The ‘charts’ only mattered to me when I was in my late teens/early 20s and was trying to follow the ‘in-crowd’. Listening to Sunday’s Top 40 on the radio was a must! But, in reality I was never going to make that mould, as I have never been able to tune my ears to something that just doesn’t sit right or sound right. As a young woman I was “Northern Soul” as I loved to dance to it and it was sheer music to my ears. Nowadays a lot of that is out of the window, although I’ve been known to get up suddenly and start bopping along.
Contradicting myself, however, I thought as a young woman that I would never stop listening to the charts or following popular music and knowing what was “in” - I even recall saying that I hoped someone would shoot me if I ever lost touch with the music scene. But, in spite of that, and knowing I said it myself I’ve had to switch off. I don’t do “popular” music as most of it (in my old ears) is absolute trash. It’s not what I call music.
Of course, however, I agree that popularity has to be measured. And it’s measured mainly by what young people listen to - just as it was when I was young. Ultimately, that’s what the music industry caters to and nothing has changed. It’s about money, isn’t it?
As to being old if you’re not interested in the charts, fair comment. However, I prefer to see it as being more in tune to music itself than what’s popular, which I couldn’t give two hoots about. I’d rather be old and have what I consider to be a fairly decent taste in music, than follow what’s “popular”.
From a purely personal point of view, charts are totally superfluous.