Back in my day, the charts really mattered and just to break into the top 40 was a big deal, to go top 10 was really special and to get anywhere near the echelons of the top was a rare, career altering, achievement.
Tuesday lunchtime was about being huddled around my radio listening to the brand new chart run down.
All those songs you think made number one in the 1980s didn’t (Duran Duran’s, ‘Save A Prayer’ (No 2), one of their best known ‘Rio’ (No 9) and Wham’s ‘Young Guns‘ (no 3) but that didn’t mean they weren’t huge and still classics now.
Radiohead announced the release of their album yesterday, not to be released in the spring or next month as with most new announcements, but this week. The news included the fact that their previous albums had reached number one but really, does that matter anymore?
My idea is that perhaps at the start of the year, we should start a ‘year to date’ chart based entirely on sales so far. Therefore, a track may come out in June but if it sells more than everything that preceded it, it will become number one until another single sells more. This is much truer test of what’s popular (these are the ‘pop’ charts after all) and it will hopefully discount whatever is popular on X Factor or with those pesky Glee kids in any particular week.
If these pop pretenders still end up at the top of the heap, well I won’t like it but I may attention to the charts once again.
Similarly, the BRITS were about what’s popular, right at the top of the charts and familiar to your mum and your kid brother alike. Nowadays, there’s always some act I’ve never heard off, or at least not heard the music. Call me middle aged but isn’t the Mercury prize for uncovering new talent, the BRITS used to be to recognise what’s already at the top of the tree.
It was going this way when still with the BBC but moving to ITV ensured it was all about the glitz and not about the music any more.
Still, I’ll watch it – and record it – religiously every year and disagree with every win, just like my Dad would have done thirty years ago.
With the BRIT Awards today, it got me thinking, why do we still have weekly charts?