Five Years Of Blogging, Fun Statistics and Favourite Years

Oh the irony. Back in January 2020, after writing my first post of the year I decided to have a month off, as my blog had lost much of its joie de vivre. I’d decided that in the four years I’d been blogging, the world had gone to hell in a handbasket and although nothing to do with me and my little blog, maybe best to recharge the batteries before inflicting any more rants on you lovely followers. As it turns out, although each of them very different in flavour, those four years 2016 to 2019 will now be remembered as a bit of a golden age.

The WordPress Birthday Badge

I am really pleased however to have got to this point – It’s WIAA’s 5th birthday on Monday and I can’t believe I’ve actually kept it going through all the trials and tribulations the world has thrown at us, and through all the ups and downs closer to home. It started off just as the tagline says, “a nostalgic journey through the tracks of my years”, but of course it’s also ended up becoming a personal record of those five years, with many, many songs thrown in.

Heading into my 6th year of blogging I expect the direction of travel will be much the same. Every now and again I’ll have a bit of a rant about what’s going on in the world, but hopefully I’ll not veer too far from my original plan, to look back at the songs of my youth from this end of the conveyor belt of life, and find out so much more about them that was ever possible back in the day.

But first of all, some statistics. Despite having given up my very number-orientated job a few years ago to concentrate on other things (more wordy in nature), I do still love a statistic and I’ve put together a few relating to this blog. Here is a bar graph that shows the number of songs written about by year since WIAA’s inception back in January 2016. As expected, the year I seem to have returned to more than any other is 1967, for all sorts of reasons mentioned around here before. It was probably the first year I was allowed to stay up late enough to watch TOTP; I was a happy child from a comfortable home so no negative memories attached to the songs; I have a great affinity for the baroque, orchestral and sunshine pop of the era; and finally, all the rules changed around then and our parents who were not from the baby boomer generation were not part of it.

Or…, maybe it’s simply because that was the year I fell in love with Davy Jones from The Monkees. Oh yes, he was very much part of my 7-year-old self’s daytime thoughts. Cue Daydream Believer.

Daydream Believer by the Monkees:


Ok, so we’ve worked out that my favourite year to revisit is 1967, but my graph also shows that the median song (sorry to get all mathsy here), the one that ends up bang in the middle of the entire range, falls in the year 1977. Again I’ve written about the reason for this before. A study was carried out, and the findings were that if any company wished to target a particular demographic with their advertising, they should use music from the time that group was 16, which I was for much of 1977. Despite having to sit some heavy duty life-changing exams that year, life was anything but shabby. My material needs were all catered for; I had a tight regime to my day with school and a Saturday job; I saw my best friends daily; my social life was full-on; and we all had a reasonable level of independence, as helicopter parenting wouldn’t start for a few decades yet. Top that off with a few short romances that didn’t cause too much distress when they were over, no social media to mess with your head, and life was sweet. These giant corporations know that, and home in on our weakness for a pop song that reminds us of simpler times. Cue Hot Chocolate with the song that was at the top of the charts when I finished sitting my Scottish Highers in May 1977, So You Win Again.

So You Win Again by Hot Chocolate:


From the opposite end of the spectrum here is Elvis Costello with, quite aptly for this place, his song Alison from the album My Aim Is True. It was the album played most often in our newly commandeered 6th Year Common Room, after returning to school after the long summer holidays.

Alison by Elvis Costello:


But back to the statistics. I don’t know what the other blogging platforms are like, but here at WordPress we have access to some pretty amazing sets of charts as to how our blogs are performing. I’m a bit of a geography nerd, so the map showing all the countries you’ve had visits from is the one I’m most fascinated by. As at the time of writing, this is my map – It’s taken five years, but of the 197 countries in the world recognised by the UN, there are only 21 left where no one has dropped by this place. There are also of course lots of Dependencies and Territories, but I think I’m going to have to keep going until I get a visit from that last 21.

Come on in: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Kiribati, Liberia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Niger, North Korea, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, your time is up.

