Therefore the Real Chart is completely fair and honest in it's presentation of the acts.
Pre-orders of Records
If a person pre-orders a track from a record shop or download site, then that can count towards that week's sales chart. If a person put down a deposit on a record then generally speaking that would count as a sale. If they do not collect the pre-paid record or cancel it after it comes out. Then the record would not have been included in the chart. Since the Compilers operate without time constraints, no record not collected would be included in the sales figures for the week it was ordered. In the era of downloads it has become practice on some sites to have a record on pre-order without paying for it till it is ready for download. However since this is being used to ensure much higher sales of a record these pre-orders are being registered as a sale. Providing that the person downloads them in the first week of the tracks release. Again the time problem is not a problem for the Compilers. If the person pre-orders then cancels or fails to download in week one, the pre-order does not count. If the pre-order is purchased in the second week or later, then the pre-order will register as a normal sale in those weeks.
No Earth based chart can operate this system, as they are time constrained.
Who Compiles Them?
I call them the Compilers, as it's easy to refer to them that way. They are - in the simplest way possible - a mixture of us, or should I say what becomes of us after we have left the Earth, plus beings (which human beings on Earth can't understand) using ways and methods that we don't understand. You can't see them or touch and they are not "people," God, Aliens, The Devil, or anything like that.
To further understand these beings, which have even been scientifically contacted by researchers using hypnosis of people to reach them there's a video with Michael Newton, one of these independent researchers. He explains of how he first made contact with them, by asking a depressed woman (under hypnosis) to got to the cause of her feeling. She then explained of these beings that as it turn out interact with every single person on Earth, plus how being away from their contact was causing her suffering. Once you know what they are these beings are and where they are, it's easy to see why they would even be able to get the information on such a trivial subject as what sold each week in the UK. Newton has also written several books on the subject which go into greater depth about the place and what it's like on the other side of Earthly life.
Unfortunately the original video was removed for some reason, so this one will have to do!
You don't have to be placed under hypnosis to contact them. I never have been, but you can communicate with them. You do have to be open minded about them and suspend any beliefs you have over religion etc, otherwise what you probably will get from them is gibberish. For example the physics who use any natural ability they have to contact the dead to make money. Especially if they have a belief in some sort of god. Or if you want to predict the future and want to win the Lottery!
There's more on how to communicate with them on the Strange But True part of this blog.
Date of Entry
The Charts are/were produced on a Sunday and the sales were from the previous seven days, with the exception of Christmas when sometimes no chart was produced. All sales from that week was carried over to the first chart of the new year. If a Christmas chart is made, it is due to high sales. The week beginning date system is used throughout and not the week ending one. So a date of 12 Jun 60 covers sales 5/6/60
to 11/6/60. The week ending would thus be for this chart 18/6/60.
The current cut off point for sales is midnight Saturday (00:00). But before downloads it was when the last shop closed it's doors on Saturday.
Record company labels and numbers are not listed. This is because the original recording released in the U.K. may not be the one that was sold in some cases and it would be misleading to list, say, the CD number, when the track may have sold more on cassette. No format rules apply and all types were included from the point of first sales and until they became obsolete, such as the 78! Since the emergence of downloads the AA single has become a problem. Since each track can sometimes be released as a separate download. However if it is known that a track is being released on 'hard copy' as a AA side, then the tracks will be grouped as one. Or as soon as known. It is not dependent on a record company saying it is a AA side either. As some titles will be classed as AA in the Real Chart, but not by the record company. If the record company say it is a AA, then that will be excepted by the Real Chart.
For the above reasons many remixed songs are listed as re-entries, however if the title is altered to reflect the remix it will be listed as would a new song by the act. This does not apply to records still in the chart and the sales of the mix would be added to the track in the chart. (For example in the chart recently was the track Empire State of Mind and Alicia Keys version was classed as a remix and sales added to the version she sings with Jay-Z). Doing this to records may push singles back up the chart or keep them around for longer, nevertheless the chart is a sales chart and NOT a popularity chart on people’s favourite songs or acts. Due to data reading errors some artists/titles may be spelt wrong, I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The Compilers did the first chart on Sunday the 11 January 1948, it also included the sales for the 4 January too! It was a top 40 and was only 78 rpm records at that time. It stayed a top 40 till 3 January 1960 when it became a top 100 and has stayed that way since. It's interesting to note that the 3/1/60 top 100 only included sales for the previous 7 days and top 40 sales figures for the missing week. This was to balance out the top 40 in the new top 100 and not allow the outsiders (of the top 40 in the missing week) of the previous
week a boost into the 40, due to two weeks sales.
