Finally it was over. The final sales tallies were in, the numbers had been crunched and the news could be announced to the world. The bold attempt to pay suitable tribute to the dearly departed Lemmy by sending his most famous work to Number One on the UK Singles Chart ended with the track resting at what some would regard as a suitably ironic Number 13.
To repeat what I stated before, it is certainly no bad thing to have the music charts reflect the sad passing of a true icon of rock music and indeed it must be noted that the social media pile on was enough to give Ace Of Spades its highest ever chart placing. lifting it two places higher than the Number 15 its original issue scaled first time around in November 1980. We’ll ignore the minor elephant in the room that this actually still isn’t sufficient to make it the highest charting Motorhead single ever and that in their heyday the group managed three Top 10 hit singles with a collection of EP releases, noting instead that a social media campaign aiming to push the track to its best placing ever would have been considered a roaring success. Instead the inevitable happened, those who had bought into the fun of buying 20 copies of the record at once and setting up farms of devices to stream the song 24 hours a day in the forlorn hope that it would fly to the top of the charts and prove, SOMETHING, had to deal with the fact that it was all in vain.
But that doesn’t mean the fun had to end for we casual observers, not a bit of it. We can instead play a game of “it is all rigged anyway” bingo:
These last two are my particular favourites, putting forward the hypothesis that the “top record companies” went out and bought a few thousand copies of a record just to push it up the charts. Or to put it another way, the exact thing that you spent the last week doing. I’ll spell out the irony for anyone still struggling: buying multiple copies of a track and encouraging others to do the same is, whilst within the rules and part and parcel of the game, chart-fixing. Attempting to have the best sellers list reflect a false picture of the true popularity of a piece of music. If it is all rigged, it is because you yourselves have rigged it.
Yes, the thing that stopped your favourite topping the charts was nothing more than people buying ALL THE OTHER RECORDS above it. The bastards.
There are those who are just angry that not everyone has the same music tastes as they do:
Yes, if you prefer X Factor to flying Spitfires or Shakespere (sic) (unsure emoticon) then shame on you forever!
And finally just for a special bonus we’ve even got a token retelling of the “Sex Pistols were robbed too” myth:
Damn those BBC. They just ruin everything.
In a strange, sad, coincidence as I write the music industry has moved on to mourning the unexpected passing of another legend, the media awash with tributes to the life and work of David Bowie. As I write his new album Blackstar (which was heading for the top anyway) is more or less a lock for Number One this weekend, and meanwhile his individual greatest hits have experienced a sales surge comparable only to that which followed Michael Jackson’s death in 2009. It is more or less inevitable that the singles chart this Friday will quite justly be populated with any number of David Bowie songs. All of which will have landed there as part of the natural, organic process of increased interest in the work of a now deceased musician. And not because some chap has hectored people on Facebook to prove a point which probably didn’t need proving to begin with.