The 80s magazine with all the chart info, stats and gossip.
Record Mirror was a British weekly music newspaper between 1954 and 1991 for pop fans and record collectors.
Launched two years after the NME, it never attained the circulation of its rival. The first UK album chart was published in Record Mirror in 1956, and during the 1980s it was the only consumer music paper to carry the official UK singles and UK albums charts used by the BBC for Radio 1 and Top of the Pops, as well as the US Billboard charts.
In 2010 Giovanni di Stefano bought the name Record Mirror and relaunched it as an online music gossip website in 2011.
Record Mirror became the second magazine to compile and publish a record chart on 22 January 1955. Unlike the New Musical Express who conducted a phone poll of retailers for a chart, Record Mirror arranged for its pool of retailers to send in a list of best sellers by post. The paper would finance the costs of this survey and by 1957 over 60 shops would be regularly contributing from a rotating pool of over 80.
The chart was a top 10 until 8 October 1955. It then became a top 20; which it stayed at until being replaced by the Record Retailer top 50. It also inaugurated the countries first Long Player chart, which commenced as a top five on 28 July 1956. By March 1962, Record Mirror adopted publication of Record Retailers top 50 from 24 March 1962.
After 21 April 1966, Record Mirror published a “Bubbling Under List” right under the main chart (at the time the Singles Top 50, the Albums Top 30 and the EP Top 10). “The Breakers”, as it was called later in the year, were 10 to 15 records (for the singles chart) which had not made the top 50 that week, but were poised to reach the big chart the next week ranked in sales order i.e. as if they occupied positions 51 to 64. “The Breakers” list was ceased when BMRB took over chart compilation in February 1969 but by September 1970, it was re-instated (singles only) and appeared of and on under the main chart up until May 1978 (when the top 75 was introduced). In the years 1974 and 1975 the list even expanded to 30 titles, of which the first 10 were called “Star Breakers” and given in order of sales, with the other 20 were listed alphabetically.
In January 1983, when Gallup took over chart compilation, the singles chart extended to a Top 100, with positions 76-100 as ‘The Next 25’ – excluding singles dropping out of the Top 75 or with significantly reduced sales. ‘The Next 25’ was discontinued by Music Week in November 1990. Record Mirror continued printing it until the magazine’s demise in April 1991.
In 1984, when British tabloids started bingo competitions, Record Mirror became the first music paper to experiment with something similar. Record Mirror was the only magazine during the 1980s to print the weekly US singles and album charts, with analysis by chart statistician Alan Jones.
Music charts included
- UK Top 100 Singles Chart
- UK Top 75 Albums and Compilation Albums Charts
- Vintage chart from a bygone year
- US Billboard Singles Chart
- US Billboard Albums Chart
- US Billboard Black Singles Chart
- Music Video Chart
- 12-inch singles Top 20 Chart
- Compact Disc Top 20 Chart
- Reggae Chart (dropped in 1987)