Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Recently I was asked how I composed my chart. There's little thought behind it. I don't call in votes from distant outposts of the world or listen interminably to the top 20 considering who should be leapfrogging whom. Those records featured are usually things I've purchased in the last month or two or occasionally records I've rediscovered or returned to with a new passion. The only criteria that has to be met is that the track had to be available as a single.

Meanwhile in the "other" chart, the one that used to matter so much to me when I was growing up in the seventies, all manner of dullness abounds. Peppered with urban nonsense, infantile pop and misogynistic rap there is little for a forty something, who once featured on TOTP when Glenn Medeiros was no.1, to get excited about. In other words music is no better or worse than it was twenty years ago; and when I say featured I mean I was in the crowd dancing in a way that suggests I had no other desire but to rupture my dignity. In recent years we've had an abysmal crop of no.1's from the utterly talentless Eric Prydz to the shrunken twig-in-a-leotard Madonna with bloodless versions of American Pie and some lazy rewrite of an Abba song. Ah but thirty years the chart in the first week of the eighties to now and I assure you the quality gap will astound you. You'll be out scouring ebay for a functioning Tardis. Alas those days are long lost.

So giving nostalgia a firm nudge let's crawl cautiously into the present. Last year as we donned our sequinned dresses and manned our phones to vote for some Strictly Pole Dancer with the X Factor a mighty wind blew in from protest corner on Facebook. The monster Cowell and his charisma-vacuum X Factor winner had to be stopped from assuming poll position in the chart in xmas week. Oh how we manned the barricades and painted placards. The song picked to obviate the great crime of stealing the xmas no.1 was Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine. The timid little swizzle-stick Joe McElderberry or whatever his name was had no chance against a song with the refrain, "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." Never mind that both songs were risible the fact that Rage encouraged rebellion was a crowd pleaser. One could picture all the meek little workers raising their voices to a murmur masquerading as a whisper as their bosses walked by, their hearts powered by that insurrectionist refrain as they hurriedly went about their mundane tasks. Oh liberty, we shall grasp thy nettle! Like fuck, they did!

And where was smiling Joe McNickberry? Cowering behind Cowell? No, patiently waiting to snap up the first no.1 of the new decade. Make a statement by all means but do it well. Pick Hitsville UK by the Clash, the irony would be lost on those outraged by a swear word or nine but those in the know would smile and those who weren't would like the nice tune. Better still desert the charts, don't save the xmas no.1, save instead the health service or the hippo. Be useful.

But let us not forget that all the money spent on propelling Rage to no.1 went to a charity. So it's hard to hate them, nearly as hard as it is to like Joe McBeriberi. I'm not sure which charity benefitted from Killing In The Name Of's triumph but I hope it's one that helps with sufferers from Tourettes.

So the cry of the self-righteous has been heard, if only temporarily. Let's go further I say. Let's ensure that every no.1 this year is in direct opposition to the banal bilge that spurts forth from the behemoth-like record companies; those giants that are manned by earless accountants. We can do it. A download costs about 79p. In a year that's little more than £40. All we have to do is pick a song. I nominate Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've). The Buzzcocks never had a top ten hit, this musical felony can now be rectified. Suggest some yourselves.

Anyway my xmas no.1 will be posted very soon. Those who wish to influence the chart positions be aware that I'm very susceptible to bribery. A Wee Cherubs single will ensure a single of your choice will vault up the chart at a supersonic rate. A Candy Ranch single will buy you a no.2. And Feline Groovy by Keen will see you reign upon the summit of the Turntable Revolution chart indefinitely, emperor of all you observe, dismissive of the petulant jostlings below.