Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Facebook Campaign Decides UK Christmas Music Charts

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the rage-against-the-commercialization dept.

Music 362

uglyduckling writes "A grassroots Facebook campaign has pushed the 1990s Rage Against the Machine song 'Killing in the Name Of' to the top of the British music charts for Christmas. The campaign was planned to prevent the X-Factor winner from charting Christmas number one, as has been the case for the past four years. It was supposedly a kick against the commercialism of Christmas and commercial dominance in the music scene, although Rage and the X-Factor winner Joe McElderry were actually signed to the same label. Despite this minor detail, it's interesting to note that this is the first song to reach the number one spot through downloads alone in the UK, and is a testament to the organizational power of social networking sites like Facebook. The Facebook group also asked for donations to charity, and has raised £70,000 for the homeless charity Shelter."

cancel ×

362 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Charity (5, Informative)

tompeach (1118811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510230)

And RATM are giving the proceeds to Shelter too, good for them:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8423340.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Charity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510252)

Your dead great grandmother got her mouth fucked by me for christmas.

Re:Charity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510312)

Facebook Campaign decides CmdrTaco's micropenis should be surgically removed.

Re:Charity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510696)

From kdawson's anus.

Re:Charity (2, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510396)

are giving the proceeds to Shelter

(They stuck a Shelter link on the Facebook page - not quite the same thing!)

Which is good all the same - but on the wider point of sticking two fingers up to the establishment - it is worth mentioning that Rage Against the Machine are signed to the SAME record label as the X-Factor dude and this 'contest' simply pushed the sales of both singles through the roof thereby lining the pockets of Simon Cowell and Sony BMG! And there is the further question as to whether or not it is more 'anti-establishment' being told what to buy by some a TV offering or some grassroots facebook campaign - I'm sure Che would be happy that the revolution is in safe hands ;)

Re:Charity (5, Informative)

tompeach (1118811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510422)

(They stuck a Shelter link on the Facebook page - not quite the same thing!)

The band are additionally giving the proceeds from the record sales to Shelter, from the Beeb article:

Guitarist Tom Morello said it had "tapped into the silent majority of the people in the UK who are tired of being spoon-fed one schmaltzy ballad after another". He added that proceeds from the single would go to homeless charity Shelter tying in with the Morters' Facebook campaign which includes an online link to give to the charity, raising over £70,000 so far.

Re:Charity (3, Interesting)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510432)

I stand corrected and good for them!

Re:Charity (5, Funny)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510440)

woah, someone admitted being wrong on /.? what the hell is going on here tonight?

Re:Charity (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510482)

My feet are getting cold...

Re:Charity (5, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510498)

woah, someone admitted being wrong on /.? what the hell is going on here tonight?

It's for charity.

Re:Charity (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510544)

He was being sarcastic.

Re:Charity (1)

molecular (311632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510794)

he's just trolling.

Re:Charity (5, Interesting)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510430)

Actually the Xfactor-bot's song sold 100,000 less than last year's winner did, who did secure the Xmas no1 spot. So to say it has increased Cowell's profits is wrong. It was a win-win for Sony though. And the BPI, who saw several hundred thousand people legally download a song for the first time (and paid for it!)

Re:Charity (3, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510542)

And the BPI, who saw several hundred thousand people legally download a song for the first time (and paid for it!)

You might be right... but I think this requires some examination. The BPI are the UK equivalent of the RIAA. They similarly earn their crust by representing studios against things like copyright infringement. Now people buying music from these studios means that the BPI's paymasters have more money and some of that money might roll downhill. But like the RIAA, the BPI make capital out of scaring the studios with the spectre of piracy. Two things happen when people buy music as a pure download. Firstly, they're a counter to the pirates that take without paying, thus they show some honesty in the target audience meaning piracy seems less threatening than it otherwise would. Secondly, it supports and promotes a distribution model that doesn't require a lot of capital or risk to get involved in, thus opening up the market to smaller studios and even artists marketing themselves directly. This latter consequence of paying for downloads is almost certainly not one that helps the BPI or RIAA.

So this is indeed great news for Sony (and a nice bonus for whichever Sony exec started the Facebook group ), even better news for Shelter which are a great charity, but probably not in the long term, good for the BPI. Just like the worst thing for people making money out of "The War on Drugs" is people coming off drugs, the worst thing for those making a living from fighting piracy, are honest people who are willing to pay for something they like.

