The Union - Fish Forum

Aren't Charts Old Hat?

Continuing the discussion from Streaming Music:

A very good point - but to what end do you allow people to access new music that they wouldn’t otherwise hear?

Maybe there’s something out there that hasn’t been invented yet. InstaSound? FourMusic? YouTunes?

With YouTube bringing in a monetised streaming service there seems to be less and less of a way for independant artists to access audiences that aren’t being commercialised by labels as they have learned to capitalise on social media and the ilk.

If only we could measure the way that a listener engages with the music - now that would be an interesting trend.

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Really not sure what the way forward is for new artists breaking through, but the charts are only old-hat and irrelevant to ‘old people’!

Can’t remember when the charts stopped being relevant to me, but that says more about me than the charts!


In that regard, I’m not quite sure if charts have ever been particularlrly relevant to me. :laughing:

Never sat and made a mix-tape from the top 40 John? - Happy memories. :smile:


I think in the days when there was one chart, and it was only based on physical sales, then it had a relevance. Then there started to be lots of different charts, catering for various genres of music (rock, country, dance, R’n’B, etc…) and the whole idea became diluted and dispersed (IMO).

Don’t get me wrong - I think it is vital that there is some way of measuring which tracks/albums/pieces are being listened to, but I’m not sure there is a valid method of ascertaining that at the moment…

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Even the BBC have come up with their own method now!
Enter the BBC Playlister Chart-o-matic-iser!

It would be nice to return to the days of having a single chart, instead of every genre being fragmented into their own, but let’s not forget that the charts in the 80’s were very different and practically anything had a chance of success. - Not sure there is so much variety anymore.

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.


Absolutely! :smiley:

Oh gosh, I remember my parents coming out with exactly the same phrase about my music when I was younger! How things come full circle. - Do you think our ability (or desire?!) to be turned on and tuned in to new types of music becomes lessened as we get older, or is it just a case of us becoming set in our ways and sticking to the stuff that we can relate our own youth too?

I do occasionally dip in to see what’s what in the charts, out of curiosity, but I more often than not fail to be moved or excited by anything. I wonder is this because of a lack of quality and originality, or is it simply because I can’t relate to the music, the lyrics, the artist? - I’ll admit there are some great new singers out there. - Sam Smith has a fantastic, soulful voice, but that’s all it is to me. A facade, and I fail to connect with anything underneath.

Thinking about it, my tastes have greatly broadened as I’ve hit 40+. Some stuff I would have never have imagined listening to when I was younger, but in reflection almost all of those artists/bands are older, and if not older they are performing a more retro/‘traditional’ kind of music to my ears. - I guess what I listen to currently reflects how I’m feeling/being in the here and now.


Now is the time when the charts could be as fresh and exciting as they used to be.

For example, I think it was 2009 when Journey hit the Top 10 with Don’t Stop Believin’ after Glee murdered it.

Journey had never previously had a hit like that in the UK.

With the Shazam App readily available, whenever you hear a great piece of music on an advert, film or TV show, you can find out what the song is and buy it.

Then we’ll get strange new entries into the charts which will, hopefully, resurrect interest in an artist’s back catalogue.

Could being the key word here.

In principle that’s a promising thought, however I think that it ultimately just adds to the generic record-label-led approach of charts that we have. You’re more likely to hear a full song that you haven’t heard from the radio. The radio will play what is charting or what the record company A&R men can foist upon them. And so the cycle continues.

There would be those instances that would snag those tracks from your example and I think that these are worth seeing in a chart alone. But how do you rate those?