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What on earth happened to the charts?

What on earth happened to the charts?

On Sunday, I got to indulge in a pleasure that’s getting rarer and rarer as the years advance, the summer of my life turns to the brown autumnal leaves and as my body prefers to stay in blissful sleep rather than facing the world.

A pleasure that I was so keen to relive, that I had to go 100 miles out of my way, and swerve past sheep on the road in Carmarthenshire to enjoy. (Just think, about 15 years in Wales, and this is the first time I had to swerve past sheep on an open road)

Yes, I got to listen to the *whole* of the UK Top 40 – all three hours of it with JK & Joel, who are like a really annoying and slightly gay version of Dick’n’Dom. I half expected them to be murmuring bogies throughout.

But what the hell happened to the charts? Time was that if I listened in, I could at least finally go “ahhh, that’s that tune” that I had heard but never placed, and mostly hear new tunes that had passed the peer-review of being popular and therefore worthy of my ears.

Not this time, it seems. A full 7 weeks after the JCB Song was number 1, it’s still in the UK Top 20 – at number 14. The awful X-Factor finalist song That’s My Ego (oh, alright, it’s That’s My Goal but it still sounds like ego to me) – which was number one at Christmas six weeks, is even higher at 12. Madonna’s Hung Up, which was out in October for goodness’ sake, is STILL in the charts at number 15. And let us not dirty this blog with that Blunt song, which has actually gone *back* into the UK top 40 this week.

Which wouldn’t be as bad if there were new good songs to replace it. But the only songs I like in the top ten is from Candi Stanton (a re-mix) or Dead or Alive (a re-issue). In fact, the first cool new song isn’t in the charts till Goldfrapp makes an appearance at number 15. And I’ll probably have to begrudgingly admit an admiration for The Magic Numbers at number 20.

I’ve always prided myself on having a populist ecletic music taste. From synth-electro-pop to poodle-haired rock, I like some songs from almost every genre. I’ve resisted the general online movement towards peer-recommendations from a particular genre, because even I cannot listen to the Pet Shop Boys all day long. I crave variety. But if the charts (and therefore the radio stations) are no longer going to be my source for new electic-genre music that I wouldn’t hear otherwise, where else can I go?

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