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November 14th 2022 will mark 70 years since the first UK singles chart was published by the New Musical Express in 1952, compiled by Percy Dickins and topped by Al Martino’s Here In My Heart.
To mark this moment, the BME is partnering with the Official Charts Company to honour the UK’s chart-topping singles over those 70 years. From legendary chart battles, Christmas hits, record breakers and novelty records to one-hit wonders, holiday hits and classic theme tunes – being top of the charts is the dream for any musician.
Harvey Goldsmith, CBE and Chair of the Trustees of the British Music Experience, says, “We are delighted to have collaborated with the Official Charts Company who keep meticulous records about the records we love. For a band or an artist to climb to the pinnacle of the Official Charts was a true honour and badge of success. For us at the British Music Experience, the Official Chart informs the great story of popular music in the UK. You won’t find a single track in the Museum that was not at some point chronicled by the chart but in this temporary exhibition visitors will look more closely at some of the meteoric success and dramatic races to the top.”
Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot adds, “The Official Singles Chart has chronicled the nation’s favourite music for 70 years now, spanning eight decades (from the Fifties to the Twenties), and more than 1,400 Number 1 singles. The race to top the Official Chart means as much to artists now as it has ever done and we are delighted to be partnering with the BME to mark this anniversary moment. The BME and the Official Charts share a joint mission – to celebrate all that is great about British music, in all its glory, and we intend to do just that through this brand new partnership.”
To launch the exhibition, BME is to host a very special evening in conversation with Peter Hooton and Keith Mullin from The Farm as they discuss the Official Charts. They will be talking about their chart-topping heroes and influences, their own chart singles and their No.1 single as part of The Justice Collective, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. We’ll be playing the videos of Groovy Train, All Together Now and He Ain’t Heavy on the big screen before the band discuss each single. Groovy Train reached No.6 in September 1990 and All Together Now peaked at No.3 in December 1990. It was on the crest of this wave that their album Spartacus reached No. 1 the following year. The Justice Collective went on to take the coveted Christmas No.1 position in 2012, beating X Factor winner James Arthur. The event takes place 17 November, tickets are £8 each and on sale Friday 14 October from www.britishmusicexperience.com
70 Years of the Official Singles Charts runs at the British Music Experience in Liverpool’s Cunard Building from 16 November 2022 until 5 March 2023. Entry is included in the price of admission.
All tickets purchased are valid for 12 months and each eligible visitor has the opportunity to support the Museum by Gift Aiding the cost of admission.
To make a group booking email email@example.com
About the British Music Experience
The British Music Experience is the UK’s Museum of Popular Music – a place where visitors relive the moments that helped put UK music on the map. The BME opened in the heart of Liverpool in the iconic Cunard Building in 2017. The BME has made its mark as the centre for everyone who wants to celebrate the fantastic history of British music.
Boasting an unrivalled collection of stage outfits, objects and instruments, the museum charts the beginnings, rise and influence of British pop from 1945 to the present day. In addition to an incredible collection of artefacts and memorabilia – which includes some of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust costumes, the iconic Beatles’ Saville Row Apple Corp Door and the original handwritten lyrics to ‘Blue Monday’ – the museum also covers the impact that British music had on the culture, fashion, art and politics of the time. It reminds us that British music has at times defined and celebrated what it means to be British, challenged the status quo and given voice to the dispossessed.
The Museum includes galleries, learning zones, audio visual experiences, an interactive instrument studio, a dance area and a live music venue.
The Learning and Public Programmes, together with our temporary exhibitions further enrich the visitor experience through a range of events; from educational workshops for school children, to master classes and gigs hosted by industry experts.
Finally, there is a gift shop filled with the best of music heritage merch and a café, open to the general public, overlooking the Mersey.
The BME is a registered charity with a mission to advance the appreciation and understanding of the art, history and science of popular music in Britain. (Registered Charity 1125752).
About The Official Charts®
The Official Charts are providers of the UK’s only official music and video charts, as seen at OfficialCharts.com, on BBC Radio 1, MTV, Music Week among many others. All of its charts are compiled purely from sales and streaming information gathered across all key distribution (or entertainment) channels including all major high street retail chains, independent stores, supermarkets, mail order internet retailers, download and streaming service providers, a market research sample which equates to 99% of the total UK singles market; 98% of the total UK albums market and 90% of the total UK DVD market. The company is a joint venture between record labels’ body the BPI and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and is responsible for the commissioning, marketing, distribution and management of the UK’s industry standard music charts and industry sales data.
OfficialCharts.com is the destination site of the UK’s Official Charts, delivering exclusive breaking music news, video interviews with the week’s Official Number 1 artist, new releases and more to 2.5 million of the UK’s biggest chart fans every month. The full Official Singles and Official Albums Chart Top 100 are published Fridays at 5.45pm alongside official specialist charts covering genres/formats such Americana, Afrobeats, Rock, RnB, Dance, Streaming, Vinyl and many more. Search the chart database by date, artist, song or album title or keyword.
Hear the Official Charts
The Official Chart with Jack Saunders, Fridays 4 – 5.45pm, BBC Radio 1; BBC Radio 1 can be found on 97-99FM; on DAB Radio; online at bbc.co.uk/radio1; and on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat. The show countdowns each week’s final Official Singles Chart, highlighting the latest chart feats, the highest entries, fastest climbers and winners of the weekly race of the UK’s most important hit rundown.
The Official Chart: First Look with Katie Thistleton & Vick Hope, Sundays 6-7pm, airs on BBC Radio 1 and gives a first glance of the Top 20 ahead of Friday’s Official Singles Chart Top 100. The chart is based on preliminary sales and early streaming reports, giving music fans a weekly sneak preview of the Official Singles Chart. The First Look reveals how songs are performing in the first two days of the chart week (Friday-Saturday), outlining the hottest new tracks of the week so far, as well as the new entries and highest climbers.