Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums

Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums

"British Hit Singles & Albums" is a music reference book published in the United Kingdom by Hit Entertainment's "Guinness World Records" imprint. It lists all the singles and albums ever to have made their respective Top 75 Charts in the UK.

The current book is an amalgamation of two earlier Guinness publications, originally known as "British Hit Singles" and "British Hit Albums". These were combined in 2004. As from 2008 no further editions will be published. A new version of the book under the Virgin brand will be published in November 2008.

Content

"British Hit Singles & Albums" is generally considered to be the authoritative reference source for both the UK Singles Chart (since its inception in 1952) and the UK Albums Chart. It lists all the singles and albums ever to have made the UK Top 75 Charts in alphabetical order by both artist and song title, with date of chart entry, highest position, catalogue number, and number of weeks on the chart. Its sources are the "New Musical Express" chart from November 1952 to March 1960, and the "Record Retailer" (later "Music Week") chart thereafter. Short biographical notes accompany many of the artists' chart details.

Many observersWho|date=July 2007 have argued that this division is misleading, since the "Record Retailer" chart was little-known until it was adopted by the BBC in 1969, and that by adopting this chart as its standard from the earliest opportunity, the editors were effectively "re-writing" chart history.Fact|date=February 2007 An example often given is the case of The Beatles' second single "Please Please Me" which was recognised as a number one hit by every other publicly-available chart but not by "Record Retailer", and therefore not by "British Hit Singles". Other records to which this applies include "19th Nervous Breakdown" by The Rolling Stones, "Stranger On The Shore" by Acker Bilk and the Eurovision Song Contest entry "Are You Sure" by The Allisons. Co-founder Jo Rice has defended the book's choice of source material on the grounds that "Record Retailer" was the only chart to consistently publish a Top 50 from 1960 onwards (as opposed to other charts which published either a shorter listing, such as the "NME", or a listing that shrunk over time, such as "Melody Maker").

History

The first edition was published as the "The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles" in July 1977. The founding editors were Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice, Jonathan Rice, and Mike Read. Read left the team in the mid-1980s, and the other editors resigned in 1996. This title was merged with its sister publication "The Guinness Book of British Hit Albums" in 2004 to form its current branding.

The eighteenth edition of the book (2005) was billed as a "Special Collector's Edition" as it featured detailed information on the 1,000 Number Ones in the UK Singles Chart from Al Martino's "Here In My Heart" on 14 November 1952 to Elvis Presley's "One Night / I Got Stung" (Limited Edition Collector's re-issue) in 22 January 2005.

The nineteenth edition was published in June 2006. A series of compilation albums, with editorial notes based on the book, were released in association with Sony BMG three days later. The 19th edition included a list of the top 100 songwriters in British chart history.

The book's current editor is David Roberts and the its chart consultant is Dave McAleer.

pin-offs

In recent years a number of spin-off products have been launched under the same branding. These include compilation albums, annual trivia calendars and a DVD TV game – "British Hit Singles & Albums No.1 Music Quiz", editions of which were released in both 2005 and 2006. The 2006 edition features over 1,200 questions and stars comedian Steve Furst as the host.

External links

* [http://www.britishhitsingles.com/ Official Site]
* [http://www.everyhit.com/ everyhit.com]
* [http://www.chartstats.com/ Chart Stats]


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