Re:Charity (3, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510784)

I've been pondering the ramifications for the BPI and the music industry at large as well, and I'm coming to the conclusion that the BPI and rest of the UK music business are going to be particularly happy with this development once they've had some time to think it through a little.

Firstly, while it's a little screwed up due to the reason for the sales, it shows that one of their key target market segments within the UK population is actually willing to fork over money on-line for music. More importantly, however, is that it shows that a sizable chunk of this sector of the market is not entirely happy with the bland Pop/R&B fare that sounds exactly the same as the last one and makes up the bulk of their product. That at the very least pokes a few holes in their claims that people are not prepared to pay for music, and very clearly demonstrates that they are not catering for the needs of their target market as well as they could be.

Somehow, I suspect that this little incident is going to get used against them the next time they try making claims about on-line music piracy being responsible for their falling sales and (supposed) fall in profits.

Re:Charity (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510810)

All I really care about is that Cliff Richard hasn't had a number 1 this decade, ending his unbroken since the 50s.

Re:Charity (5, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510460)

Actually, RATM are donating their proceeds from the sales to Shelter as well as the £70,000 (it's even mentioned in the article linked from the summary) and intend throw a free concert in the UK at some point next year. Of course, this is only the artist's cut of 500,000 digital downloads that we are talking about here, so I'd be very surprised if the total was much larger than the £70,000 generated from the Facebook page.

Personally, my eyes are now on Sony UK and, to a lesser extent, Simon Cowell. Sony have profited to the tune of 500,000 digital downloads on the RATM track, plus probably a good 100,000 extra copies of McElderry's bought by X-Factor fans to try and keep RATM off number one spot. Total materials cost: £0. I think it only fair that they make a gesture in kind and make a sizable donation to Shelter as well.

Re:Charity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510562)

Oblig MP quote:

Banker: Er I forget my name for the moment, but I am a merchant banker ...

Charity collector: Oh, I wondered whether you would like to contribute to the “Orphan's Home”? (he rattles the tin)

B: Well, I don't want to show my hand too early, but actually here at Slater Nazi (!) we are quite keen to get into orphans, you know, developing market and all that ... what sort of sum did you have in mind?

C: Well er you’re a rich man ...

B: Yes, I am. Yes, yes. Very, very rich. Quite phenomenally wealthy, yes. I do own the most startling quantities of cash. Yes, quite right. You are rather a smart young lad, aren't you? We could do with somebody like you to feed the pantomime horse. Very smart!

C: Thank you, sir. So er how about a pound?

B: A pound, yes I see. Now, this loan would be secured by the

C: It's not a loan.

B: What?

C: It's not a loan.

B: What?

C: You get one of these, sir. (hands him a little sticker or badge)

B: (examines it doubtfully) It's a bit small for a share certificate, isn't it? I'd better run this over to our legal department. If you could possibly pop back on Friday?

Says it all really - though it may well be different for 'charities' associated with lawmakers

Re:Charity (4, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510724)

Personally, my eyes are now on Sony UK and, to a lesser extent, Simon Cowell. Sony have profited to the tune of 500,000 digital downloads on the RATM track, plus probably a good 100,000 extra copies of McElderry's bought by X-Factor fans to try and keep RATM off number one spot. Total materials cost: £0. I think it only fair that they make a gesture in kind and make a sizable donation to Shelter as well.

Slight nitpick, but although there may have been no materials cost, don't forgot that Sony would have had to pay for the 1.43 terrabytes (500,000 x 3GB) worth of data that people used to download it.

It may be cheaper than producing and shipping a product, but this is Slashdot and we shouldn't be getting into the mistake of assuming that a digital download doesn't cost anything.

Re:Charity (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510762)

No they did not - that was handled by the stores (Play, Amazon and the like).

Re:Charity (2, Informative)

threephaseboy (215589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510778)

>implying that a single track is 3GB

wat

Also the track is 5:14 so it's actually more like 10MB for a 256kbps encode, so ~5TB total transferred, which would cost about $850 from Amazon S3

Re:Charity (4, Interesting)

LSD-OBS (183415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510782)

Yet you would not believe how many people are bitching and moaning about how the "spiteful" and "selfish" people with "no tolerance for the tastes of others" have "ruined" the chart results for poor little Joe McElderry and they should be "ashamed of themselves" for being such "sheep".

No, I'm not kidding. People actually think that. The conversations have hurt my head so much I hardly slept last night.

