February 13, 2011

Chart Watch

I'd like to interrupt the Geeks In Space posts to introduce my two and a half readers to someone with an obscure type of hobby – the Chart Nerd. We've all heard of car nerds and computer nerds, but the chart nerd is a rare species. They're the person who closely follows the music charts week after week, and writes them all down.

For the period January 6, 1990, to April 10, 1993 one of those people was, of course, me. I wrote them down in a hard-cover notebook, courtesy of watching the Top 50 every week on Rage, Australia's famous all-night music video show. And if I missed a week? I just tuned in the following week to Take 40 Australia on radio 6PM (now PMFM), because their charts were always one week behind for some reason.

Here's the book where I wrote it all down. On the right-hand page you can see Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at number 5, its highest position in Australia. Right on.

This is probably an embarrassing thing to admit (but come on, you knew about my chart obsession before, because you read my post on Ratcat's "That Ain't Bad" last September, didn't you? And if you didn't, consider yourself ostracized) – occasionally though, this knowledge would come in handy. It did, okay?

So when 'the book' was filled, did I start another one? Not really, because by then I was picking up the printed ARIA charts from music stores. Between 1990 and 2000 I ended up with 178 of them, which went into a lever arch folder. I found three more when I was in Warrnambool in 2006. Supposedly they stopped printing them before then, but there they were.


The earliest one I have is dated August 26, 1990, shown below – check out this list of long-forgotten names! The song at number 1, though, is nothing but a classic. I'll see anyone outside who disagrees. And yes, John Farnham was still in the Top 10 back then. Sad, I know. Also note Coca-Cola as a sponsor. Their logo was plastered all over the printed chart until May 1998.


Well, it was a strange sort of hobby, but there you go. Looking back through these lists now is like getting into a time machine. Each of these names triggers some sort of memory, and surprisingly there aren't that many names who I've totally forgotten. And as for the more obscure 'one-hit wonders', perhaps the likes of Partners In Kryme, Smart E's and Heavy D & The Boyz will get their own Wikpedia entry some day.

1 comment:

  1. Nineteen ninety is time for the Guru!!! Crank that shit up dudee!

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