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Author Topic: American chart system  (Read 4499 times)

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zipp

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American chart system
« on: May 16, 2004, 09:11:04 PM »

It's been brought to my notice that in the USA Penny Lane was number one but Strawberry Fields was only number eight.
Can someone explain to me how the same single can have songs with two different chart ratings? :-/
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Re: American chart system
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2004, 10:51:17 PM »

I think they also took the number of requests for a particular song into consideration.

zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2004, 11:11:10 AM »

Requests on the radio?
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Re: American chart system
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2004, 11:18:12 AM »

[quote by=zipp link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=2 date=1084792270]Requests on the radio?[/quote]

Yeah. :)

zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2004, 11:48:47 AM »

Anybody got any other suggestions?
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Re: American chart system
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2004, 03:38:51 PM »

It was mainly based on sales but also on what radio stations reported as being played the most.  It's a different system now.
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zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2004, 04:01:26 PM »

Thanks m.c. but I find this hard to understand.
If it was 'mainly sales' then the two songs should be pretty close to each other with maybe an advantage to Penny Lane because it's more upbeat.How do you explain the eight place difference?
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Re: American chart system
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2004, 05:10:15 PM »

Radio requests being for the upbeat PL over the downbeat SFF.
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zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2004, 05:30:46 PM »

So did Come Together and Something get exactly the same number of requests to both be number one?
This all looks very fishy to me.
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Patton

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2004, 07:03:45 PM »

Okay I'm lost Penny Lane and Strawberry fields are two different songs. So what are you asking exactly.
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Adam Priestle

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2004, 07:21:18 PM »

For the UK (BBC):

From 1960 until 1969, the chart  was compiled by combining the charts of  four music magazines of the time, namely 'Record Mirror, Melody Maker, New Musical Express and Disc and Music Echo. This dictated the chart for the popular BBC Light programme 'Pick of the Pops'.

Due to concerns over 'fixing' the charts by unscrupulous promoters  buying large quantities of records at key shops in order to increase the chart position, the collating method was changed in February 1969.

The British Market Research Bureau, backed by the music industry and the BBC used a method helped by computer. Under this system, every sale at 300 different UK shops was recorded. A random selection device chose a different 150 shops each week , thereby making a dishonest boost extremely expensive!

So this doesn't address 1967's PL and SFF but does affect CT/Something.

For the US:

Prior to 1991, the Hot 100 was compiled manually, by actual people. Billboard staff spent countless hours on the telephone with record stores to find out what music was selling, and more hours on the telephone with radio stations to find out what songs were on their playlists and what songs had been added that week.

On November 30, 1991, however, Billboard switched to two data collection services -- Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) and SoundScan -- both developed by Nielsen.

Which is how it's done now.

So to answer your question, it's sales tracked along with airplay.  And in the 60's it was done manually, so apparently 8 points less of people bought/requested SFF.  ANd apparently CT/Something was, if not exactly equal, close enough to merit the same #1 designation.

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zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2004, 07:49:35 PM »

[quote by=misterchaz link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=10 date=1084821678]For the UK (BBC):

So this doesn't address 1967's PL and SFF but does affect CT/Something.

For the US:

So to answer your question, it's sales tracked along with airplay.
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Re: American chart system
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2004, 03:36:35 PM »

[quote by=misterchaz link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=10 date=1084821678]For the UK (BBC):
From 1960 until 1969, the chart

zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2004, 03:51:34 PM »

Please Please Me is listed number two by Record Retailer which unfortunately was then the chart used by the Guinness British Hit Singles books and was also used to make ONE.
Anyone who was around at the time knows it's ridiculous to say that PPM wasn't number one.
Incidentally I've just discovered a BIG problem with ONE.
The Long and Winding Road was a double A side in the USA with FOR YOU BLUE.
And since they'd then adopted the British system logically FOR YOU BLUE should be on the album!
It makes you wonder who's pulling the strings at Apple...
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Re: American chart system
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2004, 03:57:32 PM »

[quote by=zipp link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=13 date=1084895494]It makes you wonder who's pulling the strings at Apple...[/quote]

Some idiot without a clue, obviously!

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2004, 02:01:39 AM »

The whole number thing was worthy of a George Bush whopper.

There are other inconsistencies as well.  And the sound sucks.
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zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2004, 09:59:02 PM »

What other inconsistences are there?
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Wolf

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2004, 02:26:22 PM »


That`s right, Billboard used to utilize airplay information when they compiled their singles chart, and they still do today. I think it was actually 50:50 sales/airplay back then (today it`s 75:25 airplay/sales). The side of a single that received more airplay action also received the sales points, while the other side had to rely solely on its airplay impressions. That could change from week to week, though.

If Billboard hadn`t split up airplay points into A- and B-side, but had treated the single as a whole, meaning that all airplay and sales points would have been combined, a number of Beatles singles would have done better chart-wise. For example, "Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby" together would have been a pretty certain #1 hit, yet both of these songs on their own only managed #2 and #11. The Supremes stood in the way of "Yellow Submarine", yet the b-side of "You Can`t Hurry Love" didn`t receive any airplay action, thus all of its airplay and sales points were combined in that song, if "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby" had been combined, it would have easily overpowered that Supremes hit.

