I have spent at least seventeen years compiling this music database. It was two years before I decided it should be put on the internet, for all to see, at no charge.
The best collection, in my opinion, is in the international section, which was compiled over a period of three years. The best is Afro Pop, followed by India Pop, Arabia Pop, then Latin America. I couldn't find any databases listing J-Pop, K-Pop, or C-Pop. The albums tend to be expensive, with some titles not in Latin script.
Please note that the word 'the' has been omitted from performers names, as most of this data was typed in by me before I got connected to the internet, which facilitates automatic download of album data. The album series, Now That's What I Call Music! is abbreviated to Now. The artists nationality is listed if they do not come from the USA or UK. In the case of the Eurovision Song Contest, the nation they represent is against their name.
I will release these lists of about one thousand tracks at one or two month intervals, with the international section last, because I think it's the best. The total number of tracks comes to about 13,500. It cost me a great deal of money over the years. None of it was downloaded from the internet. I threw away my CD's and vinyls in 2013 when I relocated. Never thought of selling them on eBay. Looking at the price of Jimmy Hendrix vinyl, Electric Ladyland (two hundred pounds), I wish I had. That album displays the original graphics, which I think is really artistic, in sharp contrast to the CD equivalent. I also hate the plastic jewel cases that disintegrate in one's hand. Paper cases are more durable and environmentally beneficial. Another gripe I have about CDs is the artwork. I'm sick to death of having to read it through a magnifying glass.
You probably want to know which are the best compilations to purchase. Well, if you buy Demon's 100 Hits series, Virgin/Sony Now That's What I Call Music! series, and AATW/UMTV Clubland series, you can't go wrong if all you want is main stream western music. Everybody On Dance Floor series covers India Pop. I have not found any other compilation series covering international music. You don't need to look far to see why. International music tends to be more expensive, certainly in the long run. I've got loads of albums that don't contain one hit track. Compilations from awards ceremonies are not worth buying. Websites that claim millions of tracks to listen to, must contain one heck of a lot of rubbish, a huge time waster. This web site gets you straight to the hits. I know it's not all the hits, but it's enough to keep most people satisfied for years.
I thought about getting web users to inform me of hits that are not listed here, but after sending the Spice Girls to Baghdad, I don't think I want to be wound up any more than I have been already. IT problems abound. I've lived through, or should it be survived Windows 8 and 8.1. In November 2017 I experienced a malware attack. I had recently upgraded to Windows 10 (it took four hours), which apparently knocked out Windows Defender. The next day there was a long list of kb's to download, to fix the problem. These incidents bring me close to insanity, as I'm worried sick about losing my data, even though it's backed up. I will be immensely relieved when it's all on the internet. As time goes by I've upgraded Windows 10 many times. Now on version 1903 and counting. (July 2019)
Not all the albums listed here are on CD (compact disc). Some are still not available on CD. Those albums are marked (LP). Many of the tracks are really good, including King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man. It's in two parts because when I converted it to digital the software interpreted a short break as the end of a track. Most of the tracks from these albums can be found elsewhere by the same artist. The King Crimson track is on Nice Enough To Eat, which should be on CD.
Listening to these hits, I realised that some artists produced only one version, whilst others produced four or more each of a different arrangement. I've tried to list the best version of each song. The same songs, notably reggae, can be produced by different artists. Where two artist have produced an excellent version of the same song, I have endeavoured to list them under different genre. Singers prior to circa 1940 come under the genre Crooner, whilst afterwards it's Vocal, later followed by Ballad and Pop Ballad. Some song titles have been modified for comparison purposes, where the same song has been produced by a range of artists. All the title words are there, but they may be in brackets (parenthesis). I went to a lot of trouble to find the dates, but some are guess work, so don't place bets on this data. The date may be the date of the first performance, or live act, and not the date of the recording. Additional information can be obtained from Wikipedia and Allmusic.com.
