Time flies when you’re counting album sales and while Bliss N Eso are currently gracing the top of the charts today it was none other than Michael Jackson, and his blockbuster Thriller that was at #1 thirty years ago today.

A fact that ARIA points out in their birthday celebrations as they launched the first ever ARIA Chart on this day thirty years ago on 10th July 1983.

Since then they’ve published over 1,500 weekly ARIA Charts, with 527 #1 Albums and 440 #1 Singles, starting with Bonnie Tyler’s pop-opera classic ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” three decades ago today. In that time, ARIA has become Australia’s authoritative chart trackers, expanding into separate genre charts as the market diversified, as well as launching their annual ARIA Awards in 1987 and Australia’s first ever streaming charts in December last year, collecting combined stats of physical, digital, and streaming data from over 1,200 retailers and music service partners nationally.

“The ARIA Charts were created for artists, record companies, publishers, songwriters, retailers and fans to know what is going on with music sales right across the country,” said ARIA Chairman Denis Handlin, who was on the original 1983 board, of the 30 year milestone.

“On behalf of the ARIA Board and members, our thanks go to the retailers and digital service providers that contribute their sales information and to the ARIA Chart team for their dedication in compiling the weekly charts. The history of the singles and albums captured by the ARIA Charts not only represents brilliant recorded music but also the soundtrack to our lives,” he said. “The history of the singles and albums captured by the ARIA Charts not only represents brilliant recorded music but also the soundtrack to our lives.” – Denis Handlin, ARIA

That soundtrack includes a healthy dose of Australian music, with an intriguing lis of statistics providing some great insight into the history of the ARIA Charts (and some excellent fodder for music trivia junkies).

Kylie Minogue, John Farnham, and Jimmy Barnes prove to be the most popular Australian artists since the launch of the ARIA Charts. Farnham enjoys the honour of the longest running reign at the top of the Albums Chart, with 47 weeks at the top, followed by Cold Chisel belter Barnesy, at second place with 31 weeks, but pips Farnham to the post for the Most #1 Albums with 9 to his 8.

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Kylie Minogue scoops a number of significant achievements too, spending 30 weeks at the top of the Singles Charts, the most of any Aussie artist, second only to Madonna (at 38 weeks) with whom she shares the most #1 singles with 10 a piece to Madonna and ‘Our Kylie’.

Another female holds the longest running Australian #1 Album, with Delta Goodrem’s Innocent Eyes reigning the charts for 29 weeks, while Gotye’s Kimbra-featuring ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ continues to prove itself to be an accolade-monger; the 2011 song sharing the record for most weeks at #1 for a single alongside Savage Garden’s ‘Truly Madley Deeply’ (in 1997) and ‘Australiaina’ by Austen Tayshus (in 1983).

Including internationals however, the longest running #1 single of the last 30 years, sitting on the throne for 13 weeks and beating the likes of Bryan Adams and Spice Girls, is Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ (shame the rapper can’t seem to capitalise on his down under popularity); while Dire Straits 1985 album Brothers In Arms is the longest running #1 ARIA album at 34 weeks, followed close behind by the 31 week reign of Adele’s 21. 

The most #1 Albums goes to U2 with 11 records by the Irish icons reaching the top, trailed by Madonna (with 10), Bon Jovi (with 9) matched by the aforementioned efforts by Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham.

Always The Bridesmaid’ awards go to Radiohead, the influential Oxford quintet having five #2 albums over the ARIA Albums Chart history without ever hitting #1, while Nelly Furtado replicates the same feat in the Singles Chart with three #2 Singles that never claimed pole position.