And several singles that did reach #1 would have spent more weeks up there if they had been allowed to be listed together with their B-side. For example, "I Feel Fine" spent 3 weeks at #1, while its B-side "She`s A Woman" moved to #4 on airplay alone. The two of them together would have been a real powerhouse chart hit, probably spending 4 or 5 weeks at #1, instead of "just" 3 weeks. Similar examples would be "We Can Work It Out" (3 weeks #1) and "Day Tripper" (#5 hit solely based on airplay) and "Penny Lane" (#1 for 1 week) and SFF (#8 on airplay alone).

[quote by=zipp link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=13 date=1084895494]Please Please Me is listed number two by Record Retailer which unfortunately was then the chart used by the Guinness British Hit Singles books and was also used to make ONE.
Anyone who was around at the time knows it's ridiculous to say that PPM wasn't number one.
Incidentally I've just discovered a BIG problem with ONE.
The Long and Winding Road was a double A side in the USA with FOR YOU BLUE.
And since they'd then adopted the British system logically FOR YOU BLUE should be on the album!
It makes you wonder who's pulling the strings at Apple...[/quote]


"For You Blue" was only a so-called "tag-along" B-side. It had registered enough radio action to be listed together with the A-side, but it was not really a big radio hit itself. It would have probably reached some position below #70 (it did reach #71 in Cash Box on its own). It really wasn`t popular enough to be justifiably included in a #1 hits collection. And add to that that it wouldn`t have fit in on a 79 minutes CD anyway (I think).

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zipp

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2004, 04:08:49 PM »

Thanks Wolf.
So, if I understand correctly, you could have gone into a record shop and said 'Can I buy Strawberry Fields Forever?' only to have the sale counted towards Penny Lane because the latter was getting more airplay.
Funny way to run a chart!

As for 'For You Blue' I'd like to know if it was or wasn't officially a double A side since I've seen it given as such on one website.

And if 'Something' wasn't a double A side how come 'Come Together' gets on to ONE?
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Wolf

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Re: American chart system
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2004, 08:10:14 PM »

[quote by=zipp link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=18 date=1085328529]Thanks Wolf.
So, if I understand correctly, you could have gone into a record shop and said 'Can I buy Strawberry Fields Forever?' only to have the sale counted towards Penny Lane because the latter was getting more airplay.
Funny way to run a chart![/quote]

Correct!

I don`t think that scenario happened too often, though. I think most people went to a store and just asked for "the new Beatles single". But you do have a point. In the UK, the New Musical Express sometimes charted popular B-sides on its own as well, however they did not rely on airplay info, but on requests in the stores, just like in your example. Sales personnel was asked to write down if a particular song was asked for. Strangely though, this never happened with a Beatles single, because people just asked for "the new Beatles single".

Quote
As for 'For You Blue' I'd like to know if it was or wasn't officially a double A side since I've seen it given as such on one website.

It definitely wasn`t a official double A-side. In the US, such things as "double A-sides" are generally not determined by record companies, but solely by the flip side achieving enough radio airplay or not. And before November 1969 (when Billboard changed its policy of how to treat popular flip sides), no double A-sides existed in the US charts, because the B-side always was listed separately.

Almost every Beatles singles charted both sides, a Beatles B-side was always important enough to be played by radio stations, so in a way one could argue that every Beatles single was a double A-side. Even though sometimes a B-side only scraped into the Hot 100 for one week peaking at #95. Example: "The Inner Light". Should we call Lady Madonna / The Inner Light a "double A-side" because of this? I wouldn`t. That`s the same scenario that we have with "The Long And Winding Road / For You Blue". The flip side wasn`t a massive airplay hit, but as a Beatles B-side, it still registered enough airplay action to scrape into the charts (if the old rule had been in place, it would have probably peaked at something like #70). Billboard`s policy with popular B-sides after the rule change in November 1969 - after having abandoned charting popular B-sides on their own - was list them as "tag along" B-sides behind the more popular song (usually the A-Side). So technically, that makes them doubled-sided hits, but they are not comparable to the "real" double-A-siders, like "Penny Lane" and SFF, or "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper", or "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby".

Quote
And if 'Something' wasn't a double A side how come 'Come Together' gets on to ONE?

This is an anomaly. "Something" and "Come Together" charted before and after Billboard changed its rules concerning popular flip sides. Before that rule change, both songs charted on their own, and both of them proved to be very popular with radio stations, with "Come Together" peaking at #2 and "Something" at #3 (two weeks before the rule change), the next week, "Come Together" fell down from its peak position of #2 to #7, while "Something" remained at #3. Under the old rule, both sides wouldn`t have made it to #1, because of their split airplay. But thankfully, the week ending 29 November 1969, Billboard began to list both sides of a single in the same position (combining sales points with all airplay points instead of splitting the airplay), and the "new" double-sided hit single "Something / Come Together" went straight to #1 (for 1 week). If Billboard had changed its rules 3 to 4 weeks earlier, this double-sided-hit could have spent 3 or 4 weeks at #1, because the airplay of both songs was so strong, both of them together would have been a very powerful #1 single. In fact, Record World (a competitor of Billboard) had combined both songs in one position already in October, with the result of "Something / Come Together" spending 5 weeks (!!) at the summit of the Record World Charts.

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