ukcharts.20m.com
50 Years Of The UK Singles Chart: Top 100 Acts
Vicky Williams


The points system for this chart is as follows. Each week that an act spends at #1, they are awarded 100 points, a week at #2 gets 90 points, a week at #3 gets 80 points, and so on down to 10 points for a week at #10.

The music industry was less competitive in the early days, and the charts moved much more slowly, so in the era before The Beatles scored their first #1 with 'From Me To You' in 1963, only 80 points are awarded for a week at #1, 72 for a week at #2, and so on down to 8 for a week at #10. Charts before rock 'n' roll were even slower, so before Bill Haley And His Comets had the first rock 'n' roll #1 with 'Rock Around The Clock' in 1955, the points are scaled down further, 60 points for a week at #1 down to 6 points for a week at #10.

Finally, a further 8 points are added for every week each act spends in the chart, whether at #1 or #75, regardless of the era. Where a tie occurs, it is broken by referring to how many #1s each act has had, followed by how many #2s they've had, and so on.

The charts used are the NME chart from November 1952 to March 1960 (including the week ending 5 March 1960, erroneously omitted from the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles), and the Record Retailer/Music Week chart from March 1960 to November 2002.

The first chart was published on 14 November 1952 and the last chart used is the chart published on 3 November 2002 and dated 9 November 2002, which may look as though I've stopped one week short of 50 years, but this is due to the first chart being published on a Friday instead of a Sunday, as it took longer to add the figures up in those pre-computer days. In 2609 weeks, there have been 938 #1s and 6147 Top 10 hits.

Drawing the boundaries between one act and another isn’t always easy. I’ve departed from Guinness on a few issues, notably in the case of 60s backing groups such as The Shadows, whose hits backing Cliff Richard are not included in their points total (the same principle applies with The Tremeloes’ hits backing Brian Poole and after much head-scratching, The Beatles’ hit backing Tony Sheridan), and solo acts who have been given top billing on hits with groups they were in, such as Diana Ross, whose hits with The Supremes are not included in her total (the same applies to Rod Stewart’s hits with The Faces). Additionally, I consider Manfred Mann and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band to be two different bands, with only one member in common. Another odd case is Paul McCartney/Wings, considered one act for the purposes of this chart.

In the case of collaborations, the total points go to all the acts concerned providing the acts concerned have had 3 hits or less together. 4 or more and they are considered an act in their own right. The most difficult issue in this respect was the partnership between John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Their original 2 hits were incorporated into 2 additional hit megamixes, which meant that they had to be considered an act in their own right.

The chart is dedicated to the memory of Lonnie Donegan, who died while it was being compiled.