Re:Charity (4, Interesting)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510522)

Im in the UK and I bought 6 copies of Killing in the Name. It was not about "sticking it to the man"(I'm 37 for christ's sake). Nor do I give two shits that Sony is making money off of it. I don;t give a fuck what Simon Cowell thinks of anything. I just wanted Killing in the Name to be number one at christmas. I wanted something other than the bland, synthesised crap that we get as a christmas number 1 these last few years. This is not a political statment. Please try to understand that.

Re:Charity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510538)

unfortunately, probably only your first 3 purchases counted.

Re:Charity (2, Insightful)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510588)

I would have to say that you making a concerted effort to make sure one song was at number one while keeping...

something other than the bland, synthesised crap that we get as a christmas number 1 these last few years

...out of the charts. Though you may not care for the politics at the surface of it, you most certainly are contributing to the campaign in going beyond what anyone could consider a normal music purchase.

Re:Charity (3, Funny)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510610)

. . . in going beyond what anyone could consider a normal music purchase

I like your style man - calm, measured, understatement whilst inside you're thinking - WTF 6 Copies!!!

Re:Charity (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510706)

At 29 pence a copy it cost a grand total of £1.74...

Re:Charity (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510804)

At 29p a copy it wouldn't have counted towards the singles chart. The rules [theofficialcharts.com] require a minimum price of 40p on downloaded content.

Re:Charity (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510848)

40p refers to the retail price. Amazon confirmed that it was paying 40p and taking a loss on the single.

Re:Charity (2, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510618)

Who claimed this was anti-establishment, or anti-SonyBMG. This was merely people speaking out about thinking X-Factor, and the music that comes out of it, sucks cocks.

Re:Charity (2, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510626)

And there is the further question as to whether or not it is more 'anti-establishment' being told what to buy by some a TV offering or some grassroots facebook campaign

I think there's a huge difference. One product was pushed by a multi-million pound commercial machine over dozens of hours of prime-time TV, endlessly gossiped about in the papers and on the radio. The other was pushed by a part-time rock DJ making a Facebook page. These things are worlds apart.

Re:Charity (2, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510662)

I agree there is a difference - but at the end of the day people have made a choice - they have either bought what they were told to buy by Simon Cowell or they have bought what they have been told to buy by some 'part-time rock DJ making a Facebook page', for you the difference is huge for me all I see is people failing to think for themselves.

Re:Charity (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510756)

I think you are reading far too much into this. Lighten up.

Re:Charity (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510764)

You mean this wasn't supposed to be the start of the uprising - bleh, I'll rehang my pitch fork ;)

Facebook vs X-Factor (3, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510234)

I'm not sure which one is worse for the Christmas, Mankind and Intelligence, though,

Re:Facebook vs X-Factor (1)

farlukar (225243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510296)

If anything, it shows that charts are pretty worthless these days, regardless of who decides the #1 spot.

Not the same label (5, Insightful)

Fingerbob (613137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510248)

Rage against the machine are signed to Epic, whereas the X-Factor winners are signed to Syco. Both are owned by Sony, but really ... who cares? This campaign was never about the money, it was about doing something to stop the tediousness of X-Factor chart domination.

It was worth it all, just to hear someone swearing on Radio 5.

Re:Not the same label (2, Interesting)

stevencbrown (238995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510408)

I agree with this, but one thing I am baffled about - why are RATM part of the Sony Empire? Surely completely against what they stand for?

Re:Not the same label (4, Informative)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510438)

"When you live in a capitalistic society, the currency of the dissemination of information goes through capitalistic channels. Would Noam Chomsky object to his works being sold at Barnes & Noble? No, because that's where people buy their books. We're not interested in preaching to just the converted. It's great to play abandoned squats run by anarchists, but it's also great to be able to reach people with a revolutionary message, people from Granada Hills to Stuttgart."

- Tom Morello via Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not the same label (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510854)

I also have a relevant quote:
"Main Entry: hypocrite
Pronunciation: \hi-p-krit\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokrits actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
Date: 13th century
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
— hypocrite adjective"

Re:Not the same label (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510444)

I agree with this, but one thing I am baffled about - why are RATM part of the Sony Empire? Surely completely against what they stand for?

No matter what they publicly stand for, at the end of the day most people stand for paying their mortgage and putting food on the table.

