So it’s a big congratulations to Rage Against the Machine for getting the 2009 UK Christmas number one spot on the singles chart. If you’ve been living under a rock for the best part of the last 2 weeks you’ll not know the full story.
It’s all been an anti XFactor/Simon Cowell campaign as for the past four years, the XFactor have had the Christmas number. Long gone are the days of the likes of Mr Blobby, East 17, or even Sir Cliffmas of Richard being number one, such is the juggernaut nature of the XFactor beast.
Here’s the thing, if you release a song a week before the Christmas chart, and depending on how much publicity you’ve given it (GMTV, This Morning, BBC Breakfast, The One Show, not to mention how early you tease/release it to radio), you are highly likely to get a good chart position. The XFactor is simply the biggest TV show in the UK in the run up to Christmas. Each week 19 million people sit, watch, and tweet/facebook about their favourites on the show.
Love the format or loathe it, it’s part of pop culture at the moment. Each week on facebook/twitter you’ll see comments for and against it, but that’s just part of everyone being different, just because someone likes or dislikes it, doesn’t make them any better or worse. It’s just there.
So back to the “science bit” – RATM becoming the Christmas Number one. Between Rage & Joe, they’ve sold approx a million copies which is a damn good figure to be fair. Written about revolution against corruption in society, “Killing in the Name” is widely recognised as the band’s signature song, and has been noted for its distinctive guitar riffs and heavy use of strong language (no s**t) But is there a winner in this?
Any ideas who might be a winner?
You could say that RATM – they’re number one, they sold more than Joe. Plus there are new fans of their music
The charity Shelter is also a winner since RATM wll donate all their royalties from Killing in the Name.
Joe M, although he didn’t get the Christmas number one, well, he’s won XFactor & will have a year of full backing from Syco (Cowell’s label)
What about Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe? Who you may ask? Well they’re the song writers behind The Climb – a nice Xmas royalty bonus coming their way I think.
And what about the main baddy of this piece? The very reason behind RATM being number one? He is the Hooded Claw to the UK music’s Penelope Pitstop – yes, Mr Simon Cowell. Is he actually a winner too? Well, I suppose yes. He’s employed by Sony Music via his label. And Sony Music are also the label that RATM are on – some may say coincidence, other conspiracies say it was a plan.
I just say there are no losers in this – it’s given the singles chart a good kick up the arse. The industry itself is basically to blame on that part though. Going back to 1995 when CD singles used to be sold for 99p in their first week of release meant that songs would go straight in at Number one, then the next week drop to 14… pop became disposable. Now with RATM becoming the first download only Xmas number one (can you imagine how many they’d have sold if it was on CD too? lol), the industry needs to start looking at ways of developing talent, and not just seeing a trend from a focus group, and copying it (Pixie Lott, Little Boots).
If one good thing was to come from this year’s “battle” would be that people find more good music – don’t just wait for music to be on the tv or the radio – carpe diem, as they say in Cardiff… ;)
So, Christmas 2010 number one… “Chesney Hawkes The one & only” campaign anyone…?