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The selection of these 100 tracks has been very much another "labour of love".

I have always had a great love of collecting records which I am sure I inherited from my father, who owned a vast quantity of those old, heavy and highly breakable (who sat on "Home on the Range" then?) "78's", ranging from operatic arias by Gigli to wistful "Indian Love Lyrics", taking in Richard Tauber on the way! I can still recall those crackly old sounds filling the living room back in the late 1940's.

The very first record I bought was "Last Train to San Fernando" by Johnny Duncan & The Bluegrass Boys, back in the summer of 1957. It was to be another two and a half years before I received my own "Dansette" record player as a much looked-forward-to 1959 Christmas present, and I graduated to "45's", "EP's" and "LP's". Cliff Richard's "Travellin' Light" being the first "45" and "Adam" by Mr Faith, a prized first "LP".

The purchase of a reel-to-reel tape recorder shortly after, enabled me to produce my own "DJ Shows" - modelled on Radio Luxembourg (did I fade in and out, I wonder?), which were distributed among friends (I sent tapes regularly to a pen-friend, Janet Hurt, in Sheffield). It also meant a yearly "Top 20" tape of my own favourites became a feature of the "swinging-sixties"!

Graduating from being a member, then a helper, finally to Leader of a local Boys' Club gave me the opportunity of greater airings of what I now recorded on the latest media - cassette tapes. And although most of those tapes have mercifully disappeared, broken or worn out, I amazingly, do still have "Top 20" tapes from 1974 to 1978 - with Mr Poole sounding like a "country-yokel" DJ!

Time marches on, and no tapes were made from 1979 onwards, but in 1990 I did take the time to record (without commentary as my DJ days were consigned to history!) a list of my favourite 50 records of all time - a sort of extended "Desert Island Discs", actually.

With the emergence of CD's as the prime medium of music recordings, I have, over the past decade replaced many of my precious records - together with some new favourites including classical. So I thought it was about time that I reviewed the list and produced a new "All Time Top 100", reflecting the changes in my musical tastes over that period.

So that is what I have done. Selecting only from my CD collection, these are my choices. What is interesting is not so much what is in the list but who and what isn't.

Now some facts and figures to please the statisticians among you!

Less than half the songs (47) were actual hit records in this Country - but those 47 total 576 weeks in the UK charts (averaging over 12 weeks each). 35 of the 100 have only been released as album tracks and 13 singles never charted nationally at all in Britain.

There are just 6 UK national no. 1's, 6 no. 2's, 4 no. 3's and 30 other top 10 hits. 6 tracks are from the 1950's, 37 from the 1960's, 29 from the 1970's, 16 from the 1980's, 4 from the 1990's and 8 from the 2000's. 5 are "b-sides" and of those 5, the Drifters account for 2 and the group's ex-lead vocalist Ben E. King another.

There are 59 American records, 34 British, 3 Australian, 2 Swedish, and 1 each from Canada and France. The artists with the most entries are Dr Hook (9), Roy Orbison (7) & Gene Pitney (6). The longest run in the Charts was by Roy Orbison (37 weeks - "Only The Lonely" in 1960/1) and the only performers with two songs in my Top 20 are Billy Joel & White Plains. There are, in total, 67 artists or groups, of which 31 are British and 30 American. 34 are male solo singers, 4 are solo females and 23 are male groups. 5 are mixed male and female groups.

The list is sub-divided into 5 groups of 20 on the linked webpages accessed below. The Top 50 are very much my favourites in order. However, the remaining 50, although listed in numerical order, are in all honesty very difficult - indeed virtually impossible - to separate in that ordered way. They could easily be listed the other way around! I hope the additional notes on the songs and the artists (much gleaned from the net - including the artistes websites, lots from album covers) will be of some interest.

Although initial comments on each composition are very much my own, I wish to take this opportunity of thanking the many artist's websites that I have searched for the vast amounts of facts and information contained here-in. Very special thanks must go to a remarkable website - chartstats.com, which has provided me with untold statistical information. It really is an invaluable site, deserving of the highest praise. Thanks, too, to Wikipedia where much information has been garnered. Finally, I wish to remind those of you taking the time to read these pages, that it is very much a personal choice - just a bit of harmless fun - and it doesn't mean that the best singers in the world are featured. What it does indicate is that I really prefer a strong ballad with a good melody and story-telling lyrics, compared to hard rock, garage or rap!!!

If you have any comments - please get in touch by email.

OK - off you go, click 1 to 20 to reveal the first 20 songs.


CHART POSITIONS

1 to 20 21 to 40 41 to 60 61 to 80 81 to 100

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