Jul 08

Popular Demographic Survey

FT + Popular125 comments • 2,455 views

Since there isn’t a great deal more to say about the last entry, time to scratch an itch I’ve had for a while about who exactly is reading this. I’ve kept the questions vague so as to avoid spoilers for records we’ve not covered yet.

Basically, I’d like you to answer these questions in the comments:

1. When were you born?
2. What was the year you were first regularly interested in what was at #1?
3. Do you still listen to music in the Top 40 on a regular basis (and if the answer’s “no”, when did you stop)?

There is no ‘right’ answer to #3 – I’m just intrigued as to the ‘demographics’ of the blog.

Lurkers very welcome! Come and say hello!


1 2 3 4 All
  1. 76
    David Belbin on 1 Aug 2008 #

    1. 1958
    2. 1969
    3. I still follow the charts

  2. 77
    Chris Brown on 10 Aug 2008 #

    1. 1978 (see next-but-one post)
    2. Can’t really remember, but probably early in the 80s. It’s too much of a spoiler to say what the first Number One I specifically remember was.
    3. Yes. Sometimes I even enjoy it.

  3. 78
    Allen Baekeland on 21 Aug 2008 #

    1. 1959
    2. 1969
    3. No. Around 1988 I gave up, a time that corresponds to when I became a busy working musician, and the majority of my music listening was done with that in mind – learning arrangements from recordings of songs my bands were covering, stealing licks, etc. What’s on the charts bears no relation to the music I play.

  4. 79
    Andy Pandy on 24 Aug 2008 #

    BORN: 1965
    YEAR INTERESTED IN No 1: late 1972 remember Chuck Berry My Ding A Ling seeming to be NO1 for ages didnt really no what No1 was before that then carried on watching TopOf The Pops every week as I started to like watching the outrageous glamrockers who were on at the time
    DO I STILL LISTEN TO TOP 40: No. Last interested 1983ish – got into the soul/funk/hiphop scene and then in 1987/88 into house/techno

  5. 80
    burkesworks on 12 Oct 2008 #

    1) 1961
    2) about 1968/9
    3) started losing interest late 70s, would have tapered off totally around 1988. Couldn’t even tell you what’s Number One today.

  6. 81
    DNT on 18 Feb 2009 #

    New reader…….
    1) 1973
    2) Probably around 1981 due to Adam & the Ants
    3) I still do listen to Top 40 stuff but consumed in a different way as I now live overseas. I stopped listening to Radio 1 regularly in around 2003.

  7. 82
    Tom on 19 Feb 2009 #

    Hi DNT – welcome on board and good revive! I should put this thread in the sidebar really.

  8. 83
    Topov on 26 Mar 2009 #


    2) 1970
    3) 1998-ish

  9. 84
    imsodave on 21 Apr 2009 #

    1. 1975 (January 15th – Mud were #1 I think)
    2. 1984
    3. No. Not since 1997.

  10. 85
    JimD on 25 Apr 2009 #

    1. December 1975
    2. Paid attention to pop in general from about 83 onwards I think, but never really cared who was at number one until around 95-96!
    3. Still read the chart every week, and go out of my way to listen to the number one if I’ve not already heard it…but don’t listen to much current stuff beyond that.

  11. 86
    Darren on 14 Aug 2009 #

    1. August 1971
    2. Maybe December ’81(ish)
    3. I still occasionally look at the chart but I haven’t properly followed it for over 10 years.

  12. 87
    ace inhibitor on 16 Aug 2009 #

    1. 65
    2. 74/5, tho I was very excited by ernie the fastest milkman in the west getting to no.1 – 72?
    3. 1990s are pretty much a blank. 10 year-old daughter’s emerging tastes has got me listening again, tho I’d say she’s not bothered what’s no.1

  13. 88
    Vom on 29 Sep 2009 #

    1. 1982 – I believe it was Madness at number one, but I’ll check when I get to that point in the archives!
    2. I’m going to say 1991 as that was when I first bought a chart single, but the charts were a fixture in our house from a very early age
    3. I still put the charts on if I happen to be in the car or the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon but I haven’t really paid attention since the sad demise of TOTP.

  14. 89
    tim davidge on 14 Oct 2009 #

    1 – 1957
    2 – 1969
    3 – No/1986

  15. 90
    Dominic H on 13 Dec 2009 #

    1. 1975
    2. 1982
    3. Some of the time (but only intermittedly since around, well, 1993, I guess)

  16. 91
    thefatgit on 14 Dec 2009 #

    1. 1966
    2. 1974..ish
    3. Still keep a weather eye on the charts, and keen to listen to new music whenever possible. Must have stopped obsessing around 86/87.

