For a while earlier this month one of the hot email memes going around was a Number One In History web site, though it’s been taken offline now. Happily there’s another site which is online, and even better, it can tell you the number one hits in Australia, the USA and the UK.
Like many others I checked what song was number 1 (in the USA) on the day I was born. It was “War!” by Edwin Starr. Ah, now there’s a good, worthy hit record. I was so inspired by this that I invested A$1.69 and bought it off iTunes. (The Australian number 1 the week I was born was Simon & Garfunkel’s “El Condor Pasa”, which I have somewhere on an old S&G compilation CD.)
Sadly my kids’ birth week number ones are rather less inspiring. Jeremy’s was some sappy Celine Dion number (“My Heart Will Go On” — puke-o-rama). Isaac’s was Merril Bainbridge (“Mouth”), the name of whom is familiar, but I can’t place the tune. (And it’s not on iTunes.)
The site from the email was taken offline by request from Billboard, which owns the US chart data. They want people to pay for archived chart information. If I were in charge of the record industry had any brains, they’d put up an official free “Number 1 this week” archive web site with direct links into iTunes and other online music retailers so you could buy the song with a few clicks. Precisely this kind of thing is what iTunes is designed for.
But hey, a lot of stuff would be different if I ran the world.