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 Everett True

Buzzfeed’s 12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music: an answer

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Ke$ha - Halloween Costume

The following ‘article’ (I used the term in its broadest sense) appeared on BuzzFeed – “the hottest. most social content on the web” (imagine The Sun on steroids) – a month ago. This is a site whose only editorial directive is, the more traffic the better. It’s all about the win. The fail. The omg. The wtf?

Usually, I’d pass the other side of the world from these sort of blatant attention-grabbing blog entries, but the rank hypocrisy of this one – “YOU LET THIS HAPPEN! YOU!” reads a sub-header – particularly galled me. (It’s written as a no-brainer, the sort of thing EVERY reader SHOULD agree with, omg. Unless you’re under a certain age, in which case wtf?) So, here are my responses.

12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music
MUSIC BUZZ This is the saddest thing you’ll read all day. YOU LET THIS HAPPEN! YOU!

1. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

And…? Jimi died when he was  27. If he wrote more than a couple of decent songs, their names escape me right now. Um. Not that I’m saying Creed have, of course.

2. Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

Yes… and she’s FEMALE! omg. Did Led Zeppelin ever release a single, incidentally?

3. Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

How’s this bad? Surely, that’s good … that the pop market is still expanding, and hence more suckers to be driven to BuzzFeed’s site. Maybe more people liked ‘Tik-Tok’ than any Beatles single. If you’re going to start arguing that sales of pop singles should be some form of signification of aesthetic quality or artistic ‘merit’ then we’re going to be hear until the rapture. That Ke$ha song ain’t so bad, anyhow.

4. Flo Rida’s “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”

Again? How is this disappointing … that tastes change, that markets evolve? ‘Hey Jude’ was pretty fucking annoying, when it comes down to it. Perhaps not as annoying as ‘Low’ but we’re splitting camel hairs here.

5. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

Define ‘popular’. Are we going on YouTube views? I bet I could get The Legend! more views than Billie Holiday if I put my mind to it: doesn’t prove a damn thing. And, again … how is this disappointing? Personally, I love Elvis’ first five albums – right up to 1981’s searing Trust – but I don’t really expect everyone to share my taste, and furthermore would be rather disappointed if they did.

6. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

These goddamn fucking females.

7. Same with Shania Twain’s “Come On Over”

These goddamn fucking females.

8. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

These goddamn fucking females … wait, what exactly is the point of this article?

9. Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

These goddamn … Wait, how is this a bad thing? Leaving Johnny Cash aside, I’ll take Streisand over the other two (‘American Girl’-era Petty excepted) easy.  Easy. She can sing. She knows how to command a show. Putting Johnny Cash back in, I’m not quite sure why he’s being included in this random assortment of male artists.

10. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus’ album “Some Gave All…” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

Disgusting! Unless, of course, you happen to be one of those folk who think Marley was way, way over-rated hippie stoner reggae. Plus, Billy has nice hair.

11. The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

They’ve probably appeared on television more often, too. What’s your point?

12. This guy exists.

Fucking Justin Bieber, man. Gotta fucking hate young people.

Related posts:
The 12 Mildly Disappointing Facts About Popular Music They Didn’t Want You To Read

17 Responses to Buzzfeed’s 12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music: an answer

  1. David December 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Fucking YES. My thoughts exactly. Pathetic article, brilliant response.

  2. Jack December 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    For a change I agree with you 100%.

    Who ever made this list is an olympic class sourpuss with boring musical taste to boot.

    Not that someone who only listens to Ke$ha, Rihanna or Celine Dion coukdn’t do with broadening their horizons a little, but one restrictive box is as bad as another IMHO.

  3. Jules Boyle December 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    It’s like listening to some teenager who’s obsessed with being “cool and alternative”, but actually just talks a lot of shite. Nice response, Everett.

  4. James Flint December 6, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Woolly to the point of total irrevelance.

    12 Disappointing facts about popular music:

    Lennon shifted over 5.5million units of Imagine worldwide.

    AC/DC have sold almost three times as many records as Boyz II Men.

    Beyonce is only 5’6″.

    ABBA were Swedish.

    Boy George only had to do 5 days of community service.

    REM lasted for three decades.

    Phil Collins has sold 50 million more records than Tina Turner and 149,999,990 more than that shit acoustic singer/songwriter I saw down the pub the other week.

    Michael Bolton was born.

    Oasis sound nothing like The Beatles.

    Not a single Captain Beefheart album ever entered the top 100 chart in the U.S.

    You can play most of it using the chords G – C – D, the snare is usually played on the 3rd & 4th beat, and musical sections are overwhelmingly repeated in multiples of 2.

    or how about:

    It has been suggested that the Derg was able to use Live Aid money to fund its enforced resettlement and “villagification” programmes, under which at least 3 million people are said to have been displaced and between 50,000 and 100,000 killed.

  5. Joseph Kyle December 6, 2011 at 2:53 am

    I laughed until I stopped.

