Monday, 20 December 2010

The X Factor and The Christmas Number One

It's that time again and the Christmas Number One is back in the hands of an X-Factor winner and the music snobs are bleating about the manipulation of the charts by one Simon Cowell.

To which I say rubbish. Or, rather, not rubbish.

The charts are, year round, the result of the manipulation of the record buying public. All that happens at Christmas is that the act has had an audience of some 17 million to sell themselves too. Simon Cowell provides the shows competitors (and the guest artists) the biggest platform available in this country.

The X Factor is popular. The charts are a measure of a) popularity and b) promotional activity. The result is inevitable. So-called "real music" lacks the same level of popularity and promotion. In addition, those who complain loudest about the manipulation of the Christmas Number One are those least likely to buy anything as a single - so how disenfranchised have they really been?

And I have another problem with those who lament this monopolisation of the Christmas Number One - without Cowell, we've had, amongst others, the likes of The Spice Girls (for three years straight), Mr Blobby and Bob the Builder. Hardly what the music snobs would call "real music".

Anyhoo, this year Matt Cardle is number one with his cover of Biffy Clyro's Many of Horror (retitled as When we Collide). 

Biffy Clyro is one of those bands that have somehow passed me by despite being both guitar-led and Scottish. Matt's version has forced me to look into their oeuvre at last. Here's their own version of Many of Horror, which is at number 8 in this week's chart:


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