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Chart Trivia

Craig Benfer

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Lew was about ready to post the correct answer but seems hesitant for the glory:

In the June 9, 1973, issue of Billboard, a front page story discussed some major changes in chart methodology. This led to some unusual chart moves but it’s generally minor in comparison to what was seen in the final few months of 1974. As of this writing, we have yet to uncover an actual Billboard article on the topic, but Casey Kasem did make mention of it in some late 1974 episodes of “American Top 40” so it is obvious the chart metrics were again being revised.

Clearly something was up and chart parameters that had been in play from the inception of the Hot 100 were no longer a given. 

As an example, consider the fact that songs falling from #1 would always land somewhere within the Top 10 the following week. Since the beginning of The Hot 100 back in August, 1958, this was always the case except for one occurrence – Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence” which did fall from #1 to #12 the following week. This happened on the chart dated 1-29-66. Now, without warning or fanfare, this predictable movement was suddenly out the window. In the pre-Download era of the charts when singles were physical 45rpm discs or later cassette singles (roughly 1958-1990), only 9 items fell from #1 to land outside the Top 10 the following week – and 7 of those occurrences happened late in 1974. For quick reference, here’s the scorecard:

9-28-74 – #1 to #12 – Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe - Barry White
10-5-74 – #1 to #12 – Rock Me Gently - Andy Kim
10-26-74 – #1 to #15 – Nothing From Nothing - Billy Preston
11-2-74 – #1 to #15 – Then Came You - Dionne Warwick & Spinners
11-9-74 – #1 to #12 – You Haven’t Done Nothin’ - Stevie Wonder
11-16-74 – #1 to #12 – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet / Free Wheelin’ - Bachman Turner Overdrive
11-23-74 – #1 to #12 – Whatever Gets You Thru The Night - John Lennon

As an aside, the 9th occurrence happened on the 1-31-76 chart when “Theme From Mahogany” (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” by Diana Ross fell from #1 to #11.

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