"Put the needle on the record..."

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 the United Kingdom, the New Musical Express magazine led the charge.

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"Put the needle on the record..."

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 October 1987, Tuesday lunchtimes.

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The Beano's 4000th Edition

The Beano’s 4000th Issue: On Message as Ever and Glossy

Why, in the most darkest of days, we should never be without The Beano

In living memory, the last week has been one of the most darkest and tumultuous weeks. Within 24 hours of Jeremy Corbyn’s meeting with leaders of opposition parties to prevent a Tory No Deal Brexit®, Boris Johnson (and possibly his unelected puppets) decided to prorogue parliament. The Queen gave him the nod and within days, numerous protests have taken place across the UK.

For this post, we shan’t elaborate on the PM’s contempt for representative democracy. Instead, we shall focus on a British institution which came to the fore during the Second World War. A publication that has had a great influence on the nation’s humour and spawned several imitators.

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Long Forgotten Microcomputers: A Past of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten

Thought the 1980s computer age was all about ZX Spectrums and Commodore 64s? Think again.

As with many hagiographies, history is always defined by the winners. In home computing, the ultimate victors were IBM compatible PCs – ultimately today’s Windows 10 PCs. Today, their role in history could be wiped out by tablets and smartphones.

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A Look Back to the ’90s: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten ‘So 1990s’ footnotes in popular culture

Farmcraft, Mapperley, Ilkeston, 12 March 1990
The Sometimes Slightly Narked Bus Hopping Nerd is seen slightly obscured from view in this image, identifiable by a two-tone blue coat. These are the classmates from my old school at the (now gone) Farmcraft camp on Mundy Farm, Mapperley, near Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Oh, and this image was snapped by Jeni Mobbs (late of the Ewing School) on the 12 March 1990.

Where has the time gone? This time 26 years ago, the creator of this blog was having his tea in front of Granada Tonight. Being a Wednesday, yours truly would be drawing in front of Coronation Street or The Ron Lucas Show.The year was 1990. I was back at the Ewing School after half term holidays. Within the first few days of 1990 I knew change was on the horizon. Secondary school was only months away. Continue reading “A Look Back to the ’90s: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Acceptable in the 1990s: An A to Z of the Decade’s Popular Culture

A slightly irreverent look at a decade which spawned the internet, Cones Hotline and Gladiators

In the 1980s, local and national radio stations’ Golden Hour/Solid Gold Hour/whatever type of Golden Oldies slot would have focused on the 1950s and 1960s. Which was 20 – 30 years ago. Fast forwarding to 2013, the music of 20 – 30 years ago would include early Take That, the Pet Shop Boys, Bananarama and Duran Duran. The people who were nostalgic for Manfred Mann or The Beatles in 1983 may well have been in their 20s – 30s. Today they would have children who have flown the nest. Today’s twenty to thirty somethings may well be similarly nostalgic over the Shamen, East 17, and Boyzone.

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Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: 2. The National Centre for Popular Music, Sheffield

A Silver Timpani Based White Elephant

Sheffield has a proud musical heritage. From Joe Cocker to Jarvis Cocker, and Cabaret Voltaire to the Human League, it, along with Manchester and Liverpool would have been good places for a musical archive of some description. Whereas Liverpool and Manchester is world famous for its popular culture, few people outside of Northern England may be familiar with the Sheffield scene. Continue reading “Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: 2. The National Centre for Popular Music, Sheffield”

Forgotten Gems of Children’s ITV: The Not So Perfect Ten

In response to ITV’s documentary on CITV, East of the M60‘s head honcho released a few glaring omissions…

I enjoyed ITV’s documentary on Children’s ITV’s 30th anniversary, but I felt that the programme was more suitable for existing CITV viewers – and viewers born after 1986 – with televisual nostalgia leanings. Though Funhouse and Danger Mouse were quite rightly mentioned, there were such other gems which – in my opinion – were the embodiment of Children’s ITV. Continue reading “Forgotten Gems of Children’s ITV: The Not So Perfect Ten”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar Quiz: Question 24

Our final question…

24. Of the following television programmes: Takeover Bid, Play Your Cards Right, New Faces and The Price Is Right, which one of the four wasn’t presented by Sir Bruce Forsyth?

That concludes our Advent Quiz. The answers to all 24 questions will be revealed on Boxing Day. Gertcha!

East of the M60 Advent Calendar Quiz: Question 23

23. The UK equivalent to The $10000 Pyramid game show first appeared on which late 1970s variety show?