Friday, January 8, 2010

musical conservatives

We’re in for a period of conservatism in this Country, but at heart the great British public have always been fairly conservative folk particularly when it comes to music. We all get excited by emerging trends and brave, challenging new music but the public? Well, they go out and buy James Blunt.

Highest selling albums 2000-2009
1. James Blunt - Back To Bedlam
2. Dido - No Angel
3. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
4. Leona Lewis - Spirit
5. David Gray - White Ladder
6. The Beatles - 1
7. Dido - Life For Rent
8. Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
9. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
10. Take That - Beautiful World
Source: The Official Charts Company

The albums are adventurous compared to the singles. It would seem to be a sad decade indeed when Shayne Ward (who?) and Bob The Builder can claim top selling singles in a ten year period, but the bulk of it is about really talentless TV competitions and charity, and Shaggy?

Highest selling singles 2000-2009
1. Will Young - Anything Is Possible/Evergreen
2. Gareth Gates - Unchained Melody
3. Tony Christie - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo
4. Shaggy - It Wasn't Me
5. Alexandra Burke - Hallelujah
6. Band Aid 20 - Do They Know It's Christmas?
7. Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
8. Shayne Ward - That's My Goal
9. Hear'say - Pure And Simple
10. Bob The Builder - Can We Fix It
Source: The Official Charts Company

Then, there’s radio. There is a great argument that most stations are only giving the people what they want – the rise and consolidation of syndicated blandness is something to really fear. Do the stations control the listener’s tastes or is it the other way around?


Most played songs 2000-2009
1. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
2. Take That - Shine
3. Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin
4. The Feeling - Love It When You Call
5. Sugababes - About You Now
6. Take That - Rule The World
7. James Blunt - You're Beautiful
8. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
9. Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
10. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Source: PPL

I think there are some great songs in there; Take That’s Rule The World is a towering pop song even if that’s a sad, reluctant admission to make. Crazy is also one of those songs where you wonder at the majesty of it, but don’t go and buy one of Cee Lo’s solo albums on the strength of his vocal as the one I bought was nowhere near as good.

I suppose the bulk of them I could happily live without ever hearing again, I do listen to more radio than the average person though.

There is something to learn from this if you’re making music. A well crafted song with a good melody and a strong chorus should get you far. It may not, but it’s probably the only way to feature in these charts.

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