Tio i Topp – Swedish Music Charts in the 1960s

Swedish version

About Tio i Topp (Swedish Voting Charts)

Tio i topp was the first real charts of recorded music in Sweden, launched by Swedish Broadcasting (Sveriges Radio), on October 14, 1961.

The radio show started partly as an answer to the similar charts presented by Radio Nord, an offshore commercial station that operated briefly from 8 March 1961 to 30 June 1962 outside Sweden. Radio Nord presented a “Top 20” chart list once a week and the program became very popular.

Swedish Broadcasting had started a new channel, P3, at this time and wanted to attract a younger audience. Pop and rock music were rarely played on Swedish Radio in those days, and Tio i Topp became one of few radio shows for younger people.

The First Tio i Topp Show

The first aired show was commonly regarded as a disaster. The host was the Swedish singer Lill Lindfors. She had very little radio experience. Since the show included a voting procedure it dragged on much longer than expected.

The show, however, soon found its form and became extremely popular in Sweden during the sixties. Perhaps even more popular than anybody could imagine at the time.

Tio i Topp Influenced Swedish Pop Music

Tio i Topp also had a great influence on Swedish pop music. Having a hit on Tio i Topp was almost a must for any Swedish pop artist and some artists were willing to go to any length to get it. In the mid-sixties the group Science Poption was banned from the list when it was discovered that they had tried to influence the jury.

The Voting Procedure

Tio i Topp was compiled through the votes of one or two studio audiences. The basic set up was to have one audience in Stockholm and one in another city in Sweden, which sometimes explained why local artists reached a top position one week but disappear from the charts the next. In 1966, the number of participating cities was increased to three. In addition, Stockholm later lost its status as obligatory city.

Tio i Topp Voting - unknown source

Votes were collected through a silent mentometer system, a system credited to Carl-Eiwar Carlsson. To illustrate that voting was in progress, Carl-Eiwar used a toy machine gun to make a clattering sound.

The initial voting rules were somewhat complicated. They required the audiences to vote in three steps. Out of 10 songs, 5 new songs were to be picked each week to compete with last week’s 10 entries. These 15 songs were presented in the show and the audience was first asked to disqualify 5 of them. Out of the 10 remaining songs, they were supposed to pick one favorite. In 1963, the three-step voting was replaced by one single voting session.

The mentometer system was replaced in 1968 and voters instead gave their votes before the show and over the phone.


During the summer months between 1962 and 1966, Tio i Topp was replaced by Sommartoppen – a modified version of Tio i Topp with an audience in only one city somewhere in Sweden. (Article about Sommartoppen in Swedish )

The Last Show

The last show was aired on June 29, 1974. The board of Swedish Broadcasting had decided that the program preserved young people’s musical taste in favor of imperialistic interests. Reference to imperialism during these years, no matter how realistic, was almost always a sign that the person was on the left side of the political spectrum. This was most certainly true about Swedish Broadcasting in 1974.

The last show was presented by Kaj Kindvall, who later hosted Poporama, Discorama, and Tracks (a radio show that he hosted for 26 years).

The last number one on Tio i Topp was Sugar Baby Love with The Rubettes.

Tio i Topp Hosts

Björn Jonsson 1967
Bo Billtén 1967
Carl-Eiwar Carlsson 1962, 1963
Hasse Linder 1966, 1967
Inger Flyckt 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968
Kaj Kindvall September 1970 – June 1974
Kersti Adams-Ray 1966, 1967
Kerstin Melinder 1967
Klas Burling September 1963 – June 1964
Lars Johansson 1968
Lars-Gunnar Björklund 1962
Lasse Sarri 1962
Leif Aldal 1967, 1968
Leif H. Andersson September 1964 – May 1966
Lennart Häggkvist October 1968 – August 1970
Lennart Wretlind 1968
Lill Lindfors October 1961 – March 1962
Pekka Langer Sommartoppen 1962 – 1965
Rune Hallberg 1966
Torbjörn Johnsson September 1962 – April 1963
Urban von Rosen 1970
Åke Strömmer 1967

Most Popular Artists (Most Weeks on Tio i Topp)

The Beatles (259 weeks)
Cliff Richard (118 weeks)
The Beach Boys (103 weeks)
The Hollies (98 weeks)
The Hep Stars (90 weeks)
Elvis Presley (83 weeks)

Most Popular Songs (Most Weeks on Tio i Topp)

Oliver - Good Morning Starshine
Oliver – Good Morning Starshine
Tio i Topp 1969-09-20
Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Joan Baez – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Tio i Topp 1971-10-16
Daniel Boone - Beautiful Sunday
Daniel Boone – Beautiful Sunday
Alma Cogan - Tennessee Waltz
The Archies - A Summer Prayer For Peace
The Archies – A Summer Prayer For Peace
Tio i Topp 1971-12-04
Rank Strangers - Early Morning Rain
Rank Strangers – Early Morning Rain

Tio i Topp 55 Years Ago


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