Classic Real Charts

Retro Real Charts From The Past

I thought I would bring back the Classic Charts page since Blogger now allows more pages to be added.
Also check out the 60's chart page for charts from the 1960's including the very first top 100 from 1960. It was on here but has been moved to there!   I'm sorry to inform readers that due to circumstances beyond my control I have not been able to complete the 1978 and 1979 pages as promised. So all the charts for 1978 have been removed from this section (If you want a PDF of the incomplete 1978 Real Charts, use the link to download it).  The 1981 have been removed but the PDF's are available.   I can now bring you the 1985 charts, which are now complete!
At the end of the 1985 charts are two charts from 1977. The first is when the banned Sex Pistols record failed to get to Number One in the chart, plus the story of why it didn't get to the top!
After that is the chart following on after the King of Rock, Elvis Presley died.

Real Chart 1978 to Sept 3 (incomplete year) PDF

Top 100's from 1985

Below are the top 100 charts for 1985. As always the orange colour indicates a record falling out.  Some of the first still carry the red pen mark to show which have fallen out. As you might be aware BBC Four are running the Top of The Pops shows from 1985 this year, so these will tie in nicely.   
It has come to my attention that KC and The Sunshine Band Dance To The Music is wrong. The correct record should be Band of Gold In Love Again. This was due to an error on my part. The KC track, which is actually called When You Dance To The Music is the B side to an earlier single. However the record is right next to the Band of Gold record and got picked up by mistake. These charts were done before I had access to the correct spellings on the internet. The newer charts, which you will spot the difference, have been checked. The charts will all change to the new format in the PDF file when they are complete. The error has already been corrected.

The Real Chart 1980 PDF  
The Real Chart 1981 PDF 

January 1985

February 1985

March 1985

April 1985

May 1985

June 1985

July 1985

The last chart of the year. There is no indication yet of what dropped out from the above chart. When the first chart of 1986 is issued it will be corrected...
The 1986 charts will start in a few weeks time. I have some of the 1985 charts to reformat first, but it shouldn't take long to do. A PDF file will be issued which will feature the charts, all sales figures and the best selling singles.  

Selected Charts from 1977


I thought you might like to see the most controversial chart of all time, the week the Sex Pistols failed to get to number one....
Gold coloured tracks will fall out next chart!
If you don't know the story then here's a quick recap for you. It was of course the Silver Jubilee year of the Queen, but a lot of young people were suffering badly as a result of the bad economic conditions. The band the Sex Pistols had picked up on this a written a song called "No Future". After an incident on TV which involved the band swearing at the presenter, media interest had picked up on the band and they wanted blood! At that time the band had signed a deal with EMI. However that company didn't just make records. They were trying to flog a new piece of medical equipment called a body scanner in the American market. However the USA had adopted import restrictions on products from outside the USA and so EMI was having big problems trying to sell the scanners. Then when the thing blew up over the Sex Pistols, the Americans were even more reluctant to buy from a company who had acts who swore like that and had low moral standards. So the man in charge of EMI ordered the Pistols out of EMI. But one person watching the TV and not thinking the band were the Antichrist, was Richard Branson. Now he was as dodgy as they come. He had already been caught fiddling his taxes, but his record company, largely set up to get Mike Oldfield, was out for new acts to sign. So he was on the phone straight away to the band. However Richard was seen as hippy rock king by the band, so they went to A&M Records, which turned into another disaster for the band. So they had no choice but to sign with Branson and Virgin. 
With the Silver Jubilee coming up it was decided to release "no future" under the title which is featured at the start of the record "God Save The Queen" and to put the record in a picture bag featuring the safety pin in the picture of the Queen.
The record of course was quickly banned from record stores and radio stations around the country. It was only ever played by John Peel on late night radio and sometimes on Capital Radio.
In the charts of some record shops the name was left blank! And when the chart made by the British Market Research Bureau came out it was only number two. Not number one. Which meant that TOTP did not have to play it! So it quickly went around that the chart had been fiddled by the chart makers. One story is that Branson's chain of shops - Virgin - had been removed by the company as a directive was issued connected with record stores connected with record labels having too much control of the chart. Another record company person said that as far as distribution was concerned the Sex Pistols were shipping more copies that the BMRB number one from Rod Stewart. But no-one can really tell what the real position was till now. 
As you can see the Sex Pistols were NOT top!!! But neither was Rod!! So it looks like the chap from the record company was right. However the BMRB chart was made up on less than 250 shops to represent many thousands of shops. And when you put them all together you get Country act Kenny Rogers going to the top a bit earlier than the BMRB chart has him. Not to say there wasn't some fiddling going on in the BMRB chart. Has it has Alessi Oh Lori in the chart! A record that is there because some record company people has gone around the chart shops buying up and getting staff to enter the record in the log books of the BMRB. It was hyped!! In fact it was revealed the following year to have happened. But as you can see the track is not in the Real Chart!
The truth is that if the other stores had stocked the Sex Pistols then even if they had not sold a lot it would have sold the others by a big margin.

