The sleeve notes to the reissue of The Buggles’ Age of Plastic claim it was the biggest record in Australia for 27 years.[http://www.trevorhorn.com/horniculture/from_the_art_of_plastic_to_the.html cite] Yet very little other evidence of this claim can be found. Here we log possible interpretations of the claim and evidence supporting or refuting them. Along the way we consider the many possible meanings of “biggest record in Australia for 27 years” and, incidentally, deal with the messiness of historical claims.
Interpretation #1. Age of Plastic charted for the most consecutive weeks.
Finding. According to Wikipedia maintained Australian charts, Age of Plastic (the album) seems not to have significantly charted at all. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Top_25_albums_for_1979_in_Australia cite][https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Top_25_albums_for_1980_in_Australia cite]
Interpretation #2. “Video Killed the Radio Star” stayed number one for more weeks than anything for the previous 27 years.
Finding. Again, not likely. The single charted for seven weeks, which was the best showing of that year. But the previous year both “You’re the One That I Want” and “Stayin’ Alive” had seven week runs and the year before that the Wings charted an eleven week run in the top spot.
This investigation was spurred by a claim in Video Killed the Radio Star – Why History is Narrative (& Messy).