  17. 92
    Patrick on 9 May 2010 #

    1. 1978 (Stork on its way soon!)
    2. 1983. Well… that’s when I started being interested in chart music. Started caring about what got to no.1 around the time I bought my first single (or, my dad bought it for me) – Band Aid – although I’m sure there was no drama about whether that would make it to the top…
    3. 2005, around the time of all the Elvis re-releases (sorry bunny).

  18. 93
    heather on 9 Nov 2010 #

    1. 1971
    2. I clearly remember all the number ones from 1976, but I’d say I only started to *care* around 1980-81.
    3. I don’t follow the chart regularly any more, probably since the Cowell Age and the end of chart-based music tv shows, but I make a point of watching the Xmas TOTP as well as having a vague notion of ‘pop songs around right now that are good’.

  19. 94
    weej on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Ah, didn’t know this was here! Love that recent comments feed.

    1. 1979
    2. Vaguely aware from about ’86. Avidly followed from about 1989.
    3. I lost touch with the charts in 2002 when I left the UK, though my interest had been waning for a few years by then. Since I’ve been reading popular (a year and a half I think) I’ve started checking them out each week again.

  20. 95
    punctum on 9 Nov 2010 #

    I never did fill this out.

    1. 25.01.1964
    2. 1967 circa “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane.”
    3. Yes. Still follow the charts but not to the extent of suffering Reggie Yates’ fake bonhomie for three hours every Sunday. Now there’s an idea for anyone from Radio 2 who might be lurking; a parallel show modelled along the lines of Gambaccini’s Saturday US chart round-up presenting that week’s new lists in a more patient and sober fashion. Could overlap with Pick Of The Pops but infinitely better than poor Johnnie Walker being reduced to playing the same thirty-five records from the seventies over and over again.

  21. 96
    punctum on 9 Nov 2010 #

    n.b. yes I was three when I started to notice the charts and five when I started writing them down. Child prodigy innit.

  22. 97
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Nov 2010 #

    #95 – MC, I actually get the impression that Johnnie Walker (whom we both admire greatly) quite enjoys his seventies show, as most definetly do I. His interviews are always interesting, probably because his subjects share our utmost respect and affection for him. Certainly he is obliged to play some tracks through gritted teeth but the absolute pleasure he derived from banging on Medicine Head’s “Rising Sun” (a disc in the Swede’s own collection) a couple of weeks ago was plain for all to hear. I’m just delighted that this wonderful man is still amoung us.

  23. 98
    DietMondrian on 9 Nov 2010 #

    1. 1973.

    2. Late 1980, and I started buying music (mostly by Adam in the Ants) in early 1981, using money I’d received for Christmas.

    3. 1990, when Being Boring only reached number 20. I was gutted! Though I continued listening to some stuff that made the charts, but not because it was in the charts.

  24. 99
    punctum on 9 Nov 2010 #

    #97 – Agree that the interview sections are by far the best part of the JW Prog but unfortunately if I want to hear “Young Hearts Run Free” for the zillionth time (as I did on his show this Sunday past) I can do so on umpteen oldies stations (or on one of the approx 27893 compilation albums I have which include it) without having to pay a license fee for the privilege. Nice to hear the hitherto unreleased ’78 Springsteen stuff, though. Drop the obvious crowd-pleasers and go for more of that, I say. Much prefer the delightful Paul O’Grady Show whose explicit mission seems to be to play non-obvious, neglected and/or leftfield music (by Sunday R2 standards at any rate).

    Also (sorry for this extended digression) I should apologise to all Then Play Long readers for the unconscionable delay in posting entry #109. This is because of several life upheavals that are currently going on, not least the fact that Lena this morning starts her new job as Assistant Manager at the Trinity Hospice shop in Putney High Street (I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing her all the best, and I know she will do magnificently – do feel free to drop in if you happen to be in the area!). In addition we’re doing major househunting at the moment since our combined and ever-increasing music and book collection needs considerably greater space than our current compact and bijou abode (as indeed do we). Which means, along with everything else, that I’ve essentially been too knackered to do any blog writing. Worry not, though; TPL will resume once things have settled down again, with a comparatively compact and bijou entry on one of the prime examples of what many still call “Our Kind Of Music” or “Loud Heavy Rock Metal.”

