The Other UK Singles Chart: 2. The New Musical Express Singles Charts

A beginners’ guide to the NME Charts, the UK’s original Hit Parade The UK’s first singles chart, like its American pioneer owes its existence to an iconic music magazine. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, it is the Billboard Singles Chart that was (and remains to this day) compiled by Billboard Magazine. In…

Less Remembered 1980s Children’s Programmes #3: The Untied Shoelaces Show

BBC Scotland’s early 1980s summertime treat The fusion of popular music and children’s television programming has been a solid formula for public service and commercial broadcasters around the world. In the United Kingdom, its commercial potential was seen in programmes like Lift Off With Ayshea (Granada Television) and Saturday Scene (London Weekend Television). By the…

The Other UK Singles Chart: 1. Independent Local Radio Music Charts

A beginners’ guide to chart tracking on ILR stations from 1974 to 2008 If you mention the UK singles chart, the first thing that springs to mind in the Official Charts Company’s countdown. This goes out every Friday on BBC Radio One. Before then, it used to go out on Sunday afternoons and, prior to…

Have Yourself a Merry Disco Christmas: A Cheesy Tunes Special

Reflections on Mirror Image? A spin with the Roller Disco Orchestra? Cheesy Tunes bites back Christmas: such a great period to spend time with our family, or put aside a few musical differences. Or the good use of a few days or fortnight away from work (unless the Tories use Brexit to stop this). At…

Great Songs About Radio: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten must-listen tunes about the joy of radio No media form inspires as many songs as radio. The most obvious reason is the fact they may be played on radio stations (of course). There is the intimate nature that radio has, especially the ability to picture the scene in your mind. This is cheapened or nullified on…

Rebellious Mixtape #10: One After 409

A musical tribute to the 1978 version of Rochdale Bus Station Nostalgia’s a strange thing. I love the latest version of Rochdale bus station because of its improved tram connections and how everything is under one roof. No trying to run across roadways to catch a 528 for Halifax (because of the 409 being on the opposite…

Great Tunes With Electronic Tom-Toms: The Not So Perfect Ten

“A drum. That’s right, a drum (shabba)” Nothing epitomises late 1970s and early 1980s music better than early electronic instruments. At one extreme you had multifarious synthesizers from the Mini Moog to the Prophet 5 and the Yamaha DX-7. Then drum machines, sequencers and – 1981 onwards – the Fairlight CMI.

Forgotten Eurovision Classics: The Not So Perfect Ten

East of the M60 commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest Owing to this month’s Not So Perfect Ten being later than usual, we have decided to commemorate the above venerable institution. One maligned and respected in equal measure. An institution better known for its most frenetic climax. One that led to Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and…

I Love a 1980s Christmas Singalong: The Not So Perfect Ten

The ten greatest Christmas tunes from the 1980s The 1970s and 1980s were probably the best decades for Christmas chart singles. So much so that Messrs Wood and Holder make a fair amount of their royalties in December. For this Not So Perfect Ten, I could have just focused on the 1970s and the 1980s. Instead, just…

Treasures of Stock, Aitken and Waterman – The Not So Perfect Ten

The definitive ten tracks ever to have been produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman February 1987: a month on from starting the Ewing School. Not least the (oft-mentioned on this blog) fringe benefits of listening to Piccadilly Radio on my 30 mile round trip. At around that time, I started to gain a greater interest in…

Classic 1970s Christmas Tunes: The Not So Perfect Ten

East of the M60’s countdown of favourite 1970s Christmas songs I make no apologies for jumping on the Christmas bandwagon for this month’s Not So Perfect Ten. For many people, the 1970s was a decade punctuated by strikes, the Three Day Week and the Silver Jubilee. For many more, a happier time compared with the more…