How To Have 1000 Number Ones - The Easy Way

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Go Now

Having exhausted the Number Ones offered by my existing record collection, the time has now come to begin the serious business of record-hunting, in an attempt to track down the 890 chart-toppers that remain so far unclaimed. I have also been forced to start spending money in order to continue my ludicrous quest.

So far I have spent the princely sum of £8.49 and have thus acquired 10 more Number One records. Those of you who are skilled in the art of mathematics will have already noted that this works out at an average of 84.9p for each chart-topper, marginally higher than the 79p figure I originally set myself as an upper limit.

I am, however, satisfied with the current spending level, because the first £4 went towards a pair of original 7” singles, complete with picture sleeves, namely Going Underground/The Dreams of Children and Start, the first two Number One hits by the Jam*.

This purchase was followed by the first of many visits to a charity fund-raising shop, where I was able to lay my hands on a copy of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 45’. In an ideal world this would have boosted the collection by the tune of 10 Number Ones, but on returning home I was disappointed to discover that only one of the expected two CDs was actually in the case, reducing the total benefit to just 6 chart-toppers. I decided against making a rather uncharitable complaint to the Marie Curie Cancer Care organisation, and so Fragma’s Toca’s Miracle, the 856th Number One, will just have to wait.

I would have been glad to own the Fragma record, as it is an excellent single. On the other hand I would have been perfectly content, notwithstanding my mission, to have spent the rest of my days without a copy of the 852nd Number One, Bag It Up by Geri Halliwell. But I must accept that, having entered into this escapade, I have only myself to blame for being forced into the purchase of terrible records.

That particular single is, at least, just one track on a compilation that also contains a couple of good records, such as Madison Avenue’s Don’t Call Me Baby. The same can not be said for my most recent acquisition, the CD single of Words by Boyzone. Despite the very reasonable asking price of 50p (thanks to another charity shop), I am almost certain that under normal circumstances I would never have considered spending as much as 5p on this item.

There is, of course, much worse to come. The 748th Number One is at least blandly inoffensive enough to listen to without feeling the need to run screaming from the room. In order to retain my sanity, I will remind myself that I can still enjoy the luxury of not owning the 698th. You’ll have to look that one up yourself – I can’t even bring myself to say it.

* You already know, of course, that the Jam hit the top 4 times in their career, and I’m sure you don’t need me tell you the titles of the other two, do you?


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