I’m marking each of the singles out of 10. Marks will vary according to my mood and circumstances as well as by the quality of the record. No consistency is intended and none should be assumed – take them as seriously as you like. If you’re registered and logged in, you can give your OWN mark out of 10 to each record, and the aggregate shows up on the FT Readers Top 100 view.

Baby jumps:   1955   1960   1965   1970   1975   1980   1985   1990   1995   2000


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  1. 31
    admin on 2 Sep 2009 #

    hope you don’t mind me disclosing the current votes for the 2 exact ‘9’s currently on populist
    secret love: 10 10 9 8 8
    dancing queen: 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 8 6

    they love to love, but our readers just equally love to dance

  2. 32
    ottersteve on 3 Sep 2009 #

    Hi Tom.
    Fun idea you have here with just one little criticism of the scoring methods. Ideally you would have just asked everyone to ONLY score those songs they would give a 10 to, and no other score.

    There are people out there who will truly love a great song and give it 10.

    Other people however will absolutely HATE the same song and score 1 just to try and get it off the top 100 list.

    An example will surely be “Bohemian Rhapsody” which, over the last 34 years has been shown to be loved and hated in equal measues! You will end up with a kind of tug-of-war going on over quite a few of the songs! Or maybe that was part of your intention – if so – tee hee.

  3. 33
    admin on 3 Sep 2009 #

    there are strengths and weaknesses in any scoring system, but

    “Ideally you would have just asked everyone to ONLY score those songs they would give a 10 to, and no other score”

    would give an average of 10 for everything! we could only count the number of votes

  4. 34
    ottersteve on 4 Sep 2009 #

    Fair point, but you would still have a top 100, with the record scoring most 10’s being top of the list.

  5. 35
    Tom on 4 Sep 2009 #

    Ottersteve – we kind of do have this, in that we do polls at the end of each (chart) year which are binary yes/no ones (though based on 6 or above, not 10). I’ve not actually bothered running a comparison yet though (rubs hands in statistical glee…)

  6. 36
    Tom on 25 Sep 2009 #

    Hello everyone, we’re in The Times today. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6847964.ece

    Very exciting, though the interview happened 2 weeks post-new-baby and I’m left wondering what I meant sometimes!

  7. 37
    Tom on 7 Oct 2009 #

    A few notes on comments – from the shiny new features Alan has installed:

    The most-commented Popular post is “No Charge” by JJ Barrie, with 272.

    Two other posts have got more than 200 comments – “Dancing Queen” and “Night Fever”.

    25 more posts are comment centurions – most recently The Crowd – so that’s 28 in all that have got into triple figures.

    At the other end of the scale, 8 posts have 0 comments, and 30 only have one (in some cases I know this to be a spambot that slipped through the net)

  8. 38
    ottersteve on 11 Oct 2009 #

    Re your comment at 35. Your end of each year chart is a great idea, but not all of the years seem to have this feature. I’d love to see all years accounted for as I enjoy putting my ten pen’th in.

    On the subject of the readers poll. I suspect that many of the voters have been swayed by your wise words on a few of the songs. It’s my guess that’s because many readers were simply too young or not even born when certain (high-ranked, on the above chart) tracks were at No.1

    I was fortunate to be around to fully enjoy the 60’s “pop boom” and I believe most Beatles fans would not put down Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby as the best of the Beatles No.1’s. For me, personally, “She Loves you” was the true trigger of the wave of musical euphoria that swept the country at that time (I was 9 years old). Hey Jude comes a close 2nd for me. If you had given a high score of your own to these tracks – I’m convinced they would have been in the readers top 10 too.

    Just an observation – not taking it all TOO seriously.

  9. 39
    admin on 12 Oct 2009 #

    i’ve just tagged up the 14 ‘year-poll’ posts with ‘popular year poll’ so they appear here:


  10. 40
    enitharmon on 12 Oct 2009 #

    So, are we ever going to be able to vote in the outstanding year polls?

  11. 41
    admin on 12 Oct 2009 #

    it won’t take a lot to set them up – but it’s Tom’s call. He was setting up the old ones as a way to take up comment crew slack when he’s busy.

  12. 42
    Tom on 12 Oct 2009 #

    Today would be a good day to put one up – though I’m too busy even to do a poll at the moment!