The Elvis Chart
Following the death of Elvis Presley on the 16 of August 1977 fans went mad for his records. His latest single was in the Real Chart on the 14 of August at number 50, where it was turning into a bit of a flop having moved up just two places!  It sold just 11,000 copies at number 50, the following week 220,000 had been snatched of the shelf. Sometime in May of that year RCA had issued a lot of his back catalogue, so these records were also found in various record shops and also two singles that had been hits earlier in the year.  Making a total of 11 records in the chart from Elvis. Top of The Pops also created a demand for Loving You, which wasn't part of the re-release of May, but nevertheless some stores and people managed to find 6,000 copies of it! The British Market Research Bureau Chart used by TOTP was clearly not showing true sales figures because they failed to have Elvis going to the top the week after his death. Instead they had the Floaters Float On top, something that never happened on the Real Chart. Meanwhile the next number one after Elvis comes in at number 15 for David Soul.  And landing at number 36 is the first single from Bob Geldof's band The Boomtown Rats. It's worth noting the low sales compared with the charts from today. With just 5K at 100. There's no sales symbols with this chart, though I can tell you that Brotherhood of Man was past the million mark in this chart. Other records of interest include 10cc which was the last single from their big album Deceptive Bends, which will fail to make the BMRB top 50. The Rubinoos hit at 63 will become a number one for Tiffany in the 1980's. And Linda Lewis track at 72 will become a big hit for Gladys Knight and The Pips. Two films had produced two hits and James Bond lands at 12 for Carly Simon, while her ex husband is a 62! The other film "The Deep" would see Donna Summer on a different record label to her other chart topper, she's at 13 with the soundtrack song. 
Elvis fans in Sheffield in 1977

Sorry there are two errors on this chart, both my fault. The Elvis track at 95 is actually Devil In Disguise and not the stated track which is at 89. Also The Jam's record at number 39, the highest position should be 15 not 25.


  1. keep going graham these are great. are you aware record retailer compiled a top 100 since inception. also do the real charts extend below 100 ? tony

  2. I was aware that R.R. did compile a top 100, however many have tried to see these and not been able to.
    The Real Chart does indeed extend pass 100, but the Compilers will not let me use this information or tell me it. Sometimes they do tell me that this or that record just failed to make the 100 at such and such positions and I do report these on the chart news of the current charts. They also have said in general that the higher sales figures drop down very quick pass about 150.

  3. hi graham I know someone who has seen one or two of the r.r top 100s also that the breakers were always in these 100s are we likely to see more 70s ones or 60s soon .im assuming that every record must have had a position down to whatever there was a 200 in 1978 I believe.

  4. mike.will we ever see a complete list of top 100s from 1960 to present day. That would be fantastic.

    1. It depends on two things. How fast I can sort the charts out. Plus record release information. You will see elsewhere on the blog that I am building up a database of tracks that were released each year, plus down to the weekly issues, crucial for the sorting out each chart. Though there are other charts from the period detailing what records were being sold, they are not very accurate and though it's certain that the public, after seeing one of these charts, went out to buy a record in them, they just cannot be trusted as a source of if a record WAS available to purchase that week.
      When I have enough data and time to do the 60's charts they will be posted on a separate page to this. That also applies to the 50's charts, which will start when the 1949 charts are finished.

