Wednesday, January 10, 2007

At number 150 this week, I Ain't The One by Lynyrd Skynyrd

See, this is a good demonstration of why we can't get a hold of the singles chart any more. Three stories have emerged in the last three days that reflect The Way Things Are Changing (or, if you're the Independent, "The day music-lovers took control of the pop charts". Right you are, then. You're never usually that kind to Snow Patrol, Indy), and while HMV replacing the official chart with own brand was kind of inevitable, if not so quickly - HMV already do their own album chart display, and if you've got great big gaps in your singles line-up it's not going to help much - we weren't quite aware of the scale of the issue until we heard that, of about 8,000 sales to take it to number nine, Chasing Cars sold 26 physical copies. Twenty six. Firstly, can you imagine if that had been top 20 for six months? Secondly, doesn't this kind of make a mockery of the idea that it's beneficial for everyone?

Moreover, news today that at 17 in the midweeks, the highest new entry, is Koopa's download only single. Now, we like to think we're across all modern music, through a result of the Net, assorted media outlets, listening widely and, well, chancing it a lot of the time, but we've genuinely never come across Koopa before, not their supposed huge live support, not their Colchester-based groundswell - a chart search engine reveals they had a number 71 smash capitalising on the Christmas week sales slowdown in 2005. Checking their Myspace, and the quote next to the band picture is so banally cliched it would put off many less stout-hearted men, we don't particularly care for coming across them again. Of course it won't be up there by Sunday, but bearing in mind number 40 this week sold around 3,000, where is this all coming from? We're aware they have 32,000+ Myspace friends, but that sort of thing never usually translates to a great impact on the charts. Well, because the new rules "give hope for genuine talent", says Koopa's singer, but he would. And the charts, you never hear anything but manufactured singers from talent shows, do you, eh, Eh? Eh? Yes, of course it's the flexibility of the download rules, not so much that it makes a level playing field, because that hasn't happened before now in nearly nine months of downloads being incorporated - in fact, Fierce Panda and Moshi Moshi would have had top 40 successes by now on physical sales alone, and as we've mentioned before even the Internet's famous Arctic Monkeys' last single was a physical number one by some distance and a Guinness Book number four - but because the way these things are added up can give rise to such an anomoly, in the same way nothing has come remotely close to following Crazy (also the year's best selling physical single, FWIW) to download number one.

Time for a little experiment into the effect of our exciting digital sales age, which we won't lace with smartarse comments just so you can interpret the data as you wish. Here's the top 20 announced on the randomly chosen day of 15/10/06:

1 My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade (new entry)
2 Razorlight - America
3 Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
4 Bob Sinclar - Rock This Party
5 P Diddy feat. Nicole Scherzinger - Come To Me
6 Lil Chris - Checkin' It Out
7 Beatfreakz - Superfreak
8 Killers - When You Were Young
9 Justin Timberlake - Sexyback
10 David Hasselhoff - Jump In My Car
11 Lily Allen - LDN
12 Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous
13 Shakira - Hips Don't Lie
14 Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
15 Cascada - Everytime We Touch
16 Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober
17 High School Musical - Breaking Free
18 Pussycat Dolls - I Don't Need A Man
19 Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger
20 James Morrison - Wonderful World

Here's the download top 20:

01 Razorlight
02 My Chemical Romance
03 Scissor Sisters
04 Bob Sinclar
05 Snow Patrol (remember, this came out at the start of July)
06 Killers
07 James Morrison
08 Amy Winehouse - Rehab (released 23rd)
09 P Diddy
10 Lil’ Chris
11 Lily Allen
12 Justin Timberlake
13 Damien Rice - 9 Crimes (released 29th November! Charted at 29)
14 Fratellis
15 Nelly Furtado
16 David Hasselhoff
17 Paolo Nutini (21 in the big chart)
18 Beyonce - Irreplaceable (released 23rd)
19 Shakira
20 Cascada

And here's the physical sales top 20:

01 My Chemical Romance
02 P Diddy (down from number one)
03 Razorlight (interestingly, up from an entry position of 5)
04 Scissor Sisters
05 Bob Sinclar
06 Beatfreakz
07 Lil'Chris
08 David Hasselhoff
09 Justin Timberlake
10 High School Musical
11 Shakira
12 Lily Allen
13 Evanescence
14 Nelly Furtado
15 Cascada
16 Pussycat Dolls
17 Placebo feat Alison Mosshart - Meds (in at 35)
18 Lemar - It's Not That Easy (down to 26)
19 Jamelia - Somehting About You (down to 22)
20 Hot Chip - Over and Over (in at 27)

Out of interest, who'd like to see the same week's airplay top 20?

1 Razorlight
2 Scissor Sisters
3 James Morrison
4 The Magic Numbers - Take A Chance (out 23rd)
5 Lily Allen
6 Amy Winehouse
7 The Kooks - Ooh La (23rd)
8 Nelly Furtado
9 Lemar
10 Simon Webbe - Coming Around Again (30th)
11 Fratellis
12 Snow Patrol
13 Jamelia
14 Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up For Detroit (30th)
15 Muse - Starlight (down to 33)
16 Kooks - She Moves In Her Own Way (at 37 after 17 weeks)
17 The Feeling - Never Be Lonely (down to 25)
18 My Chemical Romance
19 Corinne Bailey Rae - Like A Star (in at 32)
20 All Saints - Rock Steady (6th November)


Anonymous said...

PCD rocks my socks !

Chris Brown said...

Sorry to disagree slightly, but your path has crossed that of Koopa very briefly: they were one of the thousands of acts who did a World Cup cash-in song, and according to the Finals Fantasy blog it sounded like the Ordinary Boys on cheap generic Valium.

Anonymous said...

Chasing Cars got deleted a few months back (hence its sudden disappearance from the chart) so I'm surprised even 26 physical copies of it are still around.
And Moshi Moshi did have a physical top 40 hit, from the unlikely source of New Rhodes, although as that was just before the rule changes it reinforces your point.

Simon said...

Oh, yeah. We might have been thinking of another similarly sized label (we're fairly sure about Fierce Panda, though, as we remember a couple of weeks after downloads came in Art Brut were inside the physical top 30 and just outside the actual top 40). New Rhodes got dropped soon after that, didn't they? We know they won some sort of unsigned band award last year. That's gratitude for you.

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