I love the pop charts. Always have.
When I was younger I used to listen obsessively every week and memorise all the stats, facts and figures.
I don’t know whether it’s because I love music or because I have an un-nerving obsession with lists (I can give you 10 reasons why I love lists if you like) but the top 40 ticks all my boxes.
I know what you’re going to say: “The charts are rubbish now.”
Sorry, what you mean is: “Blimey, I’m not a teenager any more!”
Actually, the charts are more of an indication of what people actually listen to now than they have ever been.
From the time they were launched in the 1950s right through to the mid-2000s, the only songs that could make the Top 40 were ones that the record companies had specifically released to music shops – whether they be vinyl, cassette or CD.
Out of those songs that the CEOs shortlisted, we bought our favourites.
The record companies still have a say – through marketing and “official” releases but because downloads make up the majority of the chart any back catalogue or obscure track can climb to the top with the right amount of publicity.
Take Rage Against The Machine – their 1992 metal hit Killing in the Name was Christmas number one in 2009 after a viral campaign to upset the X Factor applecart.
This week a song called Gangnam Style – basically South Korea’s answer to the Macarena – has leapt to number three on the back of it becoming a YouTube sensation, while Nick Clegg’s auto-tuned “I’m Sorry” speech could follow it.
In the old days a Radio 1 DJ needed to press-gang a record company into releasing songs like this – Simon Mayo did it with Kinky Boots and Chris Moyles with the Baz Luhrman track I love.
The music industry has worked wonders to move with the times – it isn’t worse than when we were kids, just different.
After all, if it hadn’t adapted back then Handel’s Water Music may still be number one!