UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company, on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is defined by the Official Charts Company as either a'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence; the rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.
The OCC website contains the Top 100 chart. Some media outlets only list the Top 75 of this list; the chart week runs from 00:01 Friday to midnight Thursday, with most UK physical and digital singles being released on Fridays. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday; the Top 40 chart is first issued on Friday afternoons by BBC Radio 1 as The Official Chart from 16:00 to 17:45, before the full Official Singles Chart Top 100 is posted on the Official Charts Company's website. A rival chart show, The Vodafone Big Top 40, is based on iTunes downloads and commercial radio airplay across the Global Radio network only, is broadcast on Sunday afternoons from 16:00 to 19:00 on 145 local commercial radio stations across the United Kingdom; the Big Top 40 is not regarded by the industry or wider media. There is a show called "Official KISS Top 40", counting down 40 most played songs on Kiss FM every Sunday 17:00 to 19:00; the UK Singles Chart began to be compiled in 1952.
According to the Official Charts Company's statistics, as of 1 July 2012, 1,200 singles have topped the UK Singles Chart. The precise number of chart-toppers is debatable due to the profusion of competing charts from the 1950s to the 1980s, but the usual list used is that endorsed by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and subsequently adopted by the Official Charts Company; the company regards a selected period of the New Musical Express chart and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts coexisted side by side. For example, the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; the first number one on the UK Singles Chart was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino for the week ending date 14 November 1952. As of the week ending date 18 April 2019, the UK Singles Chart has had 1352 different number-one hits; the current number-one single is "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi.
Before the compilation of sales of records, the music market measured a song's popularity by sales of sheet music. The idea of compiling a chart based on sales originated in the United States, where the music-trade paper Billboard compiled the first chart incorporating sales figures on 20 July 1940. Record charts in the UK began in 1952, when Percy Dickins of the New Musical Express gathered a pool of 52 stores willing to report sales figures. For the first British chart Dickins telephoned 20 shops, asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs; these results were aggregated into a Top 12 chart published in NME on 14 November 1952, with Al Martino's "Here in My Heart" awarded the number-one position. The chart became a successful feature of the periodical. Record Mirror compiled its own Top 10 chart for 22 January 1955; the NME chart was based on a telephone poll. Both charts expanded in size, with Mirror's becoming a Top 20 in October 1955 and NME's becoming a Top 30 in April 1956. Another rival publication, Melody Maker, began compiling its own chart.
It was the first chart to include Northern Ireland in its sample. Record Mirror began running a Top 5 album chart in July 1956. In March 1960, Record Retailer had a Top 50 singles chart. Although NME had the largest circulation of charts in the 1960s and was followed, in March 1962 Record Mirror stopped compiling its own chart and published Record Retailer's instead. Retailer began independent auditing in January 1963, has been used by the UK Singles Chart as the source for number-ones since the week ending 12 March 1960; the choice of Record Retailer as the source has been criticised. With available lists of which record shops were sampled to compile the charts some shops were subjected to "hyping" but, with Record Retailer being less followed than some charts, it was subject to less hyping. Additionally, Retailer was set up by independent record shops and had no funding or affiliation with record companies. However, it had a smaller sample size than some ri
Diana Ross is an American singer and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, during the 1960s, became Motown's most successful act, are the best charting girl group in US history, as well as one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time; the group released a record-setting twelve number-one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Child", "Someday We'll Be Together". Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut solo album that same year, featuring the number-one Pop hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", she released the album Touch Me in the Morning in 1973. She continued a successful solo career through the 1970s, which included hit albums like Mahogany and Diana Ross and their number-one hit singles, "Theme from Mahogany" and "Love Hangover", respectively.
Her 1980 album Diana produced another number-one single, "Upside Down", as well as the international hit "I'm Coming Out". Ross' final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US number-one Pop hit, the duet "Endless Love" featuring Lionel Richie, whose solo career was launched with its success. Ross has ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues, she starred in two other feature films and The Wiz acting in the television films Out of Darkness, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, Double Platinum. Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history, due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist.
In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Supremes, alongside Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, she is a 12-time Grammy nominee, never earning a competitive honor, but became the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. In December 2016, Billboard magazine named her the 50th most successful dance artist of all time. In Billboard magazine's Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists chart, she ranked 16th as the lead singer of the Supremes and 26th as a solo artist. In December 2018, Diana Ross consolidated her status as a dance diva by ranking #3 in the Billboard Dance Club Songs Artists year-end chart. Diana Ross was born at the Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit on March 26, 1944, she was the second eldest child for Ernestine and Fred Ross, Sr.. Ross's older sister is American physician Barbara Ross-Lee. According to Ross, her mother named her "Diane", but, a clerical error resulted in her name being recorded as "Diana" on her birth certificate.