  25. 100
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Best of luck to Lena in what would appear to be a vocational new position. There are plenty of hospice shops down in Eastbourne, all staffed by wonderful people.

    And good luck with the househunting, MC. I hope you won’t mind me reminding you that this is an uber-stressful manoeuvre, dealing as you do with some of the lowest forms of humanity, namely estate agents, solicitors and bankers. I went through it all myself just four short years ago. Bon chance!

  26. 101
    rosie on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Marcello@99: You don’t need a licence to listen to any radio station: the radio-only licence was abolished in 1971. Anyway, may I echo the Turnip’s sentiments in wishing Lena luck in her new job and both of you luck in house-hunting. I suspect you’ll need it in these times.

    No problem for me in lingering with Lindisfarne – a fine band which has sadly fallen into obscurity. (Yes, I do follow Then Play Long especially as you pass through ‘my’ period and specifically ‘my’ album period). Alan Hull was always more than a “good-time” musician, intensely political in action as well as words. His premature passing was a sad loss to the city he never abandoned for fame.

  27. 102
    Mark G on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Update from #5, 2008…

    1) 1961
    2) 1971
    3) [s]Yeah, in general I can still read the top forty and know the majority of the songs there.[/s] Thesedays, I’d have some difficulty.

  28. 103
    Conrad on 9 Nov 2010 #

    MC, did you catch Blackburn presenting Pick of the Pops on saturday? Sensational…

    I do wish they would just play an entire Top 20 though rather than leaving loads of stuff out.

  29. 104
    Billy Smart on 9 Nov 2010 #

    It was a bit of an improvement, wasn’t it? I liked his observation about the drums at the end of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ waking the rest of the band up! You can imagine TB actually listening to, and enjoying, the discs, rather than just taping his links in 15 minutes.

  30. 105
    punctum on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Yes, it was a remarkable improvement; TB sounds engaged with the music, the choices are better (you just know that Dalebot would have skipped “Tusk” and played the Dooleys) and the listening experience altogether livelier and happier. Still a few factoids to placate the hardcore chartspotters but not remotely missing the “it was their 37th consecutive single to peak at number 37, although it did climb to Number Two” mindset of old. Also – “Winchester Cathedral” to “Video Killed The Radio Star”; the route seems natural and I’d never thought of it that way before (i.e. megaphone as outdated token of usurping Modernism, both in mourning).

    This weekend, two more excellent choices; 1968 and (YES!!!) 1981. Here’s hoping that TB’s liking of Beyonce, Plan B etc. will encourage some movement into noughties charts.

    And yes, one chart as of old was better than two rushed-through charts but hey, you take what you can find! If you do want to hear the great man counting down the same 1979 chart when it was new, however, go here and click on the appropriate file.

  31. 106
    Mike Atkinson on 9 Nov 2010 #

    For those who still like to keep tabs on the UK singles chart, I maintain a Spotify playlist of the current Top 100, which is updated most weeks (if not absolutely every week – I’ll be abroad this weekend, for instance). On average, between 90% and 95% of any given chart are sourceable on Spotify, so it’s not a bad catch-up service. (This week, it’s 95%.)

    Here’s your easily memorable link: http://tinyurl.com/uktop100 – needless to say, you have to have Spotify installed and the service isn’t available outside Europe.

  32. 107
    Steve Mannion on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Nice one Mike. From that I guess it would also be easy to have a playlist of every song to make the top 100 within the year (hint hint!).

  33. 108
    Billy Smart on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Re: 105 “Sensational! And at fifteen, here’s my favourite record in this week’s forty – Here’s SHIK!” :)

  34. 109
    Conrad on 9 Nov 2010 #

    MC, 105 – thanks for the link!

    Agree wholeheartedly, some real verve in TB’s delivery, and a decent choice of tracks, although A.Pedant notes that Charlie Daniels Band was a re-recording. Blaming researcher/producer rather than TB for that one…

  35. 110
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Nov 2010 #

    Dear God! Unswerving praise for Timmy Bannockburn! Is this the Twilight Zone now?


    Yep, Arnold. I guess it is!!

  36. 111
    Erithian on 9 Nov 2010 #

    I don’t know how common they are, but a pub near us has a jukebox where you can enter any date since 1960 and bring up that week’s Top 40, so for a small outlay you can entertain the pub with your own mini-version of POTP. Choosing at random July 1973, when I was the age my twins are now, I regaled people with Medicine Head, Stealer’s Wheel, Mott the Hoople, the Jackson Five, Paul Simon, 10cc and Slade (cos you have to play the number one). Great fun.