Re:Not the same label (4, Informative)

EEDAm (808004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510768)

When Killing In The Name Of came out in 1992 there was, of course, no iTunes or any interwebsnet distribution channel. You had to have a label for your record to be heard, which at that time was Epic. As guitarist Tom Morello said "Epic agreed to everything we asked -- and they've followed through.... We never saw a conflict as long as we maintained creative control." Like Jane's Addiction four or so years before, the material was so strong that the bidding war between labels was that fierce that the band were able to lay down their own terms. Very few bands even of strongest principles against mass commercialisation were able to avoid a major label at that time. Even Chuck D allowed himself to be talked into Public Enemy being on a major label for several albums. Its only the democratisation of digital downloads, internet publicity and all that that has made it possible to bust that old model. A lot has changed in 17 years.

Re:Not the same label (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510716)

Yes, indeed, congratulation to the marketing department of Sony who cooked up this extremely successful sales meme - doubling their seasonal success!

Killing in the name (-1, Flamebait)

gazbo (517111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510250)

It's called "Killing in the name", motherfuckers. How hard is this to get right? And while we're at it, the Britney song was called "...Baby one more time"

Fuck's sake.

Re:Killing in the name (1)

gazbo (517111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510262)

Oh, and Gnarls Barkley got to number 1 on downloads with Crazy a couple of years back. But hey, I suppose some of the things in the summary are true at least.

Re:Killing in the name (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510326)

Its the first Christmas #1 on downloads alone but as you say there have been normal #1s for some time now.

Re:Killing in the name (1)

Stand for something (1361469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510360)

The article said that this is the first Christmas number 1 to win on downloads alone; it is the summary is incorrect.

Re:Killing in the name (0, Troll)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510274)

does adding "of" really make you that angry?

Re:Killing in the name (0)

gazbo (517111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510372)

What, that someone submitted a story about a song and couldn't even get its name right?

Re:Killing in the name (1)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510412)

no, that someone used a very common name for a well-known song that happens to be one word longer than the 'real' name of the song.

perhaps you are worried that someone might mistake the title used in the summary for a completely different song?

Re:Killing in the name (1)

mb1 (966747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510374)

__f my lawn!

EPIC WIN (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510278)

(Sorry)

Apparently, RATM swore live on air on radio 1. If you can't trust a heavy/rock metal group not to swear when they promise not to on a live set, who can you trust?

Re:EPIC WIN (4, Informative)

KidHash (766864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510320)

It was radio 5, not radio 1

Re:EPIC WIN (3, Informative)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510380)

You can listen to the whole show here [youtube.com] . They shout "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!" 16 times in a row at the end of the song which is the climax of the song. How the FUCK they could expect them to do what they told them is beyond me.

Re:EPIC WIN (2, Informative)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510448)

It was a set-up, the item lasted twice as long as any normal item last on Radio 5. I think the incredulous female presenter was the only one not aware of what was about to happen.

Not Facebook - Simon Cowell (5, Insightful)

netpixie (155816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510298)

"a testiment to the organisational power of social networking sites like Facebook"

I think that might be going a bit far. What it is testament to is that we're all fed up of shitty pop.

Previously, we've all been too fragmented, "I don't like shitty pop, but I do like cool jazz" (etc.) so (as with many democratic systems) the thing that the largest people like (which also happens to be the thing the largest number of people also dislike) ends up getting branded "good".

What happened here was that, pretty much by accident, someone found something that everyone sort-of likes (Killing in the name of) and were able to use as a banner behind which to mass to express how much we dislike bloody x-factor. I, myself, have been not buying X-factor records for many years and have had absolutely zero effect on anything, This year I bought two copies of Killing in the name of (I song I like) (and the second one was a mistake, bloody iTunes) and now can delude myself into thinking I might have had some small influence on Simon Cowell.

Next time he's putting together an identikit pop star perhaps he'll pause for a moment and think "Should I make this one staggeringly hopelessly bland? No, I'll raise my game and just make it very bland". Which is, at least, a step in the right direction.

And (back to the point I started with), they tried this game last year, but chose Rick Astley. And even with the "organisational power of social networking sites like Facebook", they failed.

I think Facebook was probably fairly low down the list of causes for this. I think the real things that helped here are:

1) Wide spread public anger
2) Choosing the right song
3) The BBC (where I heard about it)

Re:Not Facebook - Simon Cowell (1)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510318)

totally.

facebook was just a convenient mechanism, nothing unique about it made this possible

Re:Not Facebook - Simon Cowell (1)

grking (965233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510666)

What happened here was [they] found something that everyone sort-of likes (Killing in the name of)

I think that may be going a bit far.

