So I’m sat here, having a conversation with myself about why Kris Delmhorst isn’t a superstar – I’m listening to her album, ‘Songs For A Hurricane’, loving it, and trying to imagine why she isn’t the biggest thing in the singer/songwriter world. So, this is going on in my head, and I flick over to the BBC entertainment newsfeed in Thunderbird, and see that the new UK #1 single is the Crazy Frog ringtone. What the hell is going on with the world? A ringtone at the top of the singles chart??? The singles chart has been largely irrelavent for many a year, but this is pretty much the nadir of its descent into a Dante-esque new level of hell.
For starters, who the hell is buying it? OK, I know, it’s lil’ kids, downloading it, not thinking about the cost etc. etc. It’s still a nightmare. The charts have always been subject to the occasional hijack by things that have nothing to do with its normal constiuency – like every time Cliff has a hit, or when Robson and Jerome suddenly became one of the biggest selling acts of the decade with a couple of shitty karaoke versions of great songs just cos old ladies in their millions dashed out to buy their lame band-in-a-box-plus-drunk-pub-singer drivel.
I now know why Kris isn’t a huge star, and I’m far less bothered by it than I was 10 minutes ago. I’ve not paid any attention to the singles chart for a decade, and I guess no-one else is really.
Chart-wise, the audioscrobbler charts are a much more interesting indication of what people are actually listening to, given that they log actual plays of actual songs on real people’s computers. So it’s a geek-chart, but a real chart nonetheless.
But the lesson is surely to give up listening to charts and mainstream radio for music suggestions, and go on recommendations and networks, and random links and of course, solo bassists.by