The Week in Arts: A ringtone is not the same as buying the single

Share
Related Topics

In a few weeks' time the pop charts will celebrate the 1,000th number one single. Expect to see the celebration echoed in the press, television and radio, with numerous voyages through the decades of singles charts. The irony is that the patient has never been in worse health.

In a few weeks' time the pop charts will celebrate the 1,000th number one single. Expect to see the celebration echoed in the press, television and radio, with numerous voyages through the decades of singles charts. The irony is that the patient has never been in worse health.

Last week's number one, "Call on Me" by Eric Prydz, made history, but probably not of the kind Mr Prydz intended. It was the lowest selling number one single ever, with just 23,500 copies propelling it to the top slot. 23,500! Can that be so difficult for any of us with a good circle of friends and a large family?

It makes you want to rush to the bedroom and make your own number one, as Daniel Bedingfield did not so long ago. Mind you, he also broke records. His song "Gotta Get Thru This" was in January 2002 the lowest selling single to top the charts with 25,354 sales. Mr Prydz has beaten that; and he has notched up another memorable distinction. His number one sold 20 per cent fewer copies than when it was number two the previous week.

The lobby is growing for downloads and ringtones to be included in the charts.

Bands seem to agree. U2 have ignored the CD singles chart and released their new single exclusively as a paid-for download. It is top of the internet chart. Robbie Williams's new single has slipped down the CD singles chart, but is at the top of the ringtones chart.

There is a case for downloads being included and that time must surely come. But I'm not convinced that putting a tune on your mobile phone is quite the same as buying it, even though £2m worth of music ringtones were sold last week. Having one catchy hook line ringing to impress the office or the playground is different from owning the whole song. Can those people whose phones annoyingly wake you on the train with the "Toreador's Song" really be said to possess Carmen in their collection because they have those few bars of one tune?

Do we need a singles chart at all? The real reason for the existence of singles is music radio, Top of the Pops and other chart-related shows. Yet radio could easily feature just album tracks. The charts could consist just of albums with chart shows playing tracks in the same way as Classic FM does each week with the classical chart.

The logic leads inexorably to the end of the conventional singles chart. And so my answer is - keep it! Logic isn't everything. History, romance, tradition count for something too, as does the weekly opportunity to be amused, bemused and infuriated by Top of the Pops.

Conducting a love affair with Man United

Daniel Harding, the gifted 29-year-old, who has just become principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, is a fanatical Manchester United supporter. He tells me his great ambition is to become the official Manchester United conductor, and he isn't bothered about the fact that he would have no duties - just so long as he has the title.

Harding spends time on the club's website where he has found surprisingly esoteric chat rooms, with supporters arguing over which part of The Magic Flute is best. When he tried to declare specialist knowledge, he was told where to put his baton.

Harding's most treasured moment came at a concert abroad, when he found himself in the same hotel as the Man United team. He was determined to meet the players, but club skipper Roy Keane told him that Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville weren't coming into the public rooms. So the enterprising Harding pretended to be the lift operator and finally met his heroes. Things went swimmingly until he trapped Neville's foot in the lift door.

¿ Writing in The Stage yesterday the actress, Nichola McAuliffe, says that sexual harassment is rife in the theatre. It is for the most part, as she puts it, "men on men". Ms McAuliffe cites cases of directors hiring good-looking, young and plainly inexperienced actors, and then making it clear why they were employed. The notes these actors receive from the directors are not the usual acting tips, but personal and highly suggestive. If the young actors don't succumb, then they are humiliated in rehearsal in front of the rest of the cast. This is alarming stuff, but perhaps not altogether unexpected. The only surprise is that a journal as fearless and outspoken as The Stage does not name any names. Perhaps next week.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A press image from the company  

If men are so obsessed by their genitals, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities of sex?

Chloë Hamilton
Workers clean the area in front of the new Turkish Presidential Palace prior to an official reception for Republic day in Ankara  

Up Ankara, for a tour of great crapital cities

Dom Joly
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory