published in Billboard magazine. The two primary charts - the Hot 100 (top 100 singles) and the Top 200 (top 200 albums) factor in airplay, as well as music sales in all relevant formats. Billboard is considered the foremost worldwide authority worldwide in music charts, and the rankings have gained a following among the general public.

On January 4, 1936, Billboard magazine published its first music hitparade. The first Music Popularity Chart was calculated in July, 1940. A variety of song charts followed, which were eventually consolidated into the Hot 100 by mid-1958.


Methodology of its charts

Currently, Billboard utilizes a system called Nielsen SoundScan to track sales of singles, albums, videos and DVDs. Essentially, it's a system that registers sales when products are purchased from SoundScan-enabled stores. Billboard also uses a system called Broadcast Data Systems, or BDS, which they own as a subsidiary, to track radio airplay. Each song has an "acoustic fingerprint" which, when played on a radio station that is contracted to use BDS, is detected. These detections are added up every week among all radio stations to determine airplay points. Arbitron statistics are also factored in to give "weight" to airplay based on audience size and time-of-day.

All of Billboard's charts use this basic formula. What separates the charts is which stations and stores are used each musical genre having a core audience or retail group. Each genre's department at Billboard is headed up by a chart manager, who makes these determinations.

For many years, a song had to be commercially available as a single to be considered for any of Billboard's charts. At the time, instead of using SoundScan or BDS, Billboard obtained its data from manual reports filled out by radio stations and stores. According to the 50th Anniversary issue of Billboard, prior to the official implementation of Nielsen SoundScan tracking in November 1991, many radio stations and retail stores removed songs from their manual reports after the associated record labels stopped promoting a particular single. Thus songs fell quickly after peaking and had shorter chart lives. In 1990, the country singles chart was the first chart to use SoundScan and BDS. They were followed by the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1991. Today, all of Billboard's charts use this technology.

Before September 1995, singles were allowed to chart in the week they first went on sale based on airplay points alone. The policy was changed in September 1995 to only allow a single to debut after a full week of sales on combined sales and airplay points. This allowed several tracks to debut at number one.

In December 1998, the policy was further modified to allow tracks to chart on the basis of airplay alone without a commercial release. This change was made to reflect the changing realities of the music business. Previous to this, several substantial radio and MTV hits had not appeared on the Billboard chart at all, because many major labels chose not to release them as standalone singles, hoping their unavailability would spur greater album sales. Not offering a popular song to the public as a single was unheard of before the 1970s. The genres that suffered most at the time were those that increasingly impacted pop culture, including new genres such as trip hop and grunge.

Starting in 2005, Billboard changed its methodology to allow paid digital downloads from digital music stores such as iTunes to chart with or without the help of radio airplay.


A variety of charts

Originally, Billboard had separate charts for different measures of popularity, including disk jockey playings, juke box song selection, and best selling records in retail stores. There was also a composite standing chart compiled by combining those, which gradually grew to become a top 100, the ancestor of the current Hot 100 chart. The juke box chart ceased publication after the June 17, 1957 issue, the disk jockey chart, after the July 28, 1958 issue, and the best seller chart, after the October 13, 1958 issue. The July 28, 1958 issue was also the last issue in which the composite chart was called the Top 100; the following week was the start of the Hot 100 titles.

Currently, Billboard publishes many different charts, with the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 being the most famous. In 2009 Billboard partnered with MetroLyrics to offer top 10 lyrics for each of the charts.


At year's end

At the end of each year, Billboard tallies the results of all of its charts, and the results are published in a year-end issue and heard on year-end editions of its American Top 40 and American Country Countdown radio broadcasts, in addition to being announced in the press. Between 1991 and 2006, the top single/album/artist(s) in each of those charts was/were awarded in the form of the annual Billboard Music Awards, which were annually held in December until the awards went dormant in 2007 (plans for a new version of the awards in 2008 fell through, and no awards have been held since 2007). The year-end charts cover a period from the first week of December of the previous year to the last week of November of the respective year.









Official Charts UK Billboard Charts USA