Release date: 4th January 2012
Acrobat Music’s series of British Hit Parade collections has become an essential annual purchase for a significant number of collectors and enthusiasts who wish to hear and own every record that entered the British record charts during each year. As the collections move into the ‘60s, the steady but inexorable shift in the balance of the music styles represented in the charts continues. As with 1960, when the New Musical Express and Record Retailer charts were extended to a Top 50, and including all the records which only charted in Melody Maker, Disc or Record Mirror, the number of titles in the complete anthology is well over 300, in this case 327, to be exact, meaning that the collection comprises 12 CDs, once again released by Acrobat as three 4-CD box sets, our well-established format for these releases. Part One includes the original versions of every record that entered the charts mentioned between 1st January and the 27th April (one 28th April entry starts Part 2) in chronological order of chart entry, with nearly four hours of eclectic and fascinating entertainment. The charts of 1961 saw several important new names making their debut alongside the big names of rock ‘n’ roll who had managed to achieve commercial longevity which the Tin Pan Alley pundits said they would never do. There were still the inevitable lightweight novelty hits, and a strong showing from the trad jazz fraternity, while the popularity of instrumental hits of all kinds continued. Some excellent soul-flavoured American hits made their impact this year, while many 50s-era crooners maintained a solid chart presence. With the extended chart, there are also a healthy helping of obscure and collectable one-hit wonders. It was certainly a year that the musicologists would have fun analysing, but there was no hint yet of the musical storm that was brewing in Liverpool and Hamburg. We would point out once again that another company has made an opportunist attempt to mimic our series – we like to think that Acrobat’s are the “official” version, and we offer the only complete, comprehensive, coherent annual series. We thank our customers for supporting our British Hit Parade releases, and are sure this will one will prove as popular as the rest.