I’m marking each of the singles out of 10. Marks will vary according to my mood and circumstances as well as by the quality of the record. No consistency is intended and none should be assumed – take them as seriously as you like. If you’re registered and logged in, you can give your OWN mark out of 10 to each record, and the aggregate shows up on the FT Readers Top 100 view.

Baby jumps:   1955   1960   1965   1970   1975   1980   1985   1990   1995   2000


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  1. 121
    Neil C on 31 Mar 2016 #

    Hello all – I’ve been reading Popular for the last 3 years (came in around the time of Earth Song) and it has fast become my favourite music site, particularly after reading Mr Lineman’s wonderful hostory of pop, Yeah Yeah Yeah.

    I was really taken aback by my own anticipation levels for an upcoming bunny this Easter (one that I Find Hard To Expunge From My Mind), and it got me thinking about the whole Popular enterprise, and how much it’s enriched my appreciation of music.

    Over the years I’ve generally relied on my memory of these songs while reading Popular, playing them back in my mind rather than actually listening to them.  Thar changed recently when I discovered the option to list the entries by score – I put all the 9s and 10s on a playlist, LOVED it, added the 8s and 7s, in quick succession, and suddenly I had 10 hours of wonderful pop music spanning 50 years!

    As someone who listens mainly to albums, hearing these hits back-to-back has been a revelation. No filler tracks to grimly push through – every song sparkles with vitality, and the range of styles is astonishing, even in a single year. I’ve rediscovered many songs I thought my Uni disco had ruined forever (ABBA, The Buggles) and songs that my teenage indie self would have dismissed out of hand (Backstreet Boys and, unbelievably, Livin’ Joy), as well as digging some old favourites out for the first time in far too long.

    I’ve now cut the list down even further to my own selection of the 100 best, and it’s just terrific. I’m going to get so much fun out of these songs – soundtracks to exercise, making my siblings mix CDs that they’ll actually play, and (most importantly) introducing my baby daughter to the wonder of pop music.

    So thankyou Tom and all you marvellous  comments people – you’ve reminded me how amazing pop music can be!

  2. 122
    Tom on 7 Apr 2016 #

    Thankyou Neil! I missed this comment when you posted it!

    Early days of course but we currently have a new 00s number one. I can see it holding that position too.

  3. 123
    weej on 4 May 2016 #

    Very cool toy here – http://polygraph.cool/history/ – which lets you play through a visualised rundown of the US top 5 from 1956-2016, not sure where to put it but sure a lot of people on here might spend an evening playing with it. Hope we can get one for the UK top 5 too.

  4. 124
    EPG on 15 Sep 2017 #

    is so good

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    […] by Tom Ewing’s “Popular” (which traces the history of UK #1 singles) and Tom Breihan’s “The Number Ones” (which […]

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    […] by Tom Ewing’s “Popular” (which traces the history of UK #1 singles) and Tom Breihan’s “The Number Ones” (which […]

  7. 127

    […] by Tom Ewing’s “Popular” (which traces the history of UK #1 singles) and Tom Breihan’s “The Number Ones” (which […]

  8. 128

    […] by Tom Ewing’s “Popular” (which traces the history of UK #1 singles) and Tom Breihan’s “The Number Ones” (which […]

  9. 129

    […] by Tom Ewing’s “Popular” (which traces the history of UK #1 singles) and Tom Breihan’s “The Number Ones” (which […]

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    Marc B on 13 Dec 2019 #

    Is something awry with the readers’ scores? I note that Dirrty has the third (!) highest score whilst pretty much everything else posted of late is tied in last place with a score of zero. I always rather liked seeing what the Popular community rated and the extent to which that correlated with Tom’s score. Is nobody scoring tracks anymore (other then whoever gave Christina a 9) or is there something up with the system?

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    lonepilgrim on 16 Dec 2019 #

    I suspect it’s because so many of us are locked out by the filtering system and can no longer log on to vote. Meanwhile the filtering system seems to let an assortment of bots to post

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    Gareth Parker on 3 Jun 2021 #

    Fantastic site! Keep up the great work Tom.

  13. 133
    Andrew F on 10 Jun 2021 #

    Congrats on commenting on all of them except 5 :)
    (6 if you count Telegram Sam, which could probably be unlocked at this stage?)

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