Re:Not Facebook - Simon Cowell (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510730)

I'm bemused that people think that Cowell is in the least bit concern about this. He's delighted. Bottom line is that the whole campaign simply acted as yet another bonus round of XFactor. "Vote now for who you want to have the Christmas No. 1!" "It doesn't matter really, either way Simon wins!" They even had the XFactor style looooong pause before announcing the Christmas number 1. Now cue the banal interview with the "winner".

It made absolutely no difference to Cowell, it was just more free publicity and "controversy" that ultimately generates more sales, number 1 or not. And all without him lifting a finger. I bet he's wishing for more of the same next year please!

Hear that noise? That's the sound of Simon Cowell laughing all the way to the bank.

Hoorayyy, or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510330)

More money for RIAA, thanks facebook!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/14/facebook [guardian.co.uk]

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY SHIT, OK?

Summary disingenuous (4, Insightful)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510348)

"It was supposedly a kick against the commercialism of Christmas and commercial dominance in the music scene"

In a way, but it was more the fact that the previous 4 years' Christmas Number Ones had been X-Factor winners. It's slightly disingenuous to say that the Facebook campaign was a "kick against the commercialism of Christmas"...

"Commercial dominance" ever was a factor in the race for christmas number one in the UK, but at least it was a race, not a foregone conclusion. Like when the Spice Girls went up against Chef and his Chocolate Salty Balls. The trend in recent years is for the X-Factor winner (whoever it is, it doesn't matter) to win. This is just a big "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me"...music lovers taking back the Christmas #1 slot.

(Either that or it's a cynical ploy by Sony BMG to sell 500,000 records that they wouldn't have sold otherwise...)

Re:Summary disingenuous (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510486)

.music lovers taking back the Christmas #1 slot.

Yeah, but Rage Against the Machine totally sucks. X-Factor, Rage Against the Machine... who cares? It's all crap with the same end result. Instead of one lame act selling lots of records, another did.

Re:Summary disingenuous (3, Interesting)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510526)

Instead of one lame act selling lots of records, another did.

Setting aside our obvious differences in musical taste, you're wrong. There's no "instead", both acts sold lots of records and RATM sold around 500,000. I doubt that the people buying "Killing in the name" would ever have bought the X-factor single instead.

The other end result of course is that the Facebook group raised £70k for charity, and RATM are now pledging to donate the profits from sales of the record to charity too, something which I highly doubt Joe McElderberry, X-Factor winner, will do.

Re:Summary disingenuous (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510760)

The other end result of course is that the Facebook group raised £70k for charity, and RATM are now pledging to donate the profits from sales of the record to charity too, something which I highly doubt Joe McElderberry, X-Factor winner, will do

First off, we have to wonder what "Profit" from the sale means. Profit might well mean, proceeds from the song after we pay for Rage's mortgages. Secondly, X-Factor and other shows like are really just lottery shows where the guy is going to win the prize once and that's pretty much his life. Saying that a mainstream popular act like Rage Against the Machine donating profits to charity is better than Joe Six Packs not donating to Charity is like saying Bill Gates donated the proceeds of Access to charity when he's still selling Windows, versus the author of Notepad++, which is all those guys do.

Re:Summary disingenuous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510802)

Will JoMc actually make any money? I would guess he is to spend his next 5 songs paying back SiCo. Then he will be dumped and the next X-Factor will start.

Vote For Something Serious! (5, Interesting)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510370)

I am amazed that so many people are willing to vote for X-Factor and who should be no1 in the Christmas charts but will not vote for who runs the UK!

That's like totally horrifying.

At least protest for a something worthwhile - e.g. against clause 11 of the "Digital Economy Bill"http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/001/10001.13-19.html [parliament.uk] Essentially gives Lord Mandelson complete control of what is published on Internet and unrivalled power and "interpretation" of copyright law.

You can join petitions here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/list/open?cat=758 [number10.gov.uk]

Then again Simon Cowell wants to "X-Factor" politics http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1236002/The-Politics-Factor-Simon-Cowell-unveils-plan-launch-election-debate-show.html [dailymail.co.uk] This mentality scares the crap out of me!

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (5, Insightful)

Thundarr Trollgrim (847077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510452)

> I am amazed that so many people are willing to vote for X-Factor and who should be no1 in the Christmas charts but will not vote for who runs the UK!
>
> That's like totally horrifying.

The difference is that these two songs are polar opposites. When it comes to the General Election, you're voting for one bastard over another bastard, both with essentially the same policies.

Why bother voting when the result is the same?

