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Forum - Other Charts: Australia - Non ARIA - Post ARIA Q : How Were The AMR Charts Compiled?

Pre ARIA taking compiling of the charts in house in mid 88 obviouslly the KMR/AMR charts were collated through record sales. How was this done therefore after aria took over and going into the 90's? Was it a mixture of sales and airplay? Comparing some positions from AMR and ARIA they were sometimes very close or with quite a gap of difference.
The Kent/AMR charts were done by mailing out a list of the chart plus the next 100-200 extra songs and new release for the week, and record stores would score 0 to 5 on the sheet to indicate 5 for a higher seller and 0 for a non seller, with the other numbers in-between showing how much was sold in that store.

They also factored in the radio station charts from each city (which was the main form of compiling for Kent in the mid-1970's up until the late 70's). Then they would tabulate the numbers and then lay out the chart in order of highest calculated song to lowest.

So at this time physical sales/shipped numbers were only kept by the record companies, and then they could award certifications, while AMR/Kent was using instore data and info for their listings.

When I was working in music retail in the late 90's and early 2000's, I got to be the tabulator of sales in my stores (three in total), and then fax(!) the info through to them by Thursday 5pm for the next weeks chart to be calculated, as Friday was New Release day (still is) and those new songs would go on to next weeks sheet of songs and albums.

I hope that explains a few things for you Jesse.
Thanks Bullion. It was just siomething that had been on my mind after seeing the difference between ARIA and AMR positions and made me wonder how it was tabulated. Now i have a greater understanding. You could probably write a book based on your experiences in music retail.
Thanks for the info, builion. So the Kent Music Report chart wasn't strictly based on sales? I know electronic point of sale sales tracking wasn't available then, but still... I assumed record stores would have reported the actual number of copies sold in their store, rather than ranking the sales level from 1 to 5.
Hadn't heard of the 0-5 system before, that's interesting to know. I also didn't know new release day was on Friday in the late '90s/early '00s - I thought the chart week was changed to Fri-Thu in 2009 because shops were putting new releases out on the Friday ahead of an official street date on Saturday (as seen in Kings of Leon and Metallica's 2008 albums climbing to #1 in their 2nd week).

In fact, I looked up the chartifacts thread and you said exactly that:

https://australian-charts.com/forum.asp?todo=viewthread&id=24020

"Last week Metallica charted on one day of pre-sales when stores sold their album on the Friday, and this week it has happens again, as the third album by Kings of Leon becomes the highest debut at No.4 on one day of sales."

Did it change from Friday to Saturday at some point between the early 2000s and 2008?
I guess the 0 to 5 system was the most effective at the time since the internet hadn't either existed or been advanced enough for sales to be calculated electronically. You can't exactly write down a mark next to each individual single or album as to how many were sold. Thinking as i write this though, was it possible to keep a tally of what had been sold every time the barcode was scanned or was this nigh impossible until later in the 90's?
the system of release date and chart week have changed over the years many times. Some used to Friday in the 80's, then Saturday in the 90's because people be out shopping on the weekend moreso, but it has always been nearer the end of the week (thanks for brining up my quote too).

Barcodes were on some items from the mid 80's onwards, but it wasn't until the start of the 90's that it became universally incorporated, and then the ess (electronic sales system) was used to track sales.

Nugs, as I mentioned in my initial post, only the record companies kept their sales figures and shipping info, and maybe they reported that info to the record companies, especially when re-ordering sold out/hot selling titles, so unfortunately we don't have that info.
Ah, thanks for the information.
Very interesting read!

Didn't know the existence of the 0-5 system and that airplay was included in the Kent Music reports.

In France release date were on Mondays up until the early 2010s if I'm not wrong. Thought it was the same in Australia until the mid 00d
I believe that was quite common across the world, until 2015's big shift to basically every national chart being Friday-Thursday
I was under the impression that most new releases in Australia were on a Monday during the 1980s and 1990s, into the early 2000s. I remember buying certain things on the Monday of the week they were released, during that era, too. The Monday release dates in the Kent/Australian Music Report and, later, ARIA Report also often match the chart debut date (debuting on the following week's chart, or fortnight's chart in the case of KMR/AMR as that's how their charts were dated).
There's a video hits top 30 from 1994 out on the web which had a competition to win a copy of Tina Arena's 'Don't Ask' album before anyone in the world. That AMR chart is dated 13/11/94 and the album was out the next day on the monday the 14th. So perhaps for some releases it was a friday and for some record companies it was a monday?
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I'm pretty confident it was a Monday for most, if not all of, the 80s and 90s in Australia. Though occasionally things would go on sale a day or so early, when embargoes were ignored/less of a thing (e.g. 'Vogue' and 'Confide In Me' both had early debuts after a day of sales in limited outlets, which stopped both debuting at #1).
It never occurred to me with those two songs you mentioned that they might have gone on sale early, nugs, until you mentioned it. It would certainly account for the huge leap to the number one spot for both tracks the following week.
Jesse'77, this is a bit of an aside, but the state chart debuts for those two singles are quite revealing:

Vogue:
NSW/ACT #41 (#1 following week)
VIC/TAS #2 (#1 following week)
QLD #157 (#2 following week)
SA/NT #158 (#1 following week)
WA #158 (#4 following week)


Confide In Me:
NSW/ACT #33 (#1 following week)
VIC/TAS #19 (#1 following week)
QLD #67 (#2 following week)
SA/NT #81 (#1 following week)
WA #64 (#2 following week)
An aside yes, but an interesting one. #158 for vogue in two states
I reckon, though don't know for certain, that #158 might have been the lowest position that week... so 'Vogue' may not have sold a single copy (due to it not yet being on sale anywhere) in those states. While state chart-only positions happen in 1988 and early 1989, from the chart survey dated 27/3/1989 (week ending 3/4/1989), it seems that anything that made a state chart also registered on the national chart; and, conversely, anything that made the national chart was given a placing on all of the state charts.
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You've got to remember a lot of the data calculated and provided to ARIA at the time I would consider 'shonkey' and definitely not 100% accurate.
I for one managed to have access to new release singles (mainly) at my local record store during the mid 90's before they even hit the shelves and that was part of the fun aswell, stumbling across the latest Mariah Carey release or whatever it was you were a fan of.
I distinctly remember a trip into Sydney one Saturday night to go to a rugby league match at the Sydney Football Stadium and I stopped in at Utopia records at Town Hall and on the counter they had a unopened box of Bon Jovi's new album 'Bounce'. I asked the guy if I could buy it and he said it wasn't available til Monday but I didn't get it off him
Elaborate by all means on why you believe the data provided to ARIA would be considered shonkey, beanster. I'd be very interested to know.
From the outside the top 100 chart info I have, the release dates in the ARIA Report generally match up quite well with the chart entry dates (with the single debuting on the chart survey dated a week after its Monday release date). I'd say the release dates in the ARIA Report from the 1990s are usually, though not always, accurate.
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I can only think off the top of my head of one instance where two back to back positions were actually reversed the following week which was in 1990. Other than that no mistakes/corrections come to mind


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