Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gordon in the morning: Crossover

Never mind the Who / Torchwood / Sarah Jane Adventures triple crossover this weekend. This morning, it's Gordon In The Morning meets Gennaro Castaldo Watch.

Yes, Gordon's attempt to try and argue that Coldplay are cool was struggling:

IT’S become fashionable for so-called music fans to dislike COLDPLAY.

But that means there are 500,000 uncool people in the UK alone who have rushed out to buy the band’s latest album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends in the last fortnight.

And I am not ashamed to be included in the figures.

Really, Gordon? You went out and bought it? In a shop? But didn't you tell us that you'd been sent a free copy to review before it came out?

Still, Gordon feels his love of the band has been justified because of the sales:
They have claimed the ultra-rare honour of scoring a No1 in the single and album charts on both sides of the Atlantic — putting them alongside musical greats including THE BEATLES in terms of transatlantic success.

Gordon doesn't mention the Beatles did it back when it wasn't quite so easy; not the way Coldplay released their records during this bit-of-a-lull period for record sales to boost the chance of this sort of thing happening. (The sales of the album were huge, but the double chart-topper probably wouldn't have happened if they'd tried it in, say, December.)

And Gordon does allow that it's not automatically a guarantee of never-ending cool:
The last British act to achieve the double double was ROD STEWART back in 1971.

Younger readers might be unaware that Rod Stewart is actually the father of Rod Stewart's Daughter.

Gordon tries another tack: they're modern:
Coldplay have embraced the challenges facing the music industry and harnessed the power of the internet.

= their tunes are available for download. Like the Top Gear album and the Thunderbugs back catalogue.

Struggling to demonstrate why 'selling like baked beans or bus tickets' is the same thing as being great, Gordon calls in Gennaro:
HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo said: "The interest we have seen in Viva La Vida has been truly phenomenal — both online, where we’ve taken the most amount of pre-orders for an album ever, and also across all our stores, for which we placed one of the largest orders in our company’s history.

"So while many more of us are downloading, this clearly shows that the music-loving public still love their CDs."

"The most amount of pre-orders"? Clearly, parachuting into Gordon's column has damaged Castaldo's power of control over the English language.

Still flailing, Gordon manages to describe Coldplay's sales as if he's talking about bird flu:
Coldplay are now No1 in 14 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, Korea, Germany and Israel.

In record company speak, they have conquered all the vital territories — Japan, America and Europe.

It spreads so easily these days because of air travel, you see.
If that’s uncool, then I’m happy to be part of Chris Martin’s geeky gang.

Not just proud, but - by getting a lead story out of 'popular, mid-market band sell lots of records to middle markets' - you've become their cheerleader. If ever Murdoch tires of you, EMI's press department will always have a home for you.


Spence said...

"we’ve taken the most amount of pre-orders for an album ever"

Must say, that is surprising. You'd have thought that back in the day there was way more hype around, say, Be Here Now, what with early store openings etc.

Also, what exactly is the point in pre-ordering an album like this? Is there genuinely a risk you might miss out if you, like, just happen to pop into the shop on the morning of release without making prior arrangements?

Andrew said...

I once spoke to a guy from a major label who asserted that "Coldplay make house music; you write a song like that, you can buy a house with the proceeds". He stated this as a defense of Coldplay's artistic worth, and a refutation of those who dismiss them.

James said...

Pre-ordering's always baffled me too, Spence. I could understand it if it was some sort of special limited-edition release which was bound to sell out on day one. But these days, the likes of HMV seem to wheel out their tatty 'Pre-order NOW!' flipchart sign whenever the biggest bands in the world set a release date for their next inevitable multi-platinum bestseller. Surely people realise that, come release day, copies of the Coldplay album are going to be piled up like free AOL CDs in HMV, Virgin, Tesco and their nearest BP garage? Or maybe they don't. Dunno. People are strange.

Laura Brown said...

I can understand pre-ordering from an online shop, so you can get the item put through your door on the first day it's available (or sometimes earlier, like when I got the complete Calvin & Hobbes from Amazon months before it was officially released -- but I digress). But why pre-order from a bricks-and-mortar shop? You're still going to have to go there, and it's not like they're going to run out.

(What are "so-called music fans," anyway?)

So-Called Music Fan said...

I think my head is about to explode. I'm struggling to think how I could ever remotely debate their arguments. Especially since it seems to amount to "BUT THE SALES... LOOK AT THE SALES... THEY IS SELLING BILLIONS AND AT NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD..."

Sometimes I think these people think this way because they don't realise that you're supposed to stick the mesmerising shiny, sparkly round thing into a player.

and what's this equating uncool with geek. Dear oh dear.

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