She was listed as "Diane" during the first Supremes records, she introduced herself as "Diane" until early in the group's heyday. Her friends and family still call her "Diane". Ross's grandfather John E. Ross, a native of Gloucester County, was born to Washington Ross and Virginia Baytop. Virginia Baytop's mother Francis "Frankey" Baytop was a former slave who had become a midwife after the Civil War. Ross and her family lived on Belmont Road in the North End section of Detroit, near Highland Park, where her neighbor was Smokey Robinson; when Ross was seven, her mother contracted tuberculosis, causing her to become ill. Ross's father moved with his children to live with relatives in Alabama. After her mother recovered, her family moved back to Detroit. On her 14th birthday in 1958, her family relocated to the working-class Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects settling at St. Antoine Street. Attending Cass Technical High School, a four-year college and preparatory magnet school, in downtown Detroit, Ross began taking classes including clothing design, pattern making, tailoring, as she had aspired to become a fashion designer.
She took modeling and cosmetology classes at the school and participated in three or four other extracurricular activities while there. Ross worked at Hudson's Department Store where it has been claimed in biographies, she was the first black employee "allowed outside the kitchen". For extra income, she provided hairdressing services for her neighbors. Ross graduated from Cass Tech in January 1962. At fifteen, Ross joined the Primettes, a sister group of a male vocal group called the Primes, after being brought to the attention of music manager Milton Jenkins by Primes member Paul Williams. Along with Ross, the other members included Florence Ballard, the first group member hired by Jenkins, Mary Wilson, Betty McGlown. Following a talent competition win in Windsor, Ontario, in 1960, the Primettes were invited to audition for Motown records. Ballard declined the offer, due to unsavory rumors of the unscrupulous business practices of Motown's founder, Berry Gordy. Following local success via live performances at sock hops, etc. Ross approached former neighbor, William "Smokey" Robinson, who insisted that the group a
Backing vocalists or backup singers are singers who provide vocal harmony with the lead vocalist or other backing vocalists. In some cases, a backing vocalist may sing alone as a lead-in to the main vocalist's entry or to sing a counter-melody. Backing vocalists are used in a broad range of popular music, traditional music and world music styles. Solo artists may employ professional backing vocalists in studio recording sessions as well as during concerts. In many rock and metal bands, the musicians doing backing vocals play instruments, such as guitar, electric bass, drums, or keyboards. In Latin or Afro-Cuban groups, backing singers may play percussion instruments or shakers while singing. In some pop and hip-hop groups and in musical theater, the backing singers may be required to perform elaborately choreographed dance routines while they sing through headset microphones; the style of singing used by backing singers varies according to the type of song and the genre of music the band plays.
In pop and country songs, backing vocalists may perform vocal harmony parts to support the lead vocalist. In hardcore punk or rockabilly, other band members who play instruments may sing or shout backing vocals during the chorus section of the songs. Alternative terms for backing vocalists include backing singers, backing vocals, additional vocals or in the United States and Canada, backup singers or sometimes background singers or harmony vocalists. While some bands use performers whose sole on-stage role is performing backing vocals, it is common for backing singers to have other roles. Two notable examples of band members who sang back-up are The Beatles; the Beach Boys were well known for their close vocal harmonies with all five members singing at once such as "In My Room" and "Surfer Girl". All five members would sing lead, although most Brian Wilson or Mike Love would sing lead with guitarists Carl Wilson and Al Jardine and drummer Dennis Wilson singing background harmonies; the Beatles were known for their close style of vocal harmonies – all Beatles members sang both lead and backing vocals at some point John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who supported each other with harmonies with fellow Beatle George Harrison joining in.
Ringo Starr, while not as prominent in the role of backing singer as his three bandmates due to his distinctive voice, can be heard singing backing vocals in such tracks as "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" and "Carry That Weight". Examples of three-part harmonies by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison include "Nowhere Man", "Because", "Day Tripper", "This Boy"; the members of Crosby, Nash & Young and Bee Gees all each wrote songs and sang back-up or lead vocals and played various instruments on their albums and various collaborations with each other. Former guitarist John Frusciante and current guitarist Josh Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers sing nearly all backing vocals singing some parts without accompaniment from lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis; the band's bassist Flea filled in for additional vocals. Frusciante sang one song by himself during concerts. Another example is "No Frontiers" by The Corrs, sung by Sharon and Caroline. Other backing vocalists include rhythm guitarist Sebastien Lefebvre & bass guitarist David Desrosiers of pop punk band Simple Plan, guitarist John Petrucci of Dream Theater, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett & bass guitarist Robert Trujillo of Metallica, guitarists Zacky Vengeance & Synyster Gates and of heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold.
In the recording studio, some lead singers record their own backing vocals by overdubbing with a multitrack recording system. A multitrack recording system enables the record producer to add many layers of recordings over top of each other. Using a multitrack system, a lead vocalist can record his or her own backing vocals, record the lead vocal part over top; some lead vocalists prefer this approach because the sound of their own harmonies will blend well with their main vocal. One famous example is Freddie Mercury of Queen singing the first part of "Bohemian Rhapsody" himself by overdubbing. Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Tom DeLonge of Angels and Airwaves, Wednesday 13 in his own band and Murderdolls, Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran and Brad Delp of Boston recorded lead and backing vocals for their albums. With the exception of a few songs on each album, Dan Fogelberg, Eddie Rabbitt, David Bowie and Richard Marx sing all of the background vocals for their songs. Robert Smith of the Cure not only sings his own backing vocals in the studio, but doesn't perform with backing vocalists when playing live.
