Sunday, 8 December 2013

Lily Allen for Christmas Number One? Brilliant!

So the betting money is on Lily Allen's version of "Somewhere Only We Know" being the 2013 Christmas Number One, and this makes me smile for a number of reasons:

  1. It encompasses the true spirit of Christmas! Its from an advert for Christmas shopping.
  2. It's a cover of a classic old tune! It's nine years old and proves that we now live in a retro free-fall.
  3. It isn't a Simon Cowell X-Factor hit! Instead it is corporate music by a totally different set of producers and media manipulators.
  4. It isn't a "Get X to Christmas Number One!" campaign song! Because that was cool in 2009 with Rage Against The Machine and has since deteriorated into repetitious nonsense.
  5. We now have scientific proof that you can make a Keane song worse!
So all in all a win for the biting cynic in me. Then again I gave up on the importance of a Christmas Number 1 years ago for a number of reasons. The first is that singles sales have gone through the floor, so where as in the 70's, 80's, 90's & early 00's you needed to shift a two and a half millionish to get the gold you can now do it with four hundred thousand. Still an achievement but also 16 times less sales needed. Secondly is that if you check the history of the Christmas Number One there have only been 12 Christmas Number One's that have actually been about Christmas (including 2 versions of "Do they know its Christmas" which is actually about famine), so the idea of 'a proper Christmas Number One' is a major reworking of history. And finally Christmas is no longer about when people who are into music go and buy music, it's about people looking for a gift in Tesco and spotting something they heard on the radio by Inoffensive & Clean-Shaven. This is why major artists don't bother releasing anything good at this time of year, they know they aren't going to get the top slot so wait till the New Year sales slump for a cheeky go (looking at you, Iron Maiden). And if you really want to see what's happening in music go and check out the album chart.

So sit back, enjoy the seasonal cheer, ignore the hype, and just pray that Lily makes good on previous promises.
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