Can’t buy me chart positions

The BeatlesLast week the world stopped (well, Apple thought it would), when Steve Jobs announced that tracks by The Beatles can finally be downloaded from iTunes.

The earth duly continued spinning and thoughts turned to the impact this development would have on the UK singles charts.

Surely, the public would suddenly rush to download a rash of Beatles tracks that they didn’t already own on LP, cassette or CD, wouldn’t they?

To increase the likelihood of chart domination, Simon Cowell conveniently scheduled a Beatles week on The X Factor, allowing the remaining finallists to ‘make the songs their own’.

As if that wasn’t enough, Apple ran iTunes TV ads, featuring black-and-white photos of the Beatles, the whole weekend.

And the result of this endeavour? The biggest-selling Beatles song of the week-ending 21 November was Hey Jude, which rocketed into the charts at… No.40! Yes, you read that right – no.40.

OK, so The Beatles did score 31 tracks in the top 200, but that’s not the same as taking over the entire chart, is it?

Now I like the Beatles (not obsessed), but as an average fan my first thought was: don’t most people own their favourite Beatles songs on CD already? If they don’t own the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ albums, then the relatively recently-released No.1s must have made its way into their collection.

And, if they do own any of these, then putting them in their CD drive and ripping them to iTunes sort of negates the need to download Hey Jude, doesn’t it?

Surely, there’s only so much Beatles you can flog to people. Yes, they were revolutionary in 1963, but most people are a little bored of ‘new’ Beatles now.

Also, the cynical X-Factor tie in was let down by the fact that most of the performances on Saturday were so poor, that younger viewers probably think the Beatles are about as relevant to them as Al Martino. Where’s the Elvis week – that’s what we want to know!

On a sidenote, it’s interesting that not all ‘modern’ reworkings of classic artists go unrewarded. Ellie Goulding’s version of Elton John’s Your Song (currently doing the rounds on the John Lewis Xmas ad) has stormed into the charts at No.3, just behind JLS and Take That.

Why the countdown to the X Factor final 12 is a farce

X Factor logoThis evening the ‘FINAL 12’ were finally revealed on X Factor.

As with every episode of ‘reality TV’, the tension was palpable. Who would it be? What would happen next?

Sadly, if you’d been watching over the last few weeks, hardly a single choice was a surprise. The backstory and the amount of time they spend talking and focussing on the contestants is in direct proportion to the likelihood that they’ll get through.

As an example, a couple of boys and a couple of the groups had hardly been given enough air time for the audience to know their names, let alone find out if they could sing properly.

As always, ITV managed to stretch out the show to over an hour, when, in reality it should have taken around 30 minutes, pullling the heartstrings as far as they could without completely annoyiing the audience.

And it also proved KT Tunstall’s point from today’s Mail that the show is not at all about the music business, but pure entertainment. There was hardly a note sang all night.

Anyway, a couple of gripes from me is hardly going to dent the show’s success, but I do wish sometimes, the programme-makers would credit the audience with a little bit of intelligence.

Why the X Factor judges aren’t as clever as they think

Last night was George Michael night on X Factor – a particularly ill-starred night as far as the contestants went, with a number of duff performances.

Yet again, Joe McElderry was the star of the show with his version of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. As Louis Walsh – Mr Rulebook for this year’s X Factor – pointed out, it’s technically an Elton John track and not a George Michael one. George only guested on it.

Surprisingly, though, none of the judges picked up on the fact that Stacy Solomon also sang a technically ‘illegal’ song. I Can’t Make You Love Me was indeed recorded by George Michael, as part of Double A Side back in 1997 with Older, but that was a cover version.

The original rendition was recorded by Bonnie Raitt. Clearly Louis, Cheryl, Dannii and Simon don’t know their music as well as they think they do.