ARIA Chart Records

527 #1 Albums
214: USA
149: Australia
83: UK
24: Canada
20: Ireland
1: New Zealand, Colombia, Denmark, Spain, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Sweden
27: Other

440 #1 Singles
219: USA
92: Australia
57: UK
13: Canada
8: Ireland, Sweden
6: Germany, Barbados
4: Jamaica
3: France, Colombia, Denmark, Spain
2: Italy, New Zealand
1: British Virgin Islands, South Korea, Austria, Finland, India, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia
2: Other

All Releases

Most weeks at #1 – Singles Chart
Coolio: Gangsta’s Paradise – 13 weeks (1995/96)
Eminem: Lose Yourself – 12 weeks (2002/03)
Bryan Adams: Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – 11 weeks (1991)
Space Girls: Wannabe – 11 weeks (1996/1997)
Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You – 10 weeks (1992/93)
Sandi Thom: I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) – 10 weeks (2006)
LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock: Party Rock Anthem – 10 weeks (2011)

Most weeks at #1 – Albums Chart
Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms – 34 weeks (1985/86)
Adele: 21 – 31 weeks (2011/12)
Delta Goodrem: Innocent Eyes – 29 weeks (2003/04)
John Farnham: Whispering Jack – 25 weeks (1986/87)
Shania Twain : Come On Over – 20 weeks (1999)

Australian Releases

Most weeks at #1 – Singles Chart
Austen Tayshus: Australiana – 8 weeks (1983)
Savage Garden: Truly Madly Deeply – 8 weeks (1997)
Gotye Feat. Kimbra: Somebody That I Used To Know – 8 weeks (2011)
John Farnham: You’re The Voice – 7 weeks (1986)
Pseudo Echo: Funkytown – 7 weeks (1986/87)
Kylie Minogue: Locomotion – 7 weeks (1987)

Most weeks at #1 – Albums Chart
Delta Goodrem: Innocent Eyes – 29 weeks (2003/04)
John Farnham: Whispering Jack – 25 weeks (1986/87)
Savage Garden: Savage Garden – 19 weeks (1997)
Icehouse: Man Of Colours – 11 weeks (1987)
Australian Cast: Jesus Christ Superstar – 10 weeks (1992)
Crowded House: Recurring Dream – 10 weeks (1996/97)

All Artists
Most weeks at #1 – Singles Chart
Madonna – 38 weeks
Kylie Minogue – 30 weeks
Black Eyed Peas – 30 weeks
Rihanna – 29 weeks
Eminem – 27 weeks

Most #1 Singles
Madonna – 10
Kylie Minogue – 10
Black Eyed Peas – 8
Delta Goodrem – 8
Eminem – 7
P!nk – 7

Most weeks at #1 – Albums Chart
John Farnham – 47 weeks
Dire Straits – 35 weeks
Adele – 32 weeks
Jimmy Barnes – 31 weeks
Delta Goodrem – 31 weeks

Most #1 Albums
U2 – 11
Madonna – 10
Jimmy Barnes – 9
Bon Jovi – 9
John Farnham – 8

Australian Artists
Most weeks at #1 – Singles Chart
Kylie Minogue – 30 weeks
Guy Sebastian – 15 weeks
Delta Goodrem – 12 weeks
Silverchair – 12 weeks
John Farnham – 11 weeks

Most #1 Singles
Kylie Minogue – 10
Delta Goodrem – 8
Guy Sebastian – 6
Silverchair – 3
Shannon Noll – 3

Most weeks at #1 – Albums Chart
John Farnham – 47 weeks
Jimmy Barnes – 31 weeks
Delta Goodrem – 31 weeks
Savage garden – 25 weeks
The 12th Man – 19 weeks

Most #1 Albums
Jimmy Barnes – 9
John Farnham – 8
The 12th Man – 7
Crowded House – 5
Silverchair – 5
Powderfinger – 5

Youngest chart-toppers

Singles: Gabrielle Cilmi – Sweet About Me (2008. 16 years, 6 months, 4 days)
Albums: Miley Cyrus – Breakout (2008. 15 years, 9 months, 23 days)

Oldest chart-toppers

Singles: Cher – Believe (1999. 52 years, 8 months)
Albums: Bob Dylan – Modern Times (2006. 65 years, 3 months)

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