The first question you have to ask yourself is this: Does anyone really care about the Billboard Hot 100 chart anymore? Isn’t that measuring something that’s rather irrelevant to anyone who gives a rat’s ass about music? Wasn’t it meaningful to those back in the proverbial day when moving discs from racks is what really mattered?
And when’s the last time you saw a disc (OK: a bad question to ask this audience which maybe has far too many physical discs for purposes of storage; but think of the average Billboard Hot 100 sort of person: does s/he know what discs are outside of a musical museum?)?
So now it seems that there is the possibility—if not likelihood—that pop confection Katy Perry, who has now tied Michael Jackson with five BH100s from her Teenage Dreams album, five that he received for Bad, may actually eclipse the King of Pop if her label goes for six.
Does this mean that Katy Perry is a more talented musician than Michael Jackson was? Or that she has better marketing? Or that she is simply a musical equivalent of Lay’s potato chips of yore, as in nobody can eat just one, and nobody can get enough of Katy, although in the not-so-long-run a diet of potato chips is completely unsustainable, no matter how tasty the damn things are?
Justin Bieber sells a remarkable number of units. Good for him. And we can roll it back, through the Jonas Brothers and their spiritual kin, going back through the Spice Girls to the Monkees and possibly beyond that. (I recently heard Davy Jones doing a promo on a record station, one of those, “This is Davy Jones and you’re listening to. . .” and it sounded to me like someone’s late grandfather—won’t these people just let it go?)
Good for these demographically created acts.
But really: who’s counting?
Isn’t it sort of like all of those husbands that Elizabeth Taylor had? I mean: unless you were the person of the moment, did anyone really care if it was number three or four?
So here’s hoping that Katy continues to get out there with those sexy outfits and croon her heart out. Let’s hope she makes every cut from her album a BH100.
Because for those who really care about music, it is no BFD.
One thought on “Teenage Dreams & Liz’s Multitudinous Husbands”
Billboard charts were important back in the day when music came to us through a narrow funnel. Not only was it a semi-accurate measure of sales, but the way sales responded to airplay also gave radio stations dominant in big markets a shitload of power.
Nowadays they’re still measuring what goes through the funnel, but in reality water’s going fucking everywhere. And almost nobody’s listening to radio.
So to answer your question, it’s all bullshit at this point, but they’ll keep publishing until people stop buying the product.