[quote by=zipp link=Blah.pl?b=cc,m=1084741864,s=22 date=1085346535]
Thanks again, Wolf, for your prompt answers.
1.After 40 years you've finally enlightened me on this![/quote]
Great - I love talking about this stuff and am always happy to find people that are interested in it (most fans are not!).
2.So wouldn't you agree that it was dishonest not to put Strawberry Fields Forever on ONE?
Well, EMI could only rely on what happened in the charts at the time, and in 1967, B-sides were still listed separately from the A-side. "Strawberry Fields Forever" only reached #8 in the US, and only #2 in the UK, thus it had no right to be considered a Beatles #1 hit. Sure, it would have been a #1 if Billboard hadn`t listed it separately, but you can argue the same for B-sides like "She`s A Woman", "Revolution", "I Saw Her Standing There", "I Should Have Known Better", and "Don`t Let Me Down". All of them would have been double-sided-No. 1 hits together with their respective A-sides, not just "Strawberry Fields Forever".
3.I'm still not clear on this.If the rule change hadn't taken place would either of these songs been number one?
It could have been possible that "Something" had reached #1 on its own even without the rule change, because it went 11-9-3-3, however "Come Together" would not have reached #1 on its own, that`s pretty certain, as it went 10-3-2-7 before the rule change.
You must look at the two ways of compiling charts - which one is better, or more fair? Charting both sides separately (and thus taking away steam from both songs), or combining both in one position? I`d say the second method looks better. It`s basically down to the question if you consider a single being a single, or a single being two separate songs? I`d say it is - physically - just one item, it is one item that people are buying in the stores, only secondarily is it two separate songs that they are buying. If you split airplay, you take away a lot of the power a single has, because back in the 60s, most artists only charted with the A-sides of their singles, so all the airplay they get, plus the sales, is represented in their chart placings. Not so with singles that charted both songs! They obviously have better airplay - if combined - than those songs that only have the A-side as a hit. This should be reflected in chart placings - a single that has two strong songs should benefit from that. But the way Billboard (and Cash Box) did it, a strong single was actually "punished" for having a lot of airplay.
That`s why I think that the new method of putting both hits in one position gives a better view over the popularity of a single, and thus "Something / Come Together" both have the right to be called #1 hits - it is actually more honest this way than the other way round, imo.
A legitimate number one hit is a record that sold more than the others around at the same time.There's no particular sales figure that applies.
Right - unfortunately Billboard did not keep the raw data it used to compile their charts, so we can only guess. "Something / Come Together" was certified as a 2-million-seller by the RIAA. The song that kept both "Something" and "Come Together" from #1 (before the rule change) was "Wedding Bell Blues" by the 5th Dimension. This song is certified by the RIAA as having sold 1-million-copies. When "Something / Come Together" were at #1 (after the rule change), they kept "And When I Die" by Blood, Sweat and Tears at #2. "And When I Die" is certified by the RIAA as a 1-million-seller. So based on these RIAA-certs, "Something/Come Together" must have outsold these two singles that were rivalling them at the time. Yet these two rival singles only had their respective A-sides charting, their B-sides didn`t feature in the charts. So it could be that "Wedding Bell Blues" (for some time) received more airplay than both "Come Together" and "Something" did on their own (but only slightly more), yet the airplay action of both CT and SMTH combined must have been a lot higher than that of "Wedding Bell Blues". So it`s again down to the question if a single is first and foremost "a single" (physically), or two songs? If you go for the first, than airplay should be combined, it you go for the second, airplay should be split.