A View From The Top #65

by Oliver Rose

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’ve stayed in. I’m curmudgeonly and my blood-alcohol content is disappointingly low. I would have loved to have dictated this woozily into a dictaphone and smashed up something in a sort of wonky whiskey waltz. Unfortunately, this has come straight from the heart. It’s well informed but badly executed, using only one biased example and failing to consider alternative viewpoints. I think, however, my work has mileage, being as it is so disillusioned. I’m sure there are some other reactionaries around the place to latch on to a least a bit of what I’m saying. You get the idea ought be the title of this piece. It’s not convincing; it lacks the finesse of examples that came before it; moreover, it’s quite narcissistic. You’ll notice my self-deprecating (and subsequently, ironically aggrandising) list of three applies to both my prose and the state of popular culture.

No, you’re welcome.

So anyway. The UK chart has become a boring game; a format redundancy whose purposelessness has led to its ugly transmogrification into the kingpin of all things uselessly trivial. Once upon a time, the charts were truly indicative of what was being bought - now they’re a kind of crappy re-hash of Spotify’s streaming statistics, melded together with the pathetic sales of physical media and digital downloads. Do the very obvious maths - these now pale in comparison to streams, and so now, a reasonable physical media sale is ignored because every philistine wing-nut brought up by Facebook kept streaming Views on the bus to school.

Most importantly, let’s not forget that the charts and radio were once a generous reflection of one another. Now, the former is just a gruesomely inaccurate spreadsheet, whose botched utilisation in the establishment of trends in contemporary culture has served only to distance it from its old partner in crime. Did anything heard on most radio stations last year chart? Did it fuck. Case in point: Pet Shop Boys’ Twenty-something. Relentless BBC airplay - chart result yielded: zilch. Go figure. They’re not even an obscure act. They are, in fact, the most successful duo in UK music history.

If I was doing this properly, I would back up everything I’m saying with decent chart source-work and statistical analysis. Trouble is, I’m just pointing out something you already knew anyway. Who on earth is still tracing the mouldy path of this statistical carrion? Who are you, and why am I being offered the chance to produce this content for you? I’m fascinated by you, and your lack of respect for the dead.

I won’t waste any breath on this week’s ‘number one’ as if it meant anything. It’s a piece of poo. But you knew that anyway. I don’t really know what this article is now. Just a sort of shapeless rant.

Happy new year everyone.

P.s. apparently, I was supposed to tell you explicitly, this week’s number one is Rockabye by Clean Bandit. [swishes Daiquiri] whatever…