* Create a library of every charting U.K. track, including B-sides, labels, lyrics, and other memorabilia.
* Ensure the accuracy of the library and confirm each track is the original single release 'version of the day'.
* Provide full statistical chart-run data on each entry, including as much 'technical' information relating to the release, session and record company as possible.
* To pay tribute to the many musicians, engineers, producers, arrangers and composers involved.
In The Beginning
Where'd it all start? Digital downloads, of course. The realisation that songs, unobtainable for years, could once again be played and enjoyed.
This resulting in, for example, attempts to find all the Number Ones, or a full weeks chart. Collections were posted to the newsgroups where many music enthusiasts were finding and supplying songs in mp3 format. The first "Complete NME Charts 1952-59" was posted in August 2004.
Somewhere in the US a group started a collection based on the Joel Whitburn Record Research lists - comprising every charting song in the US and ranked by serial numbers calculated from each songs performance on the charts. This is what 'Britburn' is modelled on. Every song has its serial number and year it reached its top chart position.
The first spreadsheet was distributed in June 2006, but wasn't christened 'Britburn' until a few months later when "Rev Fred Gerkin" coined the term. Many revisions followed as discrepancies were found, and fixed. (No two chart listings seemed to tally 100%).
The spreadsheet evolved into an "active" version which could also play the tracks and display the labels. Later improvements included playlists, and exportable reports which could be sorted in various ways. Lonnie provided many beautifully photographs labels - setting a new standard in image quality.
In early 2007 Bert established the website and online forum and has since then been working on integrating the data between the website and the spreadsheet, which now hyperlinks to the website and allows data to be ported between the two.
Hopefully the website will open up the project to a larger number of people and allow it to grow towards the aims.
Lyrics, more labels, complete "B" side collection. Hopefully the website and forum will assist collectors and be a valuable resource for all pop enthusiasts ...
... and to all have a bit of fun and camaraderie!
Bert (U K C H A R T S)
Uncle Dave & all the Whitburn Guys
And any we've forgotten. not forgetting all who've contributed upgrade versions and corrections
kirkm, May 2007