Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gennaro Castaldo watch: Monkeys overrun the singles chart

The wires ping again with more thoughts from HMV's spokesperson, Gennaro Castaldo. He's been thinking about the possibility that the availability of each track from the Arctic Monkeys new album as individual downloads on iTunes could mean something sort-of-historic is going to happen this weekend. Indeed, it's had Castaldo reaching for the golden musical yardstick. The Beatles:

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "The Arctic Monkeys are currently on course to have a total of 18 songs in the top 200 when the next Official UK Charts are announced on Sunday.

"You'd probably have to go back to the heyday of the Beatles in the early-mid Sixties to find anything that could come close to matching this record.

"On the chart albums front, sales of Favourite Worst Nightmare continue to power ahead.

"The album looks set to go through the 250,000 mark by the end of the week - making it the fastest selling album since the Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

"This not only underlines the growing iconic status of the Arctic Monkeys as the UK's leading rock act, but visibly demonstrates how the recent changes to the rules governing chart eligibility have impacted on the make-up of the charts."

It also, if you think about it, shows how far physical record shops like HMV have drifted from being at the forefront of music sales, but presumably that's a thought that would keep Gennaro awake at night.

What's much more interesting is the relative positions of each track:

Brianstorm (midweek - top 5)
Fluorescent Adolescent (top 50)
505 (top 60)
Teddy Picker (top 70)
Balaclava (top 70)
D Is For Dangerous (top 70)
Old Yellow Bricks (top 70)
This House Is A Circus (top 75)
Do Me A Favour (top 75)
Only Ones Who Know (top 75)
The Bad Thing (top 80)
If You Were There, Beware (top 120)

Brianstorm is, of course, a single and so we can probably discount the lead that has over the other tracks, but the distance between Fluorescent Adolescent and If You Were There, Beware is quite wide. It's probably slightly queasy viewing for record company executives pondering the future of their industry, as even a band who inspires such slavish devotion would have difficulty shifting all the tracks on album if offered on their own merits rather than as part of a package.

1 comment:

Chris Brown said...

It tells you something about the Power Of Castaldo that this story has suddenly started getting media attention now he's spoken, even though these are the midweeks from Tuesday.

Anyway, as he should well know there wasn't a Top 200 in the Sixties, and whether early Beatles singles would still have been selling enough by the time the later ones came around. They probably would all have been in the Top 200 when they were re-issued in 1976, but then that was hardly their heyday was it? And what about The Jam having 13 singles in the Top 75 in 1983?

Apparently the actual reason this has happened is because iTunes only had it available track-by-track initially. As it's obviously better value to buy the whole thing, I guess this is mainly a test of how stupid iTunes users are, but you still wouldn't think HMV would want to draw attention to it.

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