Music Charts: Accurate?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_ScaredLittleBoy, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    Do you think the music charts are an accurate representation of the musical talent of today? Do you think there was ever a time that it was?

    I think the charts are filled with a lot of formulaic and otherwise mediocre (c)rap. etc.

    I was looking on Wikipedia and noticed that James Morrison's singles didn't chart very high. One only reached #63 which I thought was low since I think he has more merits than other artists a lot higher in the charts.

    What does everyone else think?
     
  2. D_one and done

    D_one and done New Member

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    i guess theyre accurate, but they in no way reflect talent. the fact that crank that soulja boy is on any chart at all proves that.
     
  3. Ali-Pali

    Ali-Pali New Member

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    Its not about being a representation of talent, just who sells the most records.
     
  4. _avg_

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    Record sales were never indicative of talent and are not even representative of what people listen to, anymore. You've gotta follow the torrent streams for that...

    In short: the charts, they mean nothing. [say it in a Reiner Wolfcastle voice and it's funnier]
     
  5. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    Yes but would you not hope that the public had better taste? A preference for artists rather than the people who are more photogenic, or with the more 'gangsta' image.

    I thought maybe the charts in the 60's and 70's was more indicative of talent. Or at least not filled with Soulja Boy Sr and other crap. But, I wasn't around back then...
     
  6. uniquelymemethinks

    uniquelymemethinks New Member

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  7. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    These music charts do not reflect everyone. It's basically a number of established corporations who report to one source about which songs are played the most, requested or sold. This info is collected and forms a chart that we're presented. Billboard does one. Rolling Stone does another. So does CMJ, Gavin and many other music magazines. And no two magazines ever have the same, identical charts.

    Most magazines that have record charts, or any corporation that tracks or sells music, will use a basic age demographic from 14-25. Somewhere, a few people decided this was the only market worth focusing on since they thought these were the people who bought the most music. Because of that, new acts are made with the formula to please the younger artist and nothing else. That adds to the reason as to why people are subjected to the same amount of mediocre music. On top of that, the amount of brainwashing (errr, I mean marketing) spent to get their records played every hour on the hour on most commercial radio & video stations, plus aggressive web campaigns to constantly shove the faces of their artists, makes it very easy for that age group to get into what they're selling.

    It's an easy market to manipulate because nobody at that age really knows what goes on behind the scenes at MTV, BET, VH-1, (which happen to be owned by the same network) or any of these established music companies. The majority of young viewers will blindly accept what's told to them because the music industry creates an elaborate scheme to protray itself as if it really was people their own age telling them what's hot and the young consumer attaches themselves to that visual. That makes it very difficult for any real artists with real talent to shine. They can only post a website or two and get a few postings on messageboards and it would take them hours to do it. The majors can do all of this in 5 minutes, repeatedly, for 5 days just on a record that constantly says, "Now, Walk It Out!" and embed it permanently into the minds of the sheep.

    You really start learning more about music as you get older. When I was in high school, I used to grab that free copy of the Billboard Top 100 at Tower Records and love being able to highlight how many records I owned off of it. Once I started doing college radio, I started to see so many artists that deserved airplay and sales who never made it mainstream. That's when I started to learn that there was a lot more good music out there then what was presented and I started digging. And the more I dug, the more I started to lose my taste for commercial po(o)p. Ironically, this all started when I was in my 20s, the same exact age range where labels and corporate stations don't even value your opinion as a real statistic. Coincidence?

    Best thing to do is always listen to what you like and make your own decisions about music. Don't let any of these magazines or video stations brainwash you into liking music that they market. It shouldn't take more than 5 seconds for you to realize if you like a record or not. Even if it's blinged up to be the best record on the planet, don't just accept it because it's being told to you it's the number one single right now that's sweeping the nation. And that's when music starts to get fun again.

    OK. I'll step off my soap box now. Time to go listen to some Techno. :)
     
  8. Qua

    Qua
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    In a similar vein, grammy nominations are submitted by the record companies. They're just publicity stunts designed to "legitimize" artists. The record companies submit the nominations and people in the industry vote on them. It's a near-monopoly in every regard. 4 (likely soon to be 3) companies control over 90% of the market. It's just a business of selling, as any other. And the people with the disposable income and inclination to buy the most cds are teenagers. Pop music is aimed at them. It really is designed for kids.

    Chart position in no way represents talent. <--that's a period

    EDIT: YouTube - Porcupine Tree - The Sound of Muzak [w/ lyrics]
    ^great song...expresses the sentiments nicely...and it's absolutely beautiful.
     
  9. ManlyBanisters

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    Thanks for saving me all that typing Vinlyboy!! :biggrin:

    SLB - Look at the album charts, not the singles charts - they are a slightly better indication of what is actually good within the mainstream.

    And a question - who the fuck buys singles?? When was the last time you bought a single? I last bought a single about 12 years ago (Oasis - Don't Look Back in Anger, if you must know).