Rank Artist Debut No.1s Top 10s Chart weeks Points
1 Elvis Presley 1956 18 56 1185 28806
2 Cliff Richard 1958 14 64 1152 26828
3 The Beatles 1962 17 28 455 18232
4 Madonna 1984 10 50 569 15912
5 Michael Jackson 1972 7 38 499 12512
6 Rod Stewart 1971 6 26 468 10884
7 Elton John 1971 4 27 591 10758
8 Abba 1974 9 19 252 10326
9 Queen 1974 5 25 419 10072
10 David Bowie 1969 5 23 451 9658
11 The Rolling Stones 1963 8 21 366 9598
12 Paul McCartney / Wings 1971 4 24 410 9380
13 Kylie Minogue 1988 6 23 315 9240
14 Frankie Laine 1952 4 19 282 9060
15 The Everly Brothers 1957 4 13 345 8574
16 The Bee Gees 1967 5 19 354 8482
17 Stevie Wonder 1966 2 19 415 8290
18 Tom Jones 1965 2 18 391 8198
19 Slade 1971 6 16 279 7822
20 Frank Sinatra 1954 3 12 440 7796
Rank Artist Debut No.1s Top 10s Chart weeks Points
21 The Shadows 1960 5 16 359 7758
22 Lonnie Donegan 1956 3 17 321 7400
23 The Hollies 1963 2 17 318 7274
24 Pat Boone 1955 1 12 308 7224
25 Whitney Houston 1985 4 16 313 7164
26 George Michael 1984 7 21 264 7152
27 Roy Orbison 1960 3 12 345 7026
28 T.Rex 1968 4 11 236 6878
29 Diana Ross 1970 2 18 436 6858
30 Perry Como 1953 2 14 323 6726
31 Status Quo 1968 1 22 417 6676
32 UB40 1980 3 17 331 6258
33 Boyzone 1994 6 16 213 6124
34 Bryan Adams 1985 2 12 243 6024
35 Engelbert Humperdinck 1967 2 8 239 6022
36 Shakin' Stevens 1980 4 15 277 5996
37 Guy Mitchell 1952 4 12 165 5990
38 Shirley Bassey 1957 2 12 326 5972
39 Oasis 1994 6 16 336 5718
40 The Pet Shop Boys 1985 4 20 236 5698
Rank Artist Debut No.1s Top 10s Chart weeks Points
41 Celine Dion 1992 2 14 246 5668
42 Wet Wet Wet 1987 3 12 209 5632
43 The Beach Boys 1963 2 13 281 5618
44 Gary Glitter 1972 3 12 170 5560
45 Take That 1991 8 13 158 5544
46 Phil Collins 1981 3 12 228 5474
47 Madness 1979 1 16 268 5384
48 The Kinks 1964 3 13 215 5330
49 The Spice Girls 1996 9 10 179 5312
50 U2 1981 4 25 259 5262
51 Connie Francis 1958 2 10 244 5240
52 Cher 1965 3 12 229 5182
53 Showaddywaddy 1974 1 10 209 5122
54 The Supremes 1964 1 13 306 5108
55 Blondie 1978 6 11 169 5012
56 Mariah Carey 1990 2 18 255 4950
57 Robbie Williams 1996 5 15 223 4934
58 Erasure 1985 1 15 203 4934
59 Adam Faith 1959 2 11 252 4916
60 Donna Summer 1976 1 9 299 4892
Rank Artist Debut No.1s Top 10s Chart weeks Points
61 Hot Chocolate 1970 1 12 283 4874
62 Boney M 1976 2 10 171 4868
63 Janet Jackson 1986 - 16 287 4866
64 David Whitfield 1953 2 11 190 4844
65 Frankie Goes To Hollywood 1983 3 5 147 4826
66 Jim Reeves 1960 1 6 322 4826
67 John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band 1969 3 8 197 4806
68 Petula Clark 1954 2 11 247 4798
69 Wham! 1982 4 9 137 4796
70 Manfred Mann 1964 3 13 176 4738
71 Duran Duran 1981 2 13 222 4616
72 The Sweet 1971 1 10 159 4592
73 Steps 1997 2 14 204 4552
74 Nat "King" Cole 1952 - 14 249 4540
75 Andy Williams 1957 1 9 238 4536
76 Prince 1980 1 15 305 4510
77 Johnnie Ray 1952 3 10 166 4488
78 Frank Ifield 1960 4 6 163 4422
79 Billy Fury 1959 - 11 281 4422
80 Bill Haley & His Comets 1954 1 8 199 4420
Rank Artist Debut No.1s Top 10s Chart weeks Points
81 The Four Tops 1965 1 11 318 4414
82 Gene Pitney 1961 1 11 212 4386
83 Jason Donovan 1988 4 10 137 4346
84 Dean Martin 1953 1 10 163 4318
85 Fleetwood Mac 1968 1 9 223 4294
86 The Police 1978 5 10 153 4284
87 Westlife 1999 10 12 155 4260
88 Frankie Vaughan 1954 2 11 232 4252
89 David Essex 1973 2 10 199 4212
90 The Electric Light Orchestra 1972 1 15 255 4210
91 Doris Day 1952 2 9 146 4188
92 The New Seekers 1970 2 6 143 4174
93 Shaggy 1993 4 9 137 4116
94 S Club 7 1999 4 9 138 4104
95 The Jam 1977 4 9 206 3958
96 Cilla Black 1963 2 11 194 3942
97 Culture Club 1982 2 9 119 3932
98 The Who 1965 - 13 247 3926
99 The Jackson Five / The Jacksons 1970 1 11 235 3870
100 East 17 1992 1 12 170 3830



THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY

Here are the acts who didn’t make the Top 100, but would have if their points totals from different acts they were part of had been combined (with apologies to artists such as Sarah Dallin and Keren Woodward of Bananarama, who appeared on both Band Aid records, charity conglomerations don’t count because of the obvious logistical impracticalities of ascertaining who was on them all, unless, as in the case of the Hillsborough record, all the artists are named in the artist credit itself);

Donny Osmond (6902 points for his solo hits, plus hits with The Osmonds, and with his sister Marie)

Olivia Newton-John (5812 points in total, but I made the controversial decision that her partnership with John Travolta counted as an act in its own right, because they appeared together on more than 3 hits)

Eric Stewart (5768 points for his hits as a member of The Mindbenders, Hotlegs and 10cc)

Roy Wood (5522 points for his solo hits and his hits with The Move and Wizzard, not forgetting his brief membership of ELO)

Annie Lennox (5518 points for her solo hits plus her hits with The Tourists and Eurythmics)

The Tremeloes (5296 points for their hits in their own right plus their hits backing Brian Poole)

Lionel Richie (4962 points for his solo hits plus his hits as a member of The Commodores)

Bryan Ferry (4804 points for his solo hits plus his hits with Roxy Music)

Adam Ant (4782 points for his solo hits plus his hits as leader of Adam And The Ants)

Buddy Holly (4662 points for his solo hits plus his hits with The Crickets)

Dusty Springfield (4490 points for her solo hits plus her hits with The Springfields)

Dave Stewart (4346 points for his solo hits plus his hits with The Tourists and Eurythmics)

Marc Almond (4312 points for his solo hits plus his hits with Soft Cell)

Siobhan Fahey (4116 points for her hits with Bananarama and Shakespear’s Sister)

Gerry Marsden (4038 points for his hits as leader of Gerry And The Pacemakers plus his charity hit with The Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney and Stock Aitken Waterman)

Tina Turner (3994 points for her solo hits plus her hits with her former husband Ike)

Will Smith (3882 points for his solo hits plus his hits with Jazzy Jeff as The Fresh Prince)

Some of the more legendary and/or ubiquitous artists who surprisingly failed to make the magic 3830 points include Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood and Ian McLagan (the latter four would almost certainly have made the list had The Faces been credited on Rod Stewart's early "solo" hits).

 


Compilation & text copyright Vicky Williams 2002