  5. Big thanks for the 1980 charts. Sadly I'm old enough to remember most of these songs!!

  6. always wondered about the odd movemnets of specials 'stereotype' in the brmb chart, remember it hanging around in the twenties then jumping to #6 then back to twenties again. the chart run here is nearly the same: 39-20-26-6-17-36-53-73-91. is there some back story i missed at the time to make it syddenly jump to #6?!

    1. The most likely reason was that side of the record was banned by the BBC, due to the fact they sing "He comes home p***ed at night". Certainly on the TOTP only a clip was played of the other side of the record. It wasn't banned by ILR stations and my local station (Radio Hallam) played it on the Sunday afternoon top 50.

  7. Really Enjoying the 1980 charts that you are producing. I know at the top of the page you said that the 78\79 can't be completed for whatever reason, I was just wondering if you had any of the 1979 chart info, that you would be be willing to share, it's not for any other site or to sell, just for my own reading and completion. I can let you have my email address off post.

  8. You can send your e-mail via the post system. ALL Comments are moderated by me and don't get automatically posted. Mark the comment "NOT FOR POSTING" and it will be deleted. I can help on the 79 charts partially, the few remaining 1978 charts what I have of them wouldn't be helpful at all. But the 1977 charts are much more complete, with only the left over records from 1976 missing from the first few weeks of January, so you can have a PDF of that.

  9. Very informative information about the Real Chart. I'm surprised that a single in the top 20 can often go silver level of sales and most of them are not in the BPI certification database. Yesterday I noticed the November 30, 1980 is missing but I thought I saw it a week before. Also are you planning to post all the classic Real Charts? Is 1981 next? Or can you provide PDF of all the years to me? If so, please send attachment files to

    1. Thanks for noticing that November 30 was missing Kevin. It's back now. As you may have noticed when this page first loads it takes ages to get all the pages to load up correctly. It's due to it being so big. I have the same problem when adding new charts. When I was adding the December comment and trying to get the text under the November chart I must have accidently deleted that chart. Sorry about that!
      Yes the 1981 charts will be next, posted in time with BBC Four running TOTP. I should be able to keep up with them, even though 17 shows will be missing next year. Thanks to the fact that I have hand written charts from 1981 to 1984, with only a few gaps that can now be sorted out.
      The final 1980 charts will be posted later this week. And on December 27 the full 100 best sellers for 1980. There will also be a PDF of the 1980 charts and the full list of all records sold over 250K in 1980.

  10. Sorry guys but as BBC FOUR are running two episodes a week plus several are missing, including one that should have been, but had a sound fault on it, they are way ahead and I can't catch up posting even two charts each week. The BBC apparently want to show 1982 TOTP this year too!
    Sorry but even I can't do more than two full sales charts a week!
    In the next few months there will be a change to the oldies page, as a new page will come about. Yes I will be making a start on the 1960's charts!

  11. Hey Graham, is there going to be any 1982 charts in the near future?

    1. Somebody is sorting some new release information for a few charts with missing records for 1982. The charts for 1982 are nearly complete as far as titles are concerned, but like 1983 and 1984 charts they are nearly all handwritten on A4. I'm not as yet going to computerise them. But I am considering putting a PDF(s) of those years on the site, handwritten type of course! So keep checking this page.

  12. I don't know exactly where you are getting the information regarding BMRB but I can let you know that BMRB chart return diaries were not sent my post to their headquarters in Ealing, London. Chart panel members has a 'dead letter box' over the door of their shops that they placed the sealed diaries in and couriers would collect them with their own key late on a Saturday night. With regards to chart hyping I never really saw much of it going on in a way that affected the charts in any big way. Yes WEA were certainly over the top around 1980 but overall the charts were an accurate reflection of what sold. I was panel number 483 of 750. BMRB used 250 each week to compile the charts.

  13. Looks like BBC 4 is already showm June of 1983 rerun of TOTP. So therefore there is no update on all of 1982 and 1983 charts? Wouldn't it be easier just to list all the bestsellers for each of the years?

    1. It would if I had them! But the sales lists are done by adding up each of the completed charts, generally as they drop out. It can take over 6 hours of work to complete one top 100 chart. When the BBC where doing a TOTP once a week, I could just about manage to keep up, even with the missing episodes. But twice a week and missing ones too is just too much!