The Charts Appearance
First column = Position this week. Second column = Position last week. A dash - means re-entry. Third column = Weeks in chart. Forth column = Highest position reached. A green number is the highest position it has reached in a previous chart run (re-entries only), however if it passes that peak it will go black. A gap means that as yet I don't have access to the old chart, or in the case of anything past 1990, I haven't looked it up yet! (sorry). Fifth column = Artist and Title of track. (Some artists/titles may be spelt wrong, I apologise for this). A sales indication will then follow (see below). The gold arrow indicates the record has increased sales over last week figures. If a record has moved up and has no arrow, it means that the record sold less copies than it did last week. On this week's chart only, the sales of the records for that week are shown before this week's position in descending order. Gaps are the last figure duplicated till it stops. Please note that at 100 that sales figure may continue past 100.
The number one will be either RED for a new number one or BLUE for one staying at the top. Another colour will mean that the record has returned to the top. The highest position column for the top spot track will show weeks there.
CIRCLE WITH DOT Indicates sales of 250,000 to 499,999 copies sold while in the chart only.
SQUARE WITH DOT Indicates sales of 500,000 to 999,999 copies sold while in the chart only.
BLUE CIRCLE WITH 1 Indicates sales of 1,000,000 copies sold while in the chart only.
Another symbol will be added for each subsequent 1,000,000 copies sold. No indication is shown for sales in between each million copies sold after the first. Re-entries do not show past sales symbols, only those that they have got while in the chart.
The B.P.I. system of metal disc sales should not be confused with the above system of sales. Having said that the above sales measures where used in the seventies, by the B.P.I., though anyone can have a ‘metal’ disc done for any number of sales quite legally. The lower category of B.P.I. sales (200,000) does not apply here. Of course this does not mean that a record did not sell that figure and acts should not be disappointed if that is the case. All other B.P.I. categories are covered by the above.
Special note: The sales are what the compilers tell me they are. They tend to be higher than official sources lead us to believe. I cannot confirm the figures, so don't post questions on them.
My own view is that if you take an official sales figure then divide it by the number of record shops that are selling them (in the 70's 80's 90's - 6000 to 7000 shops) you get a figure of just 2 records for the whole week in each shop for a top ten record. On that basis alone it seems these figures are a joke.
How Do I Get These Charts
It's complicated, but the Compilers cannot (due to a communication problems) tell me the name or title of any song in each chart. I therefore have to build up a list (by Sunday) of every record that could make the chart. With the Internet it's not to difficult these days to build this list, before I got on the net I had problems to say the least. So here is what happens each week. I start by putting a red line under each record, that they say has left the 100 (you can see this on old charts). Next on the new chart the compilers tell me where each record has entered the 100 (not at this stage who though). They then tell me where all the other records have repositioned. Finally from the list of new material and former chart records, each new entry position is filled. If I don't have it listed the space will be blank! I haven't had a blank space for years now (good up-to-date list) so touch wood you shouldn't see one! The only thing left to tell me is what each track has sold that week and that's just added from top down. The rest except the sales arrows on records that say sold 20K this week and last, but sold more this week IE: 70 copies more, are up to me. For Instance last weeks position and weeks on chart.
The old charts are done in the same way. It's more problematic as the charts get older. The problem being that I need to know which records were out each week. And the further back in time you get the problem gets worse. Record companies don't seem to have kept records of release dates of records. Some of them don't seem to have kept even a full list of what went into circulation and what didn't. The one that can lead to a gap in a Real Chart has to be an imported record. As it won't be in any list of UK singles books. But imported records are not common these days, so I don't expect any gaps soon!
Chart compilation as used by the Compilers
Lots of people want to know why the Real Chart sales figures are higher than those of the Official Charts Company. The Compilers do know the answer to this, however as it would involve giving information on the aspects and running of the OCC, including data and personal information and members and workers, so they can’t answer it directly.
However they are now prepared to divulge some of the details on how they get sales information, in the simplest way to understand it.
Apparently the Compilers get sales data from three sources. The First Source of these is the one that is very complex and something that no person on Earth would really understand. But the information on what a person buys comes direct from that person themselves. It’s collected in the same way as every detail on a person life is. And before you ask – is freely given, with your consent, even if you don’t think you did.