To be fair, it’s quite obvious why some of the residents of the above-mentioned countries haven’t dropped by yet, but you do get a few surprises when you peruse your stats. See the last line in this list of Country Views. Wonder who’s been nostalgically revisiting the tracks of his years?

As for stats regarding my most visited posts, it has remained largely unchanged since my first year of blogging. Right at the top is the one I wrote about the Proclaimer’s song Sunshine On Leith and I can always tell when a documentary about them has been aired on television, or the film of the same name shown, as there is a dramatic spike in views. Of course there are a few newer releases now creeping up the chart, so in time there will be a few changes. (For the record, Elvis still seems to top all of those lists relating to Most No. 1s and Most Weeks at No. 1, and the way music is consumed nowadays, that’s unlikely to ever change.)

I find it surprising that Joshua Kadison’s song Jessie has retained its Top 5 position ever since I first wrote about it nearly four years ago. It wasn’t even a song I remembered from when it was released in 1993 as I only discovered it when one of the entertainment team sang it on a family holiday about a decade ago. I have a feeling that depending on how you title your posts, search engines can home in on them more easily than some other offerings, but it still makes for fascinating reading (if you’re a stats nerd like me).

Jessie by Joshua Kadison:


So, “What’s It All About?” – I’ve loved my time on the blogosphere and still can’t quite believe WIAA is still going strong after five years. A lot of it is down to the interaction with my fellow bloggers (many of them on my sidebar) and visitors to the Comments Boxes. I think it would be tough to keep going if writing in a bit of a vacuum with no feedback whatsoever, so thanks for that.

As for the years mentioned above, have a look at your music library and if possible sort it by year – There is a pretty good chance a large chunk of it will centre on the year you turned 16. Hot Chocolate’s song was part of the soundtrack to my life during those busy months of study ahead of my big life-changing exams, and then the song we danced to when all the hard work was over. Looking at the lyrics now they’re not as upbeat as I remember, but they do reflect what our love lives were like back then. Fortunately we got over all the heartache relatively quickly.

As for me I’m off to switch on the telly, and if any adverts come up featuring the sounds of 1977, I’ll no doubt be putty in their hands.

Until next time…

So You Win Again Lyrics
(Song by Russ Ballard)

Just to admit one mistake
That can be hard to take
I know we’ve made them fall
But only fools come back for more
Being the fool I am
I figured in all your plans, darling
Your perfumed letters didn’t say
That you’d be leaving any day

So you win again, you win again
Here I stand again, the loser
And just for fun you took my love and run,
But love had just begun

I can’t refuse her
But now I know that I’m the fool
Who won your love to lose it all
When you come back, you win again
And I’m not proud to say
I let love slip away
Now I’m the one who’s crying
I’m a fool there’s no denying
When will my heartache end?
Will my whole life depend on fading memories
You took the game this time with ease

So you win again, you win again
Here I stand again, the loser
And just for fun you took my love and run,
But love had just begun

Postscript:

Hot Chocolate, a British soul band formed by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, were incredibly popular during the 1970s and 1980s and had at least one hit every year from 1970 to 1984. Their 1975 song You Sexy Thing made the UK Top 10 three times over three decades, mainly because of its inclusion on the soundtrack to the British film The Full Monty. Here is Robert Carlyle trying to show them how to become Sheffield’s answer to The Chippendales.

And here is Erroll Brown, the epitome of “cool”, showing us how it should be done.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

24 thoughts on “Five Years Of Blogging, Fun Statistics and Favourite Years”

    1. Thanks – This day 5 years ago was my first day back at work after the holidays but it was also the day we found out David Bowie had died so my first post was inevitably about him. Scary how quickly those 5 years have passed and how everything in my life (and in the world) is different.

      I was just a bit too young for the Beach Ballroom era but was just the right age for some great concerts at the Capitol Theatre on Union Street. Hopefully I’ll get round to writing about some of them this year.

