In a move designed to more accurately reflect the musical tastes of the public, the British singles charts, compiled by The Official UK Charts Company and published in Music Week magazine, is to include tracks that have been illegally downloaded or stolen from record shops.
According to one industry spokesman, millions of pounds worth of music is illegally copied, distributed or shoved up a jumper in HMV every year. ‘It’s only fair that these tunes are taken into account when we work out the nation’s weekly top ten hit parade.’
However many musical artistes criticised the move, following a trial run last month which saw the single ‘Atmosphere – Basildon Bond’s Madhouse Mix’ suddenly leap from number 308 to number 1. Chart officials have denied any link between this and the arrest of a 62 year old comedian and entertainer following a break-in at a South London CD pulping and recycling centre.