August’s Twitter poll at @peoples_pop is about DEBUT SINGLES. Day by day Spotify playlists linked to in this thread.

This is the traditional ADMIN post, especially for fans of POLL ADMIN. Do not read if you are not one of these.

Every poll presents its own issues for admin, and this one was no exception.

Firstly, the scope of this poll is gigantic. Every act has a debut. Of course, not all those debuts are good. In an open nominations poll you have to put a certain amount of trust in the readers that they won’t nominate a dodgy record by a famous act, and with the exception of a few stinkers they repaid that trust. 

Even so, the pace of nominations was absurd – it became pretty clear that if I wanted diversity in time and genre I was going to have to either kick things out or expand the poll beyond 256 slots. Sucker that I am, I chose the latter.

So, we have a 320 track poll, which ranges from 1909 to 2020 in time, and in fame from The Beatles and Elvis to a July 2020 release by a voter’s relative.

I decided ahead of time to run the poll roughly chronologically, with qualifying groups organised by broad genre within that and (where possible) obscure acts being grouped together to increase their survival chances.

What we’ve ended up with is an intense schedule – 10 days, 8 qualifiers per day. A lot of the tracks are well-known but I’m expanding the voting window to 3 days per group to give more time to the people who don’t like skipping any. Most days have an overall theme with a couple of stray groups that don’t quite fit.

  • Day 1: Come On, Let’s Go (1909-1967)
  • Day 2: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (1967-1978)
  • Day 3: Nobody’s Scared (1975-1981)
  • Day 4: I Need A Beat (1977-1984)
  • Day 5: I’m An Adult Now (1984-1993)
  • Day 6: Pump Up The Volume (1987-1996)
  • Day 7: Seether (1992-2000)
  • Day 8: Overload (1996-2008)
  • Day 9: Formed A Band (2001-2016)
  • Day 10: Azz Everywhere (2007-2020)

There’s a giant playlist and each day will have its own playlist too – and there’s also a YouTube playlist set up for convenience with the stuff which isn’t on Spotify (only 17/320 tracks this time!)

The format of the qualifiers will be groups of 4, with 2 going through to Round 1 from each. This will leave us with 160 tracks, more than usual, so Round 1 will be particularly brutal as we winnow it down to the actual contenders.

I’m happy with the shape of the qualifiers and the stories they tell – I think there are more doomed tracks this time, unfortunately, but not always the least known ones.

I hope you enjoy it!