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Tuesday, July 13, 1999 Published at 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK


Blur boss demands chart re-run

Blur: New single failed to reach Top Ten

The manager of pop band Blur is demanding a re-run of last week's Top 40 singles chart after sales figures from two of the UK's biggest retailers were missed out from the final countdown.

Chris Morrison believes the chart of 4 July was inaccurate because data from the Virgin and Our Price chains was omitted from the survey.

Blur's Coffee And TV single failed to make the Top 10 that week - and Morrison blames the lack of details from the two retailers. The song reached number 11 instead.

He told industry magazine Music Week: "It was completely inaccurate information. We lost a third or maybe 40% of our sales by not having information from those shops."

The managing director of record company Universal-Island is also angry. Marc Marot believes US rock band Semisonic also missed out on a top ten placing for their song Secret Smile, only making number 13.

[ image: Morrison believes up to 40% of sales were lost]
Morrison believes up to 40% of sales were lost
He said: "All we have had is a mealy-mouthed apology from the charts' police force."

The problem is thought to centre on computer problems at Virgin and Our Price while they moved their mainframe computers to new headquarters in Bristol.

Only information from the beginning of the week was submitted to chart compilers Millward Brown, with information for later in the week missing a Saturday night deadline for inclusion in the following day's charts.

In addition to this, the software program which compiles the charts deletes early sales data which is not updated - so even those figures were lost.

The later data did arrive early on Sunday morning - but Millward Brown could not include it in that evening's chart.

The top of that week's charts - which featured dance act ATB at number one - are not thought to have been affected by the loss of data. But lower down the charts, some changes are thought to have occurred.

Millward Brown has rejected calls for a re-run because it would breach a confidentiality agreement. It would be possible to deduce Virgin and Our Price's market share from any second chart - which could make it easier for the charts to be rigged.

The latest problems are likely to re-open the debate over the way the Top 40 is compiled.

Critics say it's now too easy to get a single into the charts and album sales are a better reflection of what's hot and what's not.

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