Monday, 19 November 2007

Is this the worst album chart ever?

The UK music business surpassed itself this week with what could well be the worst album chart ever. Not necessarily because the music itself is invariably bad – although an awful lot of it is, often terribly so – but because it marks a new low in unoriginal, regurgitated, artificially inseminated, lowest-common-denominator crap.

I’ve nothing against X-Factor winner Leona Lewis, who has stormed to No 1 with the fastest-selling UK debut album of all time, beating the first-week sales of the Arctic Monkeys’ 2006 debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, by 12,000 copies. But the raison d’etre of the X-Factor (Saturday night viewing figures and Christmas CD sales) requires that, first, you eradicate anyone who can’t appeal to everyone, then you smooth over the rough (and original) edges of whatever raw talent is left, and finally the Granny That Is In All Of Us gets to vote for the one with the sweetest smile. Cutting edge creative, it isn’t.

And nor is what follows Leona in the charts. No 2 sees the Spice Girls recycled. At No 3 there is Westlife. Led Zeppelin come straight in from the grave at No 4, separated by only Celine Dion at No 5 from another resurrection act in the Eagles at No 6. (The Eagles, for Lennon’s sake, the ultimate ‘Only in it for the money’ band – haven’t they made enough already? Frank Zappa, where are you when we need you?)

You want more? There’s nothing you can sing that can’t be sung – over and again. There are ‘best of’ compilations of one sort or another from Whitney Houston, the Rolling Stones, Beautiful South/the Houemartins, David Gray, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Van Morrison and McEffingFly. There are ‘comeback’ albums from everyone from Take That to Cliff Richard (with Craig David doing yet another remix of the same old beats in between). There’s even an album from Daniel O’Danny Boy Donnell and Mary Duff. And three from Amy Winehouse, who can certainly knock ’em out.

Dammit, I even like some of these people. It’s just that there was more variety on a 1960s’ BBC radio playlist.


sally said...

u missed out james blunt

tom said...

she said the b word

Dead Kennedy said...

If it doesn't include Rick Wakeman it can't be the worst ever

Dave Hughes said...

The Grauniad's 1000 albums to hear before you die has about 900 that would feature in my worst ever.