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  1. A very happy 5th birthday to WIAA for Monday, congratulations – and here’s to many more years to come! Blimey, so true what you say about the changes the world has gone through in just that timespan – oh, if only we’d known; reflecting on that certainly adds power to the whole notion of carpe diem…
    Your stats are fascinating – I’ve a lovely image now of “His Holiness” lounging around on a Saturday afternoon, laptop on knees, a set of headphones carefully balanced on his head over his zucchetto (I had to look that up – I thought it was a kind of pasta) as he tunes in to this blog and has a little jiggle to You Sexy Thing…
    I’m with you on ’67 and ’77 – really good, interesting years musically.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, although 5 years???

      I still remember writing those very first posts and it feels like yesterday! I was 55 when I started and was still going to work every day as well as running our business with Mr WIAA, so goodness knows how I fitted it all in. I was definitely passionate about this new hobby.

      Yes, when the Country Views stat came up I also had that image. If you look up zucchetta, as I did by mistake, it’s a funny looking thing and definitely not pasta.

      I just have a thing for the music of 1967, which I didn’t realise until I started this blog – Always takes me to my happy place. As for 1977, just reminds me of a really happy time in my life – We were so busy with school exams, weekend jobs and socialising but we saw our best friends daily and always had music playing, so just takes me back (to simpler times).

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  2. Congratulations on the milestone. The first five years are the easiest! I too take an interest in my stats and it is always a blast to see you are being read in some far off place

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The first five are the easiest! It seems I was late to blogging as it really took off about 10 years ago and I don’t think many people are starting new ones now, but other forms of social media are a mystery to me, so I’m happy to keep to this place for now.

      Yes, you’ve mentioned all those views from Ulaanbaatar before!

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    1. Thanks Graeme – I was late to join the blogging world but unlike with many new hobbies I’ve managed to keep going with it throughout all life’s ups and downs. Hopefully I’ll keep going as a nice little interlude from the real world.

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  3. As a ‘new arrival’ to your blog, Alyson, I’m still working my way through the ‘tracks of your years’. What a enjoyable ride! I also want to validate your point on ‘ the year you turned 16’. That for me was 1964. Over here in North America (Canada to be precise), the Beatles launched the British Invasion. Layer on top of that once in a lifetime event was a robust roster of the Beach Boys, Motown, Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound and the emerging catalogue of Bacharach and David. No wonder my grades slipped!
    Looking forward to you sharing more tracks of your years in 2021.
    Damian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Damian and glad you’ve been enjoying what’s in the archives. Yes, that does sound like a perfect time to have turned 16 and I do love the acts you mention – They’ve all appeared around here many times and I have no doubt they’ll carry on putting in an appearance in 2021.

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    1. Ha ha – The stats can be fascinating. Dependencies and Territories come up as well as countries so many of these small islands are unknown to many of us. Had never heard of the Aland Islands before but part of Finland it seems. Maybe they dropped by to visit one of my Eurovision Song Contest posts as these Scandinavian countries seem to do quite well. That reference may be lost on you however!

      Happy New Year Rick – Cross fingers the world can dig itself out of this hole we’ve got ourselves into before too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy blogversary, Alyson. To celebate, I’m writing this comment from Tuvalu. Hope that helps the stats.

    I was 16 in 1988, a true nadir year for popular music (although I look back on it a little more fondly as I get older. Advertisers will get nowt from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, a visitor from Tuvalu. Only 20 countries to go! I’m going to share a San Marino Eurovision song soon (which I have in my library believe it or not) – That might get it down to 19, or not.

      You landed unlucky with 1986 – Lots of Stock Aitken Waterman which must account for all that Jason Donovan in your collection? Joking – But you did get Moonlighting and Bruce.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Brian. As you know I am no muso so it’s much appreciated that people take the time to read my ramblings. Yes, I recognise that phrase “keep on keepin’ on” and at the moment there’s not much else for it.

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    1. Thanks, and thanks (I think, unless you are really Annie Wilkes!). I’m still a newbie to this game compared to most of you but hope to keep going as long as is possible.

      Ah the lovely Tuvalu – Let’s hope all this talk of the place will elicit a visitor. Incidentally I once worked with someone who applied to be Postmaster General of Nauru.

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