I can add a bit more detail here now. The Compilers actually can see every person buying a record all at the same time. Around each person would be extra information such as if they are being ripped off and loads of other details, like how each person feels, what else is going on in their minds. There is no time limits to this so the can see people from the 1950's buying a record as easy as they can see one in 2014.
This is the main source of the Chart that you can see each Sunday.
The Second Source: Is collected using what can only be described in human terms as a very advanced super computer, though it’s not really. This can collect raw data from any electronic systems on Earth. The outcome of these forms a chart in the same way a chart produced by a human based system on Earth would do. Only just a million or indeed a billion times more efficient than any on Earth could do! Before the invention of electronic systems on Earth this was not used.
The Third Source: is a “virtual” Earth style computer which collects the sales information, exactly the same way as a computer on Earth would do. This is set up would be the same as anything that an Earth based company would use. Before the invention of the electronic systems the process used on Earth were reproduced.
Comparisons between the 3 sources
The main reason that the Compilers use the First Source is that it only includes data from files and items known to be working. Actually this isn’t so much a problem the higher up the chart you go. Though sometimes it affects the lower end of the top 100.
The Second Source collects the raw data. This is used to confirm the sales of a record. So if a person says they bought a record, it can be checked against the actual sales data. Even though the Compiles can see the person buying or not buying the record! Second Source data would include the name and place of who bought it, by the way. Unfortunately it also includes faulty items, CD’s that don’t play etc. This is done to show the individual later to confirm that a person is true full or not.
The chart positions of the Second Source match the First Source chart, including the higher level of sales. There are a few exceptions, such as the faulty items. But what they find is that even these faulty items effect the chart by being one place higher, even then only on records selling under 20K. In the past this system picked up sales by record companies trying to hype charts on Earth. In the UK this practise seems to have vanished.
The Third Source produces a chart that bares little resemblance to the other two. It seems that computer can’t cope with the massive amounts of data that using all sales would produce. In some cases it produces sales figures that are even higher than the Real Chart sometimes. But then again it can do the opposite, producing a very low figure. For instance a site selling 4,000 copies would look like it is just sold 12 copies. More importantly the Third Source produces so many data errors and bad information, that it is hard to determine which tracks are actually selling.
The Compilers reckon that anyone who has a computer will have experienced all sorts of problems whilst using them. Imagine dealing with these at a massive level!
The Second Source can filter all these bugs out of course.
But to get the Third Source to produce a chart, which is useable, the Compilers must use Earth based software to cope with these problems. When they did so it produced a chart not like the two other charts, but one very nearly the same as one produced by the OCC. And yes with the same low sales figures!!
THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF
The Official Charts Company has incorporated streaming into their main singles sales chart from the 6th July 2014. This has pushed both the Official Chart and the Real Chart right next to the edge of the cliff perilously waiting to fall down it.
The Real Chart will not be using streams nor adding it into the sales chart in the future. Actually if streams were going to be incorporated in our chart they would have been already in place when streaming was first introduced. The Compilers of the Real Chart always have added what can be classed as a “sale” as soon as they became available, regardless of the public or Record Industry's feelings on the subject. Nevertheless the Compilers have never considered a stream to be any kind of sale. The main reason being that you can't charge people for just hearing a single piece of music. You could argue that people who pay to listen to music on a streaming site are doing just that. But since they can choose what they listen to, they are really paying a fee for using the site. It's a bit like charging people to use a record player, which doesn't have the same status as owning the music. Though the streaming services do pay the record companies a fee for each play of a track (minimum 30 seconds) so do radio stations and they have never been considered to be relevant to the charts. But the OCC are also allowing free (advert funded) streaming sites to take part. Download sites offer free downloads, but they have never been added to the chart, so why should free streams? To get around some of the problems of trying to get a stream to equate to a download. The OCC have come up with more complex rules to allow streams into their charts. The Compilers of the Real Chart have in the past pored scorn on the OCC rules and they continue to do so with the new set of rules. They could never allow them for the Real Chart. Even so the Real Chart is going to be affected by the OCC chart change. It all boils down to the fact that the Record Industry allowed Apple's iTunes service to dominate the charts and have the Lion's share. Don't get me wrong there will be no immediate effect of the OCC chart change on our chart. It's just that if the Boss of Apple decides that the download market is on it's way out, they could drop the download side of the business overnight. This would cause chaos to both the OCC chart and ours.
