Friday, January 28, 2011

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Queen-era lead by Queen

To mark the Diamond Jubilee or something, the Office For National Statistics has compiled a list of the best-selling singles and albums since 1956.

Yes, I know that this sounds more like the job of the BPI or the Official Charts Company, but the ONS have done it. And I know 1956 isn't 60 years ago, but... look, they've done it, alright? For whatever reason.

They put Queen's Greatest Hits at the top of the album list, and then it's the sort of things you'd expect: Abba, Oasis, Dire Straits.

Who can make sense of all this? Just as the ONS might be better off counting national statistics, you'd have thought Gennaro Castaldo would be too busy with jobsite to offer some guidance, but HMV's factopulator can't resist commenting on a survey:

Gennaro Castaldo, at HMV, the music shop, pointed out that Dire Straits's album in 1985 and Oasis's in 1996 book ended the glory years of the compact disc.

He said: "Dire Straits may not be fashionable now but they were huge. 1985 was the year of Live Aid and they were one of the stars of that event. And Brothers in Arms was the defining album of what was then an amazing, aspirational technology: compact disc."
You just know his gaze would have gone all far-away as he said that; remembering the days when there'd be a small queue at the HMV tills, people jostling to flick through the CD racks. A little sigh.

HMV used to be busy.

Back when Dire Straits were huge, and everyone wanted CDs.

Happy days.