  6. Princess Stomper December 6, 2011 at 3:16 am

    2. Rihanna is female. You could have also picked “black” if you wanted to go for the political vote, or Barbadian, if you wanted to go for the technical vote, or “R&B pop” if you wanted to correctly interpret the obvious intentions of the blogger. It’s astonishing and a shame if Depeche Mode have never had a number one single – they sure as hell deserve one – but shrug-worthy to compare them to Rihanna who has released some bloody good songs.

    3. Oh, come on – you can’t seriously defend that Ke$ha song. I mean, really. Really really. There is nothing to like about it – it fails on every possible level. The only thing worse was that Mr Blobby single.

    4. Never heard Flo Rida. Should I?

    5. I Gotta Feeling is one of the worst pieces of recorded music ever. Proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llKlUBkEQAE

    6. Defending Celine Dion because she’s female is like defending … oh, my brain can’t actually process a riposte to that one. Celine Fucking Dion??? Renounce this heresy or be fired from the internet!

    7. At least Shania Twain is staggeringly inoffensive. She’s like magnolia wallpaint.

    8. Katy Perry = one good song ever; married a moron. Michael Jackson = lots of good songs ever; molested children.

    9. Pearl Jam are the odd ones out in that list; everyone else is a talented performer.

    10. No opinion on Marley, and Miley’s dad had ridiculous hair. I’m not going to get excited about sales figures until Foetus sell 20 million copies of an album.

    11. I wonder how the Glee singles compare to the X-Factor/Idol singles …

    12. Wait, you hate Justin Bieber? I thought that as a middle-aged lesbian he would fit your persecuted-minority demographic?

  7. Everett True December 6, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Princess, I’m not defending Celine Dion. She’s off the scale. I’m merely pointing out the astonishing gender disparity in the case examples that BuzzFeed is using to illustrate their ‘point’.

  8. Daniel December 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Does anyone else miss journalism?

  9. Conan Neutron December 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

    It’s all a cheap sop too, because all of the things that are intended to outrage is because the music industry pushes packaged product with very little substance. However it never addresses the heart of that problem, choosing instead to draw false parallels designed for soul less link baiting.

    “Remember when music used to mean something maaaaaan?”

    It still does you soul less tone deaf fucks. You’re just so busy searching for meaning in it the world is passing you by.

  10. Lucy Cage December 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

    “MUSIC BUZZ This is the saddest thing you’ll read all day. YOU LET THIS HAPPEN! YOU!”
    Who the hell is this “you”? It certainly isn’t me. This whole thing is notable because it betrays Buzzfeed’s own partisan definition of the ‘other’ in music (ie female/pop/popular/new/young) as opposed to what it sees as canonical (ie male/rock/critically-lauded/old/white). It surprises (ahem, “disappoints” – or, to be more accurate – disgusts) me that anyone is still saying such things. It’s such a stupid, biased, lame, reactionary place to be, stuck in the privilege-blindness of the white rock boy who can’t see that his point of view is so narrow and egocentric as to be utterly obsolete, who writes as if he speaks for the world instead of his small and insignificant tribe, and makes statements that blank out most of the world’s population. Who really couldn’t give a shit that “Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix” and are probably fine with the fact that REM have never had a number one single, while the awesome Rihanna has had ten.
    “YOU”!
    Pah.

  11. Henry Baum December 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Man, this thread manages to pile depressing on depressing.

  12. James Flint December 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Yer, sorry about that. I thought I’d contrast humorously disappointing with seriously disappointing.

  13. FILL December 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I’ve seen the book where I think a lot of these stats come from – can’t remember the title but it is some kinda “Top selling albums ever” thing. ET has a point about gender – they coulda picked on the huge selling albums by Kenny G, The Eagles, Michael Bolton etc but they went for the women. So, yeah, latent sexism,

    Nonetheless, I’ve been frustrated my whole life by the crap taste of the mainstream – I try to avoid it but when you have to go out to work, you can’t avoid it. Talk to any Melburnian who prefers RRR/PBS (“hip” community radio) but works somewhere where the majority insists on Nova, Fox FM (crass commercial radio)etc and you’ll underestand our frustration.

    So if people like me end up with a chip on our shoulders becasue of the crap that is popular (as distinct from good “pop” which I often enjoy), then so be it but until my work colleagues are willing to share the pleasures of e.g. Fables of the Reconstruction with me, I’ll stick with my grumpiness.

    And for all you REM haters – they kept me sane between 1983 and 1987. You wouldn’t get it if you weren’t there and all you know them for is Everybody Hurts.

  14. Everett True December 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    From Facebook

    Wallace Wylie:
    That 12 Depressing Facts Buzzfeed thing that everybody is posting spends most of its time juxtaposing white males as good and females and/or African Americans as bad. Oh sure, you’re allowed to like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. You aren’t allowed to like any women. Ever. They’re always bad no matter what.

  15. Greg December 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    REM. one of the worst bands in history.

  16. Stocky December 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Greg – Take that back!

  17. Andy December 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Nice work ET. That laughable nonsense was so in need of a slap down. Thanks for giving it one!

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