Author: Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice, Jonathan Rice
Number of pages: 408
You people of the modern age have things so easy- if you don’t know something you can find the answer within moments. To the people of 1990 tools such as this were invaluable resources for tracking down obscure bits of music trivia; without them the poor slobs were forced to comb through ratty old piles of magazines and newspapers.
Books like this still serve a purpose. Personally I’d trust their well-researched content over a wiki post any day of the week. It’s true that the information in this volume is only good up through the end of the eighties… but for the focus of this blog (1st gen New Wave and punk) that works just fine 90% of the time.
More importantly for a modern user it gives a context to the information; there’s something about flipping through a physical tome filled with stats on thousands of musical artists all at a glance that provides one with a unique perspective on a galactic scale.
‘British Hit Singles: Eight Edition’ compiles chart statistics for the UK from November of 1952 through December 29h, 1990. Section one is alphabetical by artist (4,021 listed), section two by title (15,048 listed), and section three is concerned with fun facts such as ‘Most Weeks at #2.’.