Thirty years ago today Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler, topped the first Australian Recording Industry Association singles chart. It was an indulgent wedge of pop cheese better known for its ridiculous faux-gothic video clip and Tyler's indestructible bouffant, than for her impressive voice. Just try it at karaoke sometime.

Thriller, by Michael Jackson as we would prefer to remember him, was the first No.1 album. The songs were brilliant but they, too, will be remembered as much for their videos; after all MTV had been around for less than two years.

The ARIAs were not Australia's first charts - they superseded the officious-sounding Kent Music Report, which took over from the groovier Go-Set charts in 1974.

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Peter Vincent on the ARIA chart

National Music Editor, Peter Vincent talks about the ARIA chart.

PT1M49S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2po5q 620 349

But on July 10, 1983, ARIA took on that arduous task of collating sales of singles and albums from record stores each week, creating a fascinating cultural document.

ARIA has crunched the numbers on the 1500-plus charts it has produced, with a focus on the 527 No.1 albums and 440 No.1 singles.

It found Madonna was the queen of pop over the past three decades: spending the most time in the No.1 spot on the singles charts (38 weeks) and coming equal first for No.1 hits (10). Her Madge also had the second-most No.1 albums (10), one behind U2.

Chart-toppers

Chart-toppers: (from left) Kylie Minogue; Delta Goodrem; and Madonna.

Her hits were not the longest-lasting, though. Coolio's hip-hop lite Gangsta's Paradise was in the top spot for 13 weeks in 1995-96. A harder hip hop track, Lose Yourself by Eminem, made it for 12 weeks.

More surprising still was the popularity of a handful of Australian artists, considering No.1 hits by Americans outnumbered local chart-toppers almost two to one.

Kylie Minogue equalled Madonna for the most No.1 singles and was equal second (with the Black Eyed Peas) in total weeks (30) spent at No.1 in the singles charts.

Bonnie Tyler

Record: Bonnie Tyler topped the first ARIA singles chart. Photo: Supplied

Delta Goodrem's debut Innocent Eyes spent longer in the top spot (29 weeks) than any other Australian album, beating John Farnham's Whispering Jack (25 weeks).

''I thought that's what albums did,'' she said. ''I didn't know how hard it was to have an album do well.''

Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms spent longest on top of the album charts (34 weeks), three weeks more than Adele's 21.

Farnesy can't complain though - he's spent far more time in the top spot than any artist - 47 weeks.

And as ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen points out, it seems fitting that, in the charts' 30th birthday week, the top album spot is held by another Aussie act, Sydney hip hop crew Bliss N Eso.

Songs with most weeks at No. 1

  • Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise 13 weeks (1995/96)
  • Eminem: Lose Yourself 12 weeks (2002/03)
  • Bryan Adams: Everything I Do 11 weeks (1991)
  • Spice Girls: Wannabe 11 weeks (1996/1997)
  • Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You 10 weeks (1992/93)
  • Sandi Thom: I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker 10 weeks (2006)
  • LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock: Party Rock Anthem 10 weeks (2011)

Songs with most weeks at No. 1 (Australian)

  • Austen Tayshus: Australiana 8 weeks (1983)
  • Savage Garden: Truly Madly Deeply 8 weeks (1997)
  • Gotye feat. Kimbra: Somebody That I Used To Know 8 weeks (2011)
  • John Farnham: You're The Voice 7 weeks (1986)
  • Pseudo Echo: Funkytown 7 weeks (1986/87)
  • Kylie Minogue: Locomotion 7 weeks (1987)

Albums with most weeks at No. 1 (Australian)

  • Delta Goodrem: Innocent Eyes 29 weeks (2003/04)
  • John Farnham: Whispering Jack 25 weeks (1986/87)
  • Savage Garden: Savage Garden 19 weeks (1997)
  • Icehouse: Man of Colours 11 weeks (1987)
  • Australian Cast: Jesus Christ Superstar 11 weeks (1992)
  • Crowded House: Recurring Dream 11 weeks (1996/97)

Albums with most weeks at No. 1

  • Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms 34 weeks (1985/86)
  • Adele: 21 31 weeks (2011/12)
  • Delta Goodrem: Innocent Eyes 29 weeks (2003/04)
  • John Farnham: Whispering Jack 25 weeks (1986/87)
  • Shania Twain: Come On Over 20 weeks (1999)