...because the currents you choose to play
better be bulletproof!

Here's the "Top 5" from our weekly TOP 15, in the issue sent to subscribers on June 3, 2023  (Volume 40, Number 33):

1.  MY STUPID HEART -- Walk Off The Earth  (TheOrchard)

2.  WHEN I GET THERE -- P!nk  (RCA

3.  LONG LONG TIME -- Linda Ronstadt [from "The Last
             of Us" HBO TV series]  (Capitol/UMe)

             Swift  (Republic)

5.  BLOODY MARY -- Lady Gaga  (Interscope)

In our twnty-second weekly music test of 2023, six new pop music tracks were received for testing, and one of them reached our baseline score to be "Recommended for Mainstream AC Playlists":  THAT PART by Lauren Spencer-Smith, on Island Records.

There were six re-tested AC releases, and one of those moved up to "Recommended" this week, too: CHANGES by Chubby Checker, on Sony/RED.  Chubby (who is really Ernest Evans) was a major star in the 1960s, associated mostly with records about dances (the biggest of which was THE TWIST), but now he's not even remembered by many of today's AC listeners.  Here he sounds slightly reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke, for those who remember him; and anyway -- knowing who he is or not -- the core AC female listeners do like this track.

Our music edits are available without charge to those in the business needing them:  AS IT WAS
by Harry Styles on Columbia needed one small edit needed to get it up to "Recommended" for core AC listeners.  Just ask if you would like the ACMRL edit of that, or of any of the "clean edits" of such songs as SAVE YOUR TEARS by The Weeknd, and CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE by Walk The Moon, and RENEGADE by Big Red Machine with Taylor Swift for any broadcaster, upon request.

We DO include full identification (including label info) for ALL songs tested and re-tested, and all the songs included in our latest weekly "recommended playlist", plus their precise scoring levels, in EVERY issue of the Music Research Letter received by our PAID SUBSCRIBERS!  Maybe you should join us, as a trial subscriber for 12 weeks, and see for yourself how useful this information is in your programming?  Use the second "PayPal" button below, to make it easy, if you like!  Or mail a check to the address at the bottom of the page.  Website visitors in radio, or the record business, who would like to receive an MP3 of a particular "recommended" song, should e-mail their request -- using their professional e-mail address -- to  We will reply to that address with the file, which will require at least 10 MB capacity per e-mail.  Note that this service is strictly limited to those who professionally qualify for "record service" from record companies.

We apparently are STILL the only reliable source of actual Mainstream AC core listener preferences in new and current music, providing a safe way of keeping your music fresh and relevant in an increasingly recurrent and stagnant format.

NOTICE:  We collect no information at all from any visitor to this website, and never will.

This page is updated weekly, seven days after the data reported here (plus a LOT more) is sent to subscribers.

Please be aware that this is just a very brief highlight of what subscribers receive every week in our newsletter. The newsletter includes detailed information on all releases tested each week, including every cut on selected albums as applicable, with specific scores on every selection tested that week, what songs we've re-tested and what the prior and current scores are, what the rest of our weekly "Top 15" songs are (ranked in order), as well as what songs we've tested which have not tested well despite good chartings in the trades...and each issue provides all that information one week before these highlights appear on our website! Those who pay for our service receive all of that each week. Feel free to e-mail us if you need some specific information on songs we mention on this page. If you do find our research potentially valuable, we hope you will try a subscription. Since we don't sell ads, subscriptions are what pay for the research we've been doing since 1980, and publishing every week since 1984!

We offer timely comments on matters of significance to programmers each week, and these are usually made available the following week on the "Commentary" page of this website. Eric was weekly "P.D. Notebook" columnist in San Francisco's The Gavin Report for eighteen years; his comments here are in the same vein. Also, check past commentaries of potential value to you, archived here!

Are we a tipsheet?   Well, no .  .  .
We occasionally come across someone who thinks the Music Letter is just another radio tipsheet -- and is puzzled about why our results so often differ substantially from other tipsheets and the trade charts.  

We would not still be around, and helping subscribers for over a third of a century in this rapidly changing world of radio and the record business, if we were just a tipsheet!  You certainly can use the Music Letter like one; but it is the only weekly published newsletter ever, so far, of actual consumer reaction and response to new and current music, by those identified as Mainstream AC "core listeners"

In a format where the trade press merely reports on what other AC stations are playing, there is often a BIG difference in what the format's LISTENERS actually like!

