An exhibit presents every British pop chart-topper of the last half-century:
- In a trip down memory lane, music fans can hear all 937 British chart-toppers from Al Martino’s schmaltzy ballad “Here in My Heart” to Pop Idols Gareth Gates and Will Young singing the Beatles classic “The Long and Winding Road.”
Pop fans first search for a tune by date, artist or title. Then they step up to record-shop style listening posts to relive the soundtrack of their years.
“It provides a fascinating barometer of the public’s taste in popular music,” said the British Library’s pop curator Andy Linehan.
Listening to a half a century of hits would take over 50 hours. “But no one has tried to do that yet,” Linehan told Reuters.
The pop music section of the British Library’s National Sound Archive boasts one of the world’s most wide-ranging collections — one million discs.
“We try to collect and preserve copies of every recording commercially issued in the UK,” Linehan said.