  37. 112
    Billy on 9 Nov 2010 #

    1. September 1988 (am I the current youngest?)
    2. A growing awareness throughout the mid-late 90s, kicking off in Summer 1999.
    3. Every week without fail. Ask me again in ten years though and I imagine the answer will be different.

  38. 113
    vinylscot on 9 Nov 2010 #

    My local, The Bay Horse,in Shawlands, has one of these jukeboxes,and a fair number of elderly (even more elderly than I) customers, and it can be a brilliant night just sitting and lapping up some of the stuff they play.

  39. 114
    will on 9 Nov 2010 #

    I did exactly this at my local a couple of weeks ago! For a quid I got Silver Lady, Black Is Black and From New York to LA and relived October 1977.

  40. 115
    Paulito on 10 Nov 2010 #

    1. November 1978.
    2. I started actively following what was at #1 from early 1987 – though I remember being conscious of current pop hits, and of watching and enjoying TOTP and ‘MT-USA’ (fab video show which graced the Irish TV schedules in the mid-80s), from 1984 onwards.
    3. Not since the final wave of great chart music in 1994-95.

  41. 116
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Nov 2010 #

    Those chart jukeboxes sound wonderful. I personally would prefer a machine where you pump in a month and year and transform yourself back to school as you are now. Like Erithian, I would also choose July 1973 when I was 12, specifically the Monday morning after Jan Kodes won Wimbledon. As a big Kodes fan, I remember cheerfully discussing his victory with any kid who could give a stuff, as we were about to begin a Geography lesson, before I was silenced by Mr Gee our teacher and even more unnecessarily dismissed from the class, which hadn’t even started. It was an astonishing show of petulant overreaction and I have often wondered what fuelled it. A lost tenner on Roger Taylor, whom Kodes knocked out in the semi, would be my guess. Whatever it was, the incident has not been forgiven and thus I would go back in the transformer with a boxing glove adorning my southpaw left hand and punch Mr Gee right on the fucking bugle.

  42. 117
    tonya on 10 Nov 2010 #

    1. 1965
    2. 1975, I received a transistor radio for Christmas 1974. My parents didn’t listen to pop music at all when we were kids.
    3. Yes, I’m still 14 in my head.

  43. 118
    Eli on 20 Dec 2010 #

    1. When were you born? 1987
    2. What was the year you were first regularly interested in what was at #1? 1998
    3. Do you still listen to music in the Top 40 on a regular basis (and if the answer’s “no”, when did you stop)? No – my interest began to evaporate in 2002.

  44. 119
    seekenee on 18 Mar 2011 #

    1. 1971
    2. 1978
    3. 2003

  45. 120
    ashley on 10 May 2011 #

    3. In a weird way, where im fully aware of the top 40 and often really like songs in it but it doesnt seem like a thing anymore, as a real reflection of tastes, which is why this blog is so interesting to me.

  46. 121
    Brendan on 24 Sep 2012 #

    As I’m in the process of adding my reviews I’ve pretty much answered 1) and 2) already: born 1972; began noticing the charts 1977. As for when I gave up – I was losing interest as early as 1986 with its string of mediocre number 1s (I guess I can name names without incurring SB’s wrath as Tom has long since covered them all but I’ll keep my powder dry till I get there) and knowing that all the best bands that I’d discovered by then were clearly never going to have a sniff of that accolade. Though I did at least have cursory glances into the 21st century but the interest died along with Top of the Tops but there was a brief revival a few years ago when I got Freeview including the 2 music channels, though that too has now waned.

  47. 122
    Lazarus on 24 Sep 2012 #

    1. 1963
    2. 1974 (approx)
    3. 1998-99, as the Britpop era fizzled out – last time I was really ‘into’ new music I suppose.

  48. 123
    Auntie Beryl on 9 Mar 2013 #

    1. 1973.
    2. 1980, although I know I was parked in front of Top Of The Pops as early as 1978.
    3. Impossible to say as the professional and personal overlap here. I suppose this is a Yes although without enthusiasm.

  49. 124
    lmm on 23 Jan 2014 #

    1. 1987
    2. 2001
    3. 2005

  50. 125
    Justified Ancient on 18 Sep 2014 #

    1. 1972
    2. 1980
    3. mid-nineties, gradually.

1 2 3 4 All

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)

If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page