This won't happen soon, as the OCC made certain that iTunes were happy with the plans to introduce streaming. However Apple are developing it's own streaming service and when that is established, Apple could force customers to switch, by ending the download service. Not unlike what Sky TV did with digital TV.
Till that day the Real Chart (and OCC) are in danger! With the Real Chart reliant on sales only, with iTunes gone, there wouldn't be much left to count. I can't see buyers going to the other sites in great numbers either, otherwise there would be little point in Apple closing the service. If this happens the sales chart would come to an end. The Compilers would try to keep the top 100 going to the end of the year in question, with the Christmas chart being the last one. Now the only question will be which year? The Compilers do already do a “Listening Chart” based largely on what people enjoy to hear. But there are no plans to publish this chart instead.
It's sort of ironic that the change to streams is mostly down to the BBC dislike of the of the singles chart looking like the iTunes singles chart for the week. The Compilers say this is the real truth of the matter and they say that the notion that it's to make the chart more popular was invented to fool the public.
However the failure or deliberate closure of iTunes downloads would force the OCC chart to become a streaming chart overnight. There are some at the BBC who actually want this to happen by the way.
But make no bones about it at some point Apple will at some point in the future remove the download section. When it does that will be the end of the sales chart!
The good news is that if the sales chart does end, I will be able to get more of the old charts sorted! I really hope the Boss of Apple knows what he is doing. For in his hands lies the future of the charts. Could he become known as the man that killed the sales chart?
The 10th of July 2015 was the start of the Global Release date. Records will be released every Friday around the World now at the same time. This does not mean however that records by a certain artist will be issued at the same time around the world. So if say Madonna issues a single in the USA one Friday, that does not mean the public around the world will have the ability to purchase the record. Many people thought it will put an end to the delayed records that we suffer from in the UK. In fact that system will continue. It just means that when it is released in the UK it will be on a Friday. Many weeks after it was available in Europe.
Some record companies were worried that keeping the Official Chart week the same as the Real Chart would stop those one week number ones of the past from happening. Especially by Boy Band's such as One Direction, who often have very loaded sales that would occur from Sunday to about Wednesday of the chart week. With fans targeted by marketing to get them to buy the records in the first week. Left as it was these records would enter at say 15 then stay at 15 next week, before collapsing the following week. Since the Global Release date is not compulsory, record companies using this technique would simply not stick to the Friday date and issue them on Sunday and Monday. As a result the OCC went into a panic and changed it's chart date, so Record Companies can still release a record and have a full week of sales! Ironically the introduction of the streaming element to the OCC chart actually means that records with only fan based sales are less likely to go into the top spot first week anyway. Nevertheless the OCC chart could not be first aired on Sunday with this date, as it would be leaked to all and sundry before the BBC broadcast the top 40. As the BBC foot some of the bill for the chart they have had to move the chart show to Friday. Starting a 4 pm and finishing at 5.45. The first one was a much reduced show featuring the top 25 only, brief snippets of the new entries being played. In fact the first chart was not even be a full week, running only from Sunday to Thursday at midnight! A three-quarters chart if you like!!! It was further complicated by the absence of data from one of the major streaming sites.
Due to a ruling about having local broadcasting up to 7 pm weekdays the Independent Radio Stations will not be able to link up and broadcast a chart at the same time as Radio One. So the Big Top Forty show will keep the same day and they will be weeks ahead of the BBC chart, making the BBC Chart appear very slow, even more so than it is now. In fact it will be out of date!
I do think that the Friday chart show will fail and the replacement Radio One show in the 4 pm slot Sunday will get slaughtered by Independent Radio.
The outcome of this change is that chart will actually be a bit of one working week and a bigger bit of the other.
For these reasons the Real Chart has stayed the same. It has always covered the real week and we see no reason to change. So now in the Real Chart expect records to enter low and blast up to the top the following week. Except if they run out of steam midweek, then they will not get the top. Could this mean that the record that enters at number one will be much rarer in the future? We will also see more variation between the Real Chart Number Ones and those of the OCC. In any case the OCC chart looks very slow besides the Real Chart, even in the sales chart of the OCC.
However the Real Chart will not change just because some record companies want the records to go in at number one. We base our chart on the week's sales, not some dates dictated to by the record industry.