Get data that is fully customizable to your goals and competitive situation!

Because you're working to build an audience for your FM or AM Adult Contemporary station, or for an AC station of any stripe--from hot to soft (although our results do not apply to unrelated formats which simply misuse the Adult Contemporary name, such as "Modern AC", which is really "modern rock" in disguise), our weekly newsletter -- The Adult Contemporary Music Research Letter is your only true source of A/C music information provides you with the facts you need to make good decisions.

Need suggestions about how to successfully apply our test data, playlist recommendations, and suggested rotations, to your exact situation? Let us help. Many Program and Music Directors like you have benefited from this valuable service at no additional charge. You get this additional free service because we want all our clients to be outrageously successful.

It's easy to be "too hip for the room", and the A/C trade charts constantly are guilty of that. Why? Because many A/C radio programmers are "too hip for their listeners", and play what THEY like!  And the trade charts are based only on what's played -- not what listeners actually are shown to like.  Don't fall into that trap.

Instead, think of it! Each week, you will be provided with the critical information that helps you get into your listeners' heads -- and play the music they want to hear: You'll increase listening spans and reduce tune-out. This unique source of "musical intelligence gathering" even helps you reach specific market-share goals.

Eric Norberg
Eric Norberg, Editor and Publisher of the Music Research Letter, says...

"At $355 (U.S.) per year for 48 issues, this is the cheapest music research you can buy...and, coincidentally, the most accurate.

"That works out to about seven dollars a week for authentic audience research, specifically reflecting the tastes and preferences of the mainstream, mass-appeal Adult Contemporary female target listener.

"At last--CURRENTS for A/C music radio that BUILD audience and lengthen listening spans.

 "The secret is avoiding the charted tunes that don't actually appeal, and finding and playing the tracks--on the charts or not--which DO appeal to the core, mainstream, female listener!"

Each January we publish our annual "recurrent/oldies" list for the previous year. If you'd like a complimentary copy of the the list for year 2022, e-mail us, call us, or write us, and give us the address (mailing or e-mail) to which we should send it to you!  We'll also send you a copy of the current weekly issue, which recommends CURRENTS which will build audience loyalty among AC core female listeners, rather than drive them away, which the majority of the "trade charted" AC songs seem all too often to do.  (That's because listener preferences are not part of their research -- the trade charts are based on station airplay and promotional efforts -- and the charts themselves!) -- whereas our research is ENTIRELY based exclusively on what your core female listener actually likes!  (And she DOES like current music.  Buys it too, if she likes it.)

If you enter a new subscription on this site, using the PayPal tools below, we will start your subscription by sending you the complete issue in which that annual list most recently appeared, plus several recent issues at no charge to "get you up to speed". Your subscription will BEGIN with the NEXT issue mailed.

1837 S.E. Harold Street
Portland, OR  USA  97202-4932

We now offer mailed, faxed, or e-mailed delivery (surcharge will apply to mailed or faxed subscriptions outside the U.S. and Canada). A sample of our weekly e-mailed edition can be downloaded hereIf you'd like to subscribe immediately (or to renew an existing subscription), using a credit card, click on the "PayPal" BUY NOW button below, right now!  Otherwise send check and ordering information to our address, above!

Click on this button to start an annual (48-weekly-issue) subscription immediately! We will e-mail it to you weekly as a PDF document, unless you tell us you would prefer to receive it by conventional mail! You can also RENEW an annual subscription with a credit card by using this button!

Prefer to pay quarterly, or to try it out for 12 weeks first? The button below is for the 12-week (3 month) subscription term! You can also RENEW a quarterly subscription with a credit card by using this button!

(Note to record companies, artists, producers: Singles and marked tracks can be submitted to us at our address, above -- or, as high-quality stereo MP3's they may be sent to our e-mail address; no more than two per e-mail please. There is no charge for the testing process.)

To ask questions about our testing process, our results, using our results profitably, or our newsletter, call or fax 1-800-929-5119
Internationally, 010 + 503-232-9787, phone and fax
Or e-mail us now!


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