    Does anybody buy singles online yet? - I haven't so far - but then I have discovered how to pirate shit :rolleyes:
     
  10. Kevbo

    Kevbo Member

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    I used to be a huge chart fanatic -- part of spending every Sunday morning as an adolescent listening to Casey Kasem (Billboard) and Rick Dees (Radio and Records?). Back before 1991 or so, Billboard collected its singles data from record store chains and radio station-reported playlists. I don't know what exactly Billboard did to massage these (obviously already-massaged :rolleyes:) numbers from there, but there was a definite pattern to how songs moved up and down the chart. Very regular. Moving up more than 10 spots once the song entered the Top 40 was a rare feat indeed, so I remember being shocked out of my socks when a few songs (such as "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley -- 39 to 13 in one week) did it.

    But in 1991 Billboard changed its chart methodology, by using Soundscan technology (to automatically collect sales figures) and Broadcast Data Systems (to electronically "listen" to select radio stations and track what they're actually playing). Bam! The charts changed overnight. Suddenly, new songs by established artists would debut in the Top 10 instead of spending weeks marching up the Hot 100. Songs would stay at #1 for ridiculous lengths of time. (Among the biggest beneficiaries: Boyz II Men) It was all crazy if you were used to the old way.

    Nowadays, Billboard includes some digital download data (such as iTunes). I think, in general, that the charts are a lot more accurate now, but the teenager in me sheds a silent tear for the charm of the old single-run patterns. And I still lament to this day that Olivia Newton-John's "Physical", with its 10-week run at #1, kept a much more deserving song ("Waiting For A Girl Like You" -- Foreigner -- 10 weeks at #2!) out. Perhaps the newer methodologies would've pushed "WFAFLY" over the top.

    Some data the charts should but don't incorporate:
    * peer-to-peer transfers
    * YouTube (and other) video playage
    * media player playage

    Lots of Big Brother opportunities there, eh? Especially the last one.

    Kev
     
  11. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I think they are an accurate representation of what gets the most airplay. I abandoned listening to the radio in preference for my own iPod or techno mixes.
     
  12. VeeP

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    Good topic, SLB, and it relates to a point I've been trying to make in the American Idol thread. Today's charts are largely representative of popularity, not talent. Follow the money. :smile:
     
  13. HazelGod

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    Yaarrrr! :pirate:

    The Mrs. is an iTunes junkie...but these are only "singles" in the sense that she buys one song at a time.

    @ the OP: I put about as much stock in the charts accurately reflecting talent as I would Leno's "man on the street" interviews accurately reflecting the intellegence of our citizenry.
     
  14. D_Hyacinth Harrytwat

    D_Hyacinth Harrytwat Account Disabled

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    "Yes but would you not hope that the public had better taste?" - SLB

    Yes we would hope :p but we also hope for a lot of other things that just won't happen.
     
  15. Elmer Gantry

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    LMAO. They have probably never been accurate and have been rorted for years.

    It became a bit harder to do with the advent of mass retailers and bar codes but they figured ways around that too. Also, the advent of the CDROM put an end to the old days of "shop stacking" but this returned when they figured out how to recycle them. I thought this was such common knowledge that no one that I know of ever takes the "Number One Best Seller" seriously.

    Also, the singles charts are heavily skewed towards the teenies as they are the majority of that sale. Older people with more money by albums. Again, this is changing as iTunes and downloadable music starts to make it's presence felt.

    Suggestion for next topic "Mummy, is there really a Santa Claus?"
     
  16. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    I knew they weren't an accurate barometer of musical talent. I was just wondering if anyone else felt the same.

    Also even the music channels are fucked. I can only stand to listen to about two...the rest are catered to the teens/emos. :redface:

    *sigh*

    So if the mainstream is crap...how do you find the good stuff?
     
  17. HazelGod

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    Yarrr, matey...there be torrents of plunder ter be had! Ye jes gots ter know where ter be lookin'...
     
  18. camchain

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    the uk singles chart has been un accurate for years now. the record company's put in there who thay want. how can you get a record in the chart's that has not been reliesed yet?. they tell you like on the ''x'' factor, that will be a number one, and when the time comes ''wow'' it is. yes cos they put it there. it has nothing to do with us record byeing public any more. it's to do with the big money boys like ''MR COWELL'', and the rest of them.
    westlife is managed by ronan keyting. when the group was ready to recoed a new album, they wanted to go for a change, thay had some good song's to record,not just ballads, so on talking to ronan about it and telling him what thay was going to do, he said, don't think so lad's, it must be ballads. that is what ''mr walch (louis) want's. now who is in charge, ronan is the manager, just goes to prove he has no say in the matter, big boy's again, telling them what to do..

    and don't get me started on that screaming LEONA (awfull) LOUIS. can't stand her..
     
  19. griplock22

    griplock22 Member

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    a handy method
     
  20. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Your first stop? College Radio.
    These are the only public stations on the airwaves where people are basically free to play whatever they want. The people running their own shows can take a few hours and focus on particular artists or genres that they feel need attention. And usually, they focus on stuff that isn't on the current mainstream stations. It's how Hip-Hop managed to become such a force to begin with.

    You figure out some good names from these stations, and then start going online to find these and similar artists. Then it leads to internet radio. Pretty soon, you'll realize that you never even have to turn on the FM Radio or watch MTV again. You'll just tune in once in a while to see what the common folks are doing. :biggrin1:
     
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