The curious case of the Israel singles chart

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The curious case of the Israel singles chart

Postby Peace Loving Guy » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:56 pm

For information on the historical Israeli singles chart, read this post. For Queen chart placings, skip to the next post.

Over the past few months, on the forum thread https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=47636 Israel Singles Chart 1987 – 1995, two posters, Ohanna and Yuvalzirier have been providing a wealth of stats from the Israeli singles chart that have presumably never been made easily available before. I thought it would be wise to post the Queen chart placings here so there’s a record for Queen historians and statisticians in case the information vanishes again.

If you’re in to charts, it’s a fascinating insight in to Queen’s huge popularity in Israel, and raises the tantalising and no doubt controversial question of whether 3 Queen songs should be added to the list of “official” number one singles.

All this information comes from Ohanna and Yuvalzirier and all credit to these guys for an impressive research effort.

The weekly chart ran from 1976 until 1997. It was broadcast on the Reshet Gimmel radio station, operating under the Kol Israel (“The Voice Of Israel”) network. It was modelled on the top 40 charts of the UK and USA. The chart was published every week in the music newspaper Lahiton (“Hit Paper”).

These charts are only coming to light now because Ohanna and Yuvalzirier have been tracking down old copies of Lahiton, which was written in Hebrew, and transcribing the charts in to English.

The reason why this chart is so curious (and contentious for Queen statisticians) is because it was not a sales based chart, nor even a radio play chart, but a phone-in vote to the radio station. There are a few arguments to be made about whether this chart should be considered “official” if it wasn’t sales based. Firstly, it was widely considered official in Israel, at least in the sense that it was the Chart Show. Secondly, there is presumably no rival chart at all, (sales based or otherwise). Thirdly, the chart was occasionally featured in US Billboard magazine as the Israeli singles chart. Ohanna also makes the point about the chart’s replacement in 1999 on the Galgalatz radio station:

… record companies refused to recognize this chart as the Official Israeli Chart since it was Rock oriented and the station refused to play successful dance and pop hits…”

The inference of this statement is that record companies did recognise the Reshet Gimmel chart as official. One other complicating factor is that the chart was for international artists only and Hebrew records were split off in to another chart.
 
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Re: The curious case of the Israel singles chart

Postby Peace Loving Guy » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:58 pm

Thanks to UKmix posters Ohanna and Yuvalzirier, here are Queen’s and Freddie’s known top ten chart placings on the Israel singles chart.

20.6.76 Bohemian rhapsody – Queen #1
27.6.76 Bohemian rhapsody – Queen #1
4.7.76 Bohemian rhapsody – Queen #1
* The first three weeks of the chart’s existence

25.7.76 You're my best friend – Queen #1
1.8.76 You're my best friend – Queen #1

Queen-Somebody to love-#4 (at least)

25.12.77 We are the champions – Queen #1

Queen-Bicycle race-#4 (highest peak)

Queen - Another One Bites The Dust - #1
Queen - Play The Game - #2 (highest peak)
Queen-Need Your Loving Tonight-#6 (at least)
Queen-Save Me-#3 (highest peak)

Queen & David Bowie-Under Pressure-#2 (highest peak)
Queen - Body Language - #9 (at least)
Queen-Las Palabras De Amor-#10 (highest peak)


Queen-Flash-#1

20.2.84 Radio ga ga – Queen #1
27.2.84 Radio ga ga – Queen #1

10.6.84 I want to break free – Queen #1
17.6.84 - no chart for an unknown reason
24.6.84 - no chart for an unknown reason
1.7.84 I want to break free – Queen #1
Queen-It's A Hard Life-#8 (at least)
4.11.84 Hammer to fall – Queen #1

Queen-A Kind Of Magic-#5 (highest peak)

Queen-I Want It All-#6 (highest peak)

3.12.91 Show must go on – Queen #1
10.12.91 Show must go on – Queen #1
24.12.91 Show must go on – Queen #1


Freddie Mercury-I Was Born To Love You-#4 (at least)
Freddie Mercury-Love Kills-#7 (at least)
Freddie Mercury-The Great Pretender-#7 (at least)

17.08.1993 Freddie Mercury - Living On My Own '93 #1
24.08.1993 Freddie Mercury - Living On My Own '93 #1
 
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Re: The curious case of the Israel singles chart

Postby Peace Loving Guy » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:05 pm

So, if this chart is considered official, You're My Best Friend, Hammer to Fall, and The Show Must Go On all made it to number 1 in at least one country! Sadly for the notorious "AKOM 35" myth, it only made it to number 5 in Israel.
 
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Re: The curious case of the Israel singles chart

Postby Hernán » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:01 pm

Thank you for this nice overview all of their singles/songs in Israel, where Queen were definitely hugely popular. In complement with that, for instance, I can add the album The Game charted in the Top 10 for like 7 months between 1980 and 1981.

And I have another curious case, the case of Iceland, thanks to information provided by the user Passing_Strang on UKmix: https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic. ... 7#p6376297

From October 1980 and 1984, Queen had 5 number one singles on Iceland charts. His explanation of the source:

The story with these charts is funny as I only completely by chance found them online - and I don't understand a word in icelandic! But from what I was able to gather the situation is this:

First, there was an album chart - don't know when it started but it was there as far as 1975. I didn't copy it as I'm mainly interested in the singles charts. The latter started in October 1980 (or maybe - and likely - restarted after an intermission; though there was no singles chart in either 1977, 1978 or 1979). The singles chart was a Top 10 all the way through to the early or mid 1990s - while the album one was Top 20, but strangely only a Top 10 was published (I came to this conclusion as there are frequent references to positions lower than 10).

The chart was published in the paper called "Visir", which in November 1981 merged with another newspaper "Dagblaðið" with the result being "Dagblaðið Visir". It was (is?) a daily paper and the chart was published on Friday of each week except for a week of national holidays in April and late December - early January period. There was also a big intermission in Autumn 1984 - don't really understand what happened but for a couple of months what is scanned of the newspaper looking like several scraps of paper stitched together.

The paper also published on the same page single and album charts from the USA and UK - or, as it was put, New York and London. Icelandic chart was therefore under the heading Reykjavik - but sometimes charts from other cities of the country appeared instead, like from Akyreyri (don't know why). In Spring 1984 they started to publish additional list which as I understand was by the leading radio startion "Ras 2", while the main (Reykjavik) chart was renamed "Þróttheimar" (I can only assume it was a sales-based chart). And in the late 1980s (maybe 1988, I didn't get to that point yet) there appeared an official Icelandic chart (Islenski Listinn). After that I don't really know as I didn't explore the 1990s yet, but I have a Top 20 chart from April 1998 so that must've lasted up until the very late 1990s or early 2000s. After that - no idea.

So after this bit of history, here go the charts! I'll post one month at a time.


Their chart topping singles were:

1980

10 October : Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
17 October : Another One Bites the Dust – Queen

1982

11 June : Body Language – Queen
18 June : Body Language – Queen
25 June : Body Language – Queen

24 September : Back Chat – Queen

1984

2 March : Radio Ga-Ga – Queen
9 March : Radio Ga-Ga – Queen

4 May : I Want to Break Free – Queen
11 May : I Want to Break Free – Queen
18 May : I Want to Break Free – Queen
25 May : I Want to Break Free – Queen

Incredible, but both Body Language and Back Chart were number one singles in Iceland. :shock: Body Language isn't that shocking as, contrary to popular belief, it was a relatively successful single in 1982, including the USA and Canada. But Back Chat is a real surprise.

Further proof of Queen's massive appeal across the world.
 
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