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Chart Report - 14/01/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:55 UK time, Monday, 15 January 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  3 MIKA 'GRACE KELLY' Official Site
  3 TAKE THAT 'PATIENCE' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

Ooh! How interesting this new chart is becoming. We've got a single which isn't due in the shops for another FORTNIGHT at No.3 - take a bow, Mr Mika - and another one right next to it which is out the day after it got to No.4 - and one for you, Captain Just Jack.

And elsewhere across the Top 40 you can see similar things going on for the View, the Ordinary Boys, and Jamie T. But then, the pre-release Top 40 entry has been a staple part of the art of the chart ever since downloads first came in, so let's not pretend it's all that exciting.

However, there is something interesting going on this week, and here's a little picture to get a discussion started...


See this lot? An up-&-coming trio of rock urchins called Koopa have made what seems to be chart history by getting to the very respectable position of No.31 with their aptly-named song 'Blag, Steal or Borrow', despite having no record company or distributor whatsoever at all. A feat which has led some people to claim that the future has arrived in our very faces, and that this is the end for record companies and PR and all that pop plasticating, manufacturing, dehumanising...er...did I say manufacturing? And etc.

Against Manufactured PopBeing real rockers with real instruments, Koopa are very much against manufactured pop, just like this banner from their website says. In fact, their music, far from being manufactured using electricity, is grown out of the ground using seedlings grown from the scrapings off a Blink 182 CD. These were grown from cuttings taken from a Green Day cassette, which was itself cross-fertilised from a rare Stiff Little Fingers album found in a dusty record store in that film with Jack Black in. Organic, see...

And, seeing as the whole REAL vs MANUFACTURED nonsense is one of the oldest and most unwinnable arguments since music began, there's really no point in making a fuss about this kind of attitude now. Besides, if you defend 'manufactured' pop, you're basically at risk of having to stick up for some dreadful pop act you can't stand, and for some reason, the fact that there are any number of GODAWFUL rock and indie bands seems not to count as points in your favour, so, moving on...

Koopa navigationsThe only reason any of this is especially interesting is that the Koopa official website is among the more - what's the word...organised? Pre-meditated? Manipulative? - on the entire internet. Now, seeing as they haven't got a record company behind them, you'd have to expect that, really, right? You expect to be reminded to buy their stuff and vote on their video and tell all your friends about them whenever you can. They've got their lives invested in this music, you see. It's not just been put together by some faceless, corporate webbie making yet another site for his massive conglomerate boss.

And anyway being against street teams and e-teams and whatnot in this day and age is a bit like being against traffic jams. Yes it's a bit icky, but everyone else is doing it, and they seem OK with it. And you can't say it hasn't given them results, what with the chart placing and everything...

...so, bearing all of this in mind. What's all this about manufactured pop again? What is it exactly that Westlife do that is so very different to Koopa? Force feed the public their music? Cover versions? Smile? Oh it's the no guitars thing, isn't it? OK. Well, if it makes you happy to have something to rage about, boys, go for it...

Personally, I'm Against Noisy Uninteresting Songs, & For All Clever Entertainers. But the slogan didn't fit on a T-shirt, and once you just take the initials, the message gets a bit lost.

Time for a rethink, I think.


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