Many metalcore and some post-hardcore bands, such as As I Lay Dying, Haste the Day and Silverstein feature a main vocalist who performs using harsh vocals, whilst the backing vocalist sings harmonies during choruses to create a contrast. Some bands, such as Hawthorne Heights and Finch have the backing singers do harsh vocals to highlight specific lyrics. Pop and R&B vocalists such as Diana Ross, Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé Knowles, Faith Evans, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige and Amerie have become known for not only recording their own backing vocals, but for arranging their own multi-tracked vocals and developing complex harmonies and arrangements; when they perform live, they may have backing vocalists. Some bands use backing vocals in order to contrast with the lead singer who may be performing an unusual vocal technique. For example, Brian "Head" Welch, the lead guitarist of the band Korn, performed backin
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog digital recording. Acoustic analog recording is achieved by a microphone diaphragm that senses changes in atmospheric pressure caused by acoustic sound waves and records them as a mechanical representation of the sound waves on a medium such as a phonograph record. In magnetic tape recording, the sound waves vibrate the microphone diaphragm and are converted into a varying electric current, converted to a varying magnetic field by an electromagnet, which makes a representation of the sound as magnetized areas on a plastic tape with a magnetic coating on it. Analog sound reproduction is the reverse process, with a bigger loudspeaker diaphragm causing changes to atmospheric pressure to form acoustic sound waves. Digital recording and reproduction converts the analog sound signal picked up by the microphone to a digital form by the process of sampling.
This lets the audio data be transmitted by a wider variety of media. Digital recording stores audio as a series of binary numbers representing samples of the amplitude of the audio signal at equal time intervals, at a sample rate high enough to convey all sounds capable of being heard. A digital audio signal must be reconverted to analog form during playback before it is amplified and connected to a loudspeaker to produce sound. Prior to the development of sound recording, there were mechanical systems, such as wind-up music boxes and player pianos, for encoding and reproducing instrumental music. Long before sound was first recorded, music was recorded—first by written music notation also by mechanical devices. Automatic music reproduction traces back as far as the 9th century, when the Banū Mūsā brothers invented the earliest known mechanical musical instrument, in this case, a hydropowered organ that played interchangeable cylinders. According to Charles B. Fowler, this "...cylinder with raised pins on the surface remained the basic device to produce and reproduce music mechanically until the second half of the nineteenth century."
The Banū Mūsā brothers invented an automatic flute player, which appears to have been the first programmable machine. Carvings in the Rosslyn Chapel from the 1560s may represent an early attempt to record the Chladni patterns produced by sound in stone representations, although this theory has not been conclusively proved. In the 14th century, a mechanical bell-ringer controlled by a rotating cylinder was introduced in Flanders. Similar designs appeared in barrel organs, musical clocks, barrel pianos, music boxes. A music box is an automatic musical instrument that produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder or disc so as to pluck the tuned teeth of a steel comb; the fairground organ, developed in 1892, used a system of accordion-folded punched cardboard books. The player piano, first demonstrated in 1876, used a punched paper scroll that could store a long piece of music; the most sophisticated of the piano rolls were hand-played, meaning that the roll represented the actual performance of an individual, not just a transcription of the sheet music.
This technology to record a live performance onto a piano roll was not developed until 1904. Piano rolls were in continuous mass production from 1896 to 2008. A 1908 U. S. Supreme Court copyright case noted that, in 1902 alone, there were between 70,000 and 75,000 player pianos manufactured, between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 piano rolls produced; the first device that could record actual sounds as they passed through the air was the phonautograph, patented in 1857 by Parisian inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. The earliest known recordings of the human voice are phonautograph recordings, called phonautograms, made in 1857, they consist of sheets of paper with sound-wave-modulated white lines created by a vibrating stylus that cut through a coating of soot as the paper was passed under it. An 1860 phonautogram of Au Clair de la Lune, a French folk song, was played back as sound for the first time in 2008 by scanning it and using software to convert the undulating line, which graphically encoded the sound, into a corresponding digital audio file.
On April 30, 1877, French poet, humorous writer and inventor Charles Cros submitted a sealed envelope containing a letter to the Academy of Sciences in Paris explaining his proposed method, called the paleophone. Though no trace of a working paleophone was found, Cros is remembered as the earliest inventor of a sound recording and reproduction machine; the first practical sound recording and reproduction device was the mechanical phonograph cylinder, invented by Thomas Edison in 1877 and patented in 1878. The invention soon spread across the globe and over the next two decades the commercial recording and sale of sound recordings became a growing new international industry, with the most popular titles selling millions of units by the early 1900s; the development of mass-production techniques enabled cylinder recordings to become a major new consumer item in industrial countries and the cylinder was the main consumer format from the late 1880s until around 1910. The next major technical development was the invention of the gramophone record credited to Emile Berliner and patented in 1887, though others had demonstrated simi
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45