When it comes to the quality of sound, there are quite a lot of factors to be taken into consideration. When you buy tracks downloaded from the internet, you don't know which arrangement you are going to get, and how good the performance and technical recording are. I use headphones. I'm sure my neighbours are greatly relieved to read that. There are speakers, and there are bigger speakers, just as there are headphones, and better headphones. Don't spend a fortune, because the quality of your own hearing maybe paramount. I suffer from tinnitus, a high pitched whistling noise in the inner ear, caused by an addiction to disco bars. So a good pair of headphones from my local supermarket is all I need. Believe it or not, I prefer to listen to music on my headphones whilst playing a computer game, than watching TV. I think that says a lot about the low quality of television. The genre I like to listen to the most is Afro Pop, probably because there is no heavy beat to upset my thinking. I found most of the artists after reading the book Afropop! An Illustrated Guide To Contemporary African Music by Sean Barlow, Banning Eyre with Jack Vartoogian photographs, published by Sraband ISBN 1-88735402-6.
There is no ideal compilation in the afro-pop genre. The average number of hits in the best compilations is two or three. The best compilations being Rough Guide series, Putumayo Presents series and BAR series. It's easy to see why you won't find 100 Hits Afro-Pop. When it comes to publishing compilations, you can either obtain a deal with the artist and recording company, or publish and be damned, and let them come to you. Now I don't look for trouble these days, so the thought of Tuareg tribesmen coming out of the Sahara Desert with their Kalashnikovs, demanding more royalties, doesn't exactly encourage me to make your life any easier. As for getting artist and recording company agreement, imagine the logistics. First of all you have to be a multi-linguist. Some of these songs are sung in more than one tribal language. Then there is the cost of all those long journeys, usually ending in some bumpy dirt track, ending at a stinking hell hole, with no hotel. Of course there are the revolutions, terrorism and corrupt police to avoid, not to mention the prickly heat, crocodiles, poisonous snakes, spiders, millipedes and scorpions. But less avoidable are the tropical diseases. You fearlessly underwent all those inoculations, but there's always one that's gonna get ya. Yellow fever, cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness, typhus, pneumonia, ebola, dengue, meningitis, rabies, syphilis, HIV-AIDS. Well with all those bare breasts, in stark contrast to all the women's lib at home, could you resist temptation? So you eventually find that the artist is deceased and the record company no longer exists, whilst the next of kin have no documentation to prove their case. You get home, thin as a rake, only to find that most of these artists now live in New York, London or Paris. So, if you want to get rid of some worthless shit from the office for a few months, this is definitely the safari you should send them on, isn't it?
Music cannot be purchased on this web site. These lists are roughly in chronological order by decade. Tracks marked with an # are considered the best in that genre for DJ use.
One word of advice. I was born in 1948, I have therefore lived through most of these genre. I well remember being in bed, listening on my new transistor radio, to jazz from the Voice of America, played by Boris Conover I think it was. I remember listening to classical music at school, but I had only heard three afro-pop songs before starting this database. What I am trying to say is this. I have heard most music hits, and if your music hits aren't on these music lists, then you should get in touch with your agent, to ensure that they appear on well known compilations. The problem today is this. When I go into a record shop, I see shelves full of thousands of CDs. Most of it is junk. But those artists can make a living from selling junk because much of the sales are based upon compulsive buying, usually because the title is based upon a well known phrase or is similar or identical to a hit song by another artist, or the artist's name is similar to a genre. Rogues don't stick to the internet, they are all over the place. At the time of writing, I do not know whether I will update these lists. Time will tell.
All The Hits is here in order to attract people to all the philosophy that I've typed out. I couldn't think of any other way of getting you lot to face reality, and save yourselves. I've had a tough life, and I definitely don't want my experiences to become yours. There is plenty for you to read here, so it should keep you out of trouble for a while. If you are young, then much of what you read here will shape you for the rest of your life. Here you will find the really important facts of life, facts that your parents haven't got the guts to tell you about.
Live long and prosper.
All the best, Nigel