James Masterton's Chart Watch UK

An online fixture for a quarter of a century, James Masterton's weekly insight into the UK charts is required reading for music fans across the globe.


Hello, I'm James Masterton. Since 1992 I've been writing a weekly guide and analysis to the UK charts. Dedicated to telling the story behind each hit, putting chart moves and records in their full context, this has been essential reading for generations of music fans. Each week Chart Watch UK I'll tell you the full story behind this week's UK charts. Who is Number One and why? What are this week's biggest new entries? And who is this Justin Bieber guy anyway?


First posted back in the days of text-based newsgroups, the column has appeared in several online publications during its lifetime.

November 1992 - June 1995 : Posted to usenet, mainly rec.music.misc and rec.music.info

July 1995 - December 2003 : Dotmusic.com

January 2004 - April 2008 : Yahoo! Launch UK

May 2008 - September 2011 : Yahoo! Music UK & Ireland

November 2011 - May 2016 : Top40.About.com

June 2016 - date : chart-watch.uk

Now for the first time you can now read as close to a complete set of weekly columns as possible, most of these unavailable and unread since their original week of publication. The year-by-year archives are accessed from the menu at the top of the page. After over a year of work the archive is finally complete, a vast resource of almost 1300 articles representing the complete history of popular music over the last two and a half decades.

A word of warning: each column was written for the online audience for that particular week and most were never intended as a matter of historical record. They represented the state of play on the UK music charts as it was viewed at the time. History may well have since taken a different view. Where it is necessary to offer clarification or just to correct moments when I was clearly talking bollocks you will find a [jarring editorial intervention] from the modern day James Masterton.

Note that these archives are sourced from my original notes which may not always correspond to what was edited to go online. In particular, there was a period around the turn of the decade when I was in the habit of correcting previously unnoticed errors and glitches on the live version of the column using Yahoo!'s own content management system. Consequently, those changes never made it back to my own archives. Where you stumble across something which was completely inaccurate, even then, please just presume for simplicity that I am the definitively incorrect word on the matter.