  13. 43
    admin on 12 Oct 2009 #

    i’ll put up ’74 later on then if you like? it’s also a matter of bringing it to the attention of the crew. i guess by a comment on that (back in time) post and on the most recent popular post?

  14. 44
    Tom on 12 Oct 2009 #

    Cool, thanks Alan!

    What I think I’ll do is frontpage it for a day or two so the regulars all see it, then it can be plunged back into the Mud.

  15. 45
    Tom on 15 Oct 2009 #

    I was doing a little playing around w/my scores today, having set up a better excel file for them (NON-NERDS LOOK AWAY). I wanted to answer the qn: what is the best run of #1 hits?

    My answer (so far at least), if you take a 10-song average, is the stretch which starts inauspiciously with Boney M’s “Mary’s Boy Child” and runs until “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” (#430-439).

    But, if you look at my best ERA for pop – defined as a 50-song average – it’s #171-#220 – starting with Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over” and ending with Chris Farlowe’s “Out Of Time” – so mid-64 to mid-66.

    I want to do this with the reader marks and will pester the relevant ppl for a .csv file :)

  16. 46
    admin on 15 Oct 2009 #

    Tom, i’ve sent a 40K tab file to freakytrigger gmail. it’s pop_no, post_title and scores.

    the scores column has individual scores comma separated. if i get you right, you’re just after the average score, so i could have just given you the ave score, but i figured you might want to go wild on the stats, so you could get #of10 scores, #of9 scores, etc, and all manner of statpr0n.

    if you can’t parse the data and you’d rather just have the ave, let me know.

    quick fact: Come On Eileen has the highest number of votes by some distance.

    (i have deleted all user ID info, so the scoring given in the file is anonymous BTW.)

  17. 47
    Tom on 16 Oct 2009 #

    I have been parsing away for about an hour. Lovely stuff.

  18. 48
    Rory on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Can we have an Unpopulist as well? On the readers’ scores? The bottom 20 or 50 would satisfy curiosity…

  19. 49
    admin on 12 Feb 2010 #

    i spoil you i really do.

    i wasn’t sure what to do about the numbering, but the 100th is the worst (as you can see from the score).

  20. 50
    Tom on 12 Feb 2010 #

    It will take quite a bad record to shift that one I think. Or a sudden surge in wuv for St Wins.

  21. 51
    Rory on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Wow, that was quick! Ta very much. What an entertaining roll call of drivel.

  22. 52
    Conrad on 30 Sep 2010 #

    Donna still has quite a substantial lead on the competition at the top. Be interesting to see what, if anything, will overtake it.

  23. 53
    Alan not logged in on 30 Sep 2010 #

    I am this close ][ to doing little google graph charts of the vote distribution for each title.

  24. 54
    Billy Hicks on 27 Jan 2011 #

    Procul Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ has vanished for me on this list, for some reason…

  25. 55
    Erithian on 27 Jan 2011 #

    There is no reason and the truth is plain to see.

  26. 56
    swanstep on 27 Jan 2011 #

    So, seriously, what’s going on with the Whiter Shade entry? Its comment thread had some Doors discussion in it IIRC…

  27. 57
    DietMondrian on 27 Jan 2011 #

    By my reckoning the greatest difference in FT reader scores for number ones by any one artist is 7.4 for Kate Bush – 9.00 for Wuthering Heights and 1.6 for Let It Be (Ferry Aid).

    If appearances in charity conglomerations don’t count, it’s Mick Jagger with 6.07 – Paint It, Black (8.6) minus Dancing in the Street (2.53).

    If you discount all charity records it’s Paul McCartney with 6.01 – Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine (8.92) minus Ebony and Ivory (2.91).

    Does this tell us anything other than that charity records aren’t much cop and that McCartney’s quality control isn’t great, which we knew anyway?

  28. 58
    Mark M on 27 Jan 2011 #

    Re 56: It’s disappeared from the list, but the piece is still there – http://freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2006/05/procul-harum-a-whiter-shade-of-pale/

  29. 59
    swanstep on 28 Jan 2011 #

    @mark m, 58. Thanks for that.

  30. 60
    admin on 30 Jan 2011 #

    !! the procol article has lost its score is what’s happened.

    (there are many popular posts that aren’t actual #1 entries, so the list only shows those with valid score and dates)

    unless Tom can remember the score he gave (!) i will have to dig through the database archives to see what it was before whichever accidental data trickery lost us that :-(

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