About Nielsen SoundScan Charts 2001-2007

jam canoe

The Canadian Music Blog is pleased to present charts of all Top 40 hits in Canada from 2001 – 2007 on the Nielsen SoundScan charts. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of chart expert Anders Andersen in Denmark who painstakingly screen captured all the weekly Canadian Nielsen SoundScan charts from the old Canoe/Jam website. Forwarding the images to us via email, we converted the images to a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet. Because Canadian charts during the period are very much unavailable and sketchy, we provide all hits from both Canadian and international artists.

As has been acknowledged, there are many shortcomings of the Nielsen SoundScan (NSS) charts, but of course problematic charts are better than none at all. To minimize a misinterpretation of the data, we would like to mention a few points. First, any songs that appeared on the RPM charts have been excluded from the NSS, as it is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. RPM was influenced mainly by radio airplay with some sales data, whereas NSS is based purely on the sales of singles. Canadians usually preferred to buy albums rather than singles. Also, not all songs played on the radio were readily available as singles (whether in vinyl, cassette, or CD), and as the digital era approached and iTunes went online, physical singles became increasingly less popular.

The Nielsen SoundScan charts often included EPs, some of which had four unique tracks. Oddly, some of the entries appear to be various artist compilation LPs. Some singles continued to chart for several years, and some that were several years old began to chart or re-entered the charts. We have excluded these old “catalogue singles”. Another challenge was that Nielsen gave separate entries to various issues of the same song – released by different labels, remixes, maxi singles, extended versions, with different “B-Sides”, etc. We simply looked at which version of the single achieved the highest chart peak. The NSS charts nearly always had tie positions and counted the ranking after with skipped positions, for example: 26, 27, 27, 27, 30, 31, etc.

Despite all its problems, we provide these charts with the purpose of helping keep alive the memories of some of the most popular songs in Canada during the period. Take everything with a grain of salt and enjoy the memories! Find the NSS charts and more charts here.

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