As a kid I was regimental listener to the UK Top 40.

Whether setting my tape recorder to capture the Sisters Of Mercy, Iron Maiden or Metallica, Radio One’s Sunday afternoon chart show was an invaluable source of hot rock.

Every Sunday I listened to every track. And on a Monday morning I’d rifle through The Sun until I saw Britain’s biggest songs in black and white.

Alongside the top tunes were the essential albums. And back in the day Guns ‘N’ Roses regularly jostled for position with Def Leppard, Slayer, Thunder and Little Angels.

You know, I even remember buying Odyssey, by Yngwie Malmsteen’s  Rising Force, at Our Price in the Metro Centre. In the chart section at a chart price.

Back then our music tastes were different. The Top 40 was peppered with rock and for every boy band there was a metal band.

For every cheesy hit there was a chunky riff and for every soul diva there was a demonic frontman.

But then things changed. Suddenly my music became fewer and farther between on the shelves which reflected the fastest shifting records of the week.

I don’t think it was because I was getting older. Around the mid 90s chart-busting rock and metal just disappeared.

Every new Maiden release would still impact. And occasional metal hits – including a load by the interminable Limp Bis-shit – would ruffle the latest pop idol’s feathers.

But on the whole there was no reason for me to check out the charts.

Yet, earlier this summer there was a time when Leppard, Whitesnake and Nickelback were all Top 30 album sellers at the same time.

And suddenly my interest was reignited.

So imagine my delight when this week’s Sun showed Slipknot, Dragonforce and the aforementioned Nickelback all nestled within the Top 20!

Now I’m not saying those three bands are truly representative of a healthy rock scene.

But I’d rather see Corey, Chad and the ‘Force giving the new kids on the block (they’re back, by the way) a run for their money than Duffy or the dreadful Babyshambles.
Rockers and metal heads have learnt to pay scant regard to music charts over the years.

But there’s no denying the fact it feels good to have one or two standard bearers fighting the cause in the upper echelons of Top 40-dom.

If only to scare the shit out of the rest of the pop-buying public. 

Simon Rushworth