John’s Geeky Hobby
Back in September 1968 I came across Alan Freeman’s Pick Of The Pops radio show one Sunday afternoon. The Beatles “Hey Jude” was number one, which I loved, and my obsessive favourite “Those Were The Days” by Mary Hopkin was rocketing up the charts, assisted by Macca himself.
I was hooked, and I was 10 years old. The only thing was, the records seemed to be in the wrong order, to me. I loved most of them but some I loved more than others and I needed them to be in the right order (that is, the order I liked them not the order other people liked them, by buying them!)
Once I’d seen the chart in a paper, I took on the vital task of putting them in the right order (to me), and that is the one listed first…
I enjoyed this. I did some more. Then I realised I could include records which weren’t even IN the charts. Hooray! September 1971 I created my own regular weeklyTop 20. January 1974 I expanded it to 30. That still wasn’t big enough, so in January 1975 it became a Top 50. Still not enough, and when the UK decided to publish an official singles Top 75 in spring 1978 I decided to do the same. I have kept it up ever since, one a week, my 75 current favourite records. I allow oldies in if they make the sales chart, and these days album tracks too (just like the download-dominated singles chart does) and I give them points for annual charts too (fake sales if you like), and Ive never come to the stage where I can’t find 75 records I like to fill it. Not once. I love music, at the grand age of 54, and am still annoyed that great records don’t get to be hits all the time.
My charts are needed! I’m a geek, but I’m not an old fart. I’m a musical whore! I’ll go with any style of music, anytime, by anyone, if it’s good, or interesting, no conditions, no pre-conceptions of what music “should” sound like. The Beatles will always be the greatest, but this week I’m most excited by Coldplay and Rihanna’s “Princess Of China” which gives me goosepimples when i hear it, and tears when I try to sing along to it. And to anyone else in earshot! Ouch!
Keeping music fresh…and why not!