The UK Top 40

It seems like I’m a grumpy bastard sometimes when I read my own blog posts, always moaning about something. I expect these next few related posts will fuel that fire as I take a look at something I haven’t checked out (probably) since I was 18 – the UK Top 40 Singles chart. Obviously music has changed a lot since then, and the way music is charted has changed even more. As every good music fan knows, the best music rarely hits the charts these days but I’m prepared to give it a chance. As much as I occasionally join in the yells of dissent when caterwauling about the state of chart music, I have first heard many bands and artists I love via those same charts, so maybe there’s someone out there now who could be my next favourite singer but I’ll never encounter them unless I listen. So, over most days in the month of November I’m going to post about a particular song that is in the UK Top 40 at the time of writing – 10.33am on the 19th October. Here is the current chart (so, so many with the pointless ‘feat.’ bonus!):

1: What Do You Mean – Justin Beiber (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

2: Locked Away – R City (never heard of you)

3: Hotline Bling – Drake (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

4: Runnin’ – Naughty Boy (never heard of you)

5: The Hills – The Weekend (never heard of you)

6: Wasn’t Expecting That – Jamie Lawson (never heard of you)

7: Writing’s On The Wall – Sam Smith (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

8: On My Mind – Elle Goulding (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

9: Do It Again – Pia Mia (Never heard of you)

10: Easy Love – Sigala (Never heard of you)

11: How Deep Is Your Love – Calvin Harris (Everything I’ve heard has been crap)

12: Alone No More – Philip George & Anton Powers

13: Can’t Feel My Face – The Weekend (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

14: Downtown – Mackelmore (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

15: Lay It All On Me – Rudimental (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

16: Kiss Me – Olly Murs (everything I’ve heard has been crap)

17: Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself – Jess Glynne – (never heard of you)

18: Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth (Never heard of you)

19: Never Forget You – MNEK & Zara Larsson (never heard of you)

20: Love Me – The 1975 (never heard of you)

21: Peanut Butter Jelly – Galantis (never heard of you)

22: Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon (never heard of you)

23: Fight Song – Rachel Platten (never heard of you)

24: 679 – Fetty Wap (never heard of you)

25: Intoxicated – Martin Solveig (never heard of you)

26: Trap Queen – Fetty Wap (never heard of you)

27: Lean On – Major Lazer x DJ Snake (never heard of you)

28: Ain’t Nobody – Felix Jaehn (Never heard of you, but I think I’ve heard this and it is one of the worst covers I’ve ever heard)

29: Are You With Me – Lost Frequencies (Never heard of you)

30: Drag Me Down – One Direction (What I’ve heard has been crap)

31: Black Magic – Little Mix (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

32: Love Me Like You – Little Mix (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

33: Photograph – Ed Sheeran (What I’ve heard has been crap)

34: Let It Go – James Bay (Never heard of you)

35: Cheerleader – OMI (Never heard of you)

36: Firestone – Kygo (Never heard of you)

37: Want To Want Me – Jason Derulo (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

38: Good For You – Selena Gomez (Aware of you, but never heard any of your stuff)

39: Talk To Me – Nick Brewer (Never heard of you)

40: Around The World – Natalie La Rose (Never heard of you)

There’s the school of thought that most of us lose our love for new music around the time we hit the age of thirty. There seem to be a number of reasons for this – chart music hinges upon a sheep mentality, the need to fit in and do, see, hear the same as everyone else, it’s aimed primarily at children, and while many of us care about such things in our youth, by the time we hit thirty we no longer care, or have time to care about such things. Some of us have simply passed by having a passion for music, and are content to play the same five albums or simply have the radio on in the background regardless of what is playing. Most of us consider ourselves to be the hated word ‘settled’ – with a job and a family which take priority over things like music, art, learning. Some of us will simply become our parents and claim that music is crap nowadays, and that it was so much better when we were younger. The trap is to fall back on only listening to the music we loved in our day, with anything new being too scary, too noisy, too young, too not me etc. I’ve always been a believer that as long as there are people with something to say, with a melody to write, with passion screaming in their souls that can only be freed via a pen, a microphone, or some other instrument of noise, then there will always be great music. Like I say though, the Top 40 is rarely a place for such musicians – a few lucky will make it, sure, but the highest echelons of sales and popularity will always be reserved for the pretty, the bland, the copy, the flavour of the week. So, I don’t have high hopes for finding something I actually like, but I do have hope. As a bonus, and as a gauge for any psych-types out there who may wish to strike for a correlation between my personal taste and the current Top 40, here is a rough list of the 10 most important artists in my life:

Michael Jackson, The Bangles, Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper, Nirvana, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, The Gathering, Led Zeppelin, Metallica

Maybe I should have went for the Top 40 Rock chart…..

The hand of God, telling me to go watch QOTSA

28 thoughts on “The UK Top 40

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