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510734)


No, this is not the USA. Labour and the Conservatives are both pretty awful (though at least Labour still has some of the decent old guard in its ranks whereas the Conservatives were pretty much rotten since historical times). Anyway, the point is that you can vote for the Liberal Democrats. They're an order of magnitude better than both Labour and the Conservatives and unlike in the USA, voting for a third party isn't a waste. The Lib Dems have many seats across the UK and enough of a faction in the Houses of Parliament that they have influence. If we'd had a few more Lib Dems, the vote for war on Iraq would actually have been lost. That's what a small difference can make to the outcome of large events. You can even vote Green in the UK because at least they do respectably well at local elections and the European elections.

In short, we are different to the USA. Much of the privately-owned media is trying to push the UK toward the same two-party puppet show that the USA has, but there is a third, less sucky-choice, nonetheless.

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510860)

The Lib Dems are 'orders of magnitudes better' BECAUSE they've never been in power. It's easy to be a backseat driver; all you have to do is criticise whatever the driver does and talk about how much better you would have done it. Once you get in the driving seat yourself you find it's a lot, lot harder than you thought to do anything approaching a good job.

If the Lib Dems got in, my personal bet would be that we'd get maybe 6 months tops of them trying to push some sensible policies through, and then the combination of Whitehall bureaucracy and lack of overwhelming majority in the Commons would wear them down to the exact same level as the other two parties.

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510466)

People don't vote or get involved with politics because they don't feel they can make a difference.

OK, it may be a trivial subject, but if you want to show people that you can make a difference if you actually take part, this is a great way of showing them.

The X-Factor was expected to get number 1 with no competition, but some people decided to do something about it. It resonated with a lot of people and they decided to take part and join in. It snowballed and eventually almost a million people (granted, some of them probably aren't British) joined the group.

With a general election less than six months away, what better way to educate people that they can make a difference if they stand up and be counted (and vote).

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510470)

Surely making politics more interesting for the general public is a good thing?

It might get people interested in a subject that has a social taboo surrounding it, as well as being fairly intimidating at first; I know I'd like some sort of simplified breakdown of things half the time, which is why I try and catch Newsround [wikipedia.org] if I can (if you're not British, it's a child's news show).

The problem being is that I can see it being terribly biased; maybe I'm spoilt a little bit from the fairly neutral BBC.

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510528)

If I don't watch the news, who is in power makes zero impact on my life. Government is ossified, changeless, and (I think) relatively powerless. Music, on the other hand, does play a role in my day to day life. You hear it everywhere. If I can hear "Killing in the Name" instead of that awful pop-idol shit several times a day over christmas, well that's a difference I'm interested in making!

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510742)

If I don't watch the news, who is in power makes zero impact on my life.

It affects whether you have a job, or at least whether the people around you have jobs.
It affects how criminals who may affect your life are handled.
It affects the quality of the schools your children go to, or the education levels of the people you meet in everyday life.
It affects how and whether you pay for dental work, eye tests and glasses, medical care.
It affects how much tax you pay, and how the funds generated are spent.

I could go on, but I think the point is made.

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510700)

Then again Simon Cowell wants to "X-Factor" politics

That worked so well last time ITV tried it.

A innovative attempt to revitalise the public's interest in politics, by subjecting would-be MPs to a Pop Idol-style reality TV show, descended into ugly scenes last night after the winner was accused of holding views to the right of the British National Party.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2005/jan/16/broadcasting.raceintheuk

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510758)

I am amazed that so many people are willing to vote for X-Factor and who should be no1 in the Christmas charts but will not vote for who runs the UK!

The simple reason is with your X-Factor vote you have a chance at influencing the outcome.

You cant vote against Darth Mandelson. You cant vote to change the Bill. It is not yet election time, so your only Parliamentary voice (who will barely understand what the internets is) doesnt give a flying shit what us little people think.

Re:Vote For Something Serious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510798)

You believe it to be /like/ totally horrifying, without actually /being/ totally horrifying? Puzzling.

Actually, all this shows is how silly charts are (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510384)

It ain't all that hard to upset the charts, it has been done in Holland by "One Day Fly" a comedian and his palls released a song with the clear published goal of getting it on one. And they did.

If you count the actual sales that make up the charts it doesn't take much of a group to make an impact.

And people really like this idea that they are upsetting the powers that be. In this case by showing Sony we won't take their crap, by buying their crap (check the parent label for both bands). In fact what this shows is that the system WORKS. Hype a song to a group and voila, instant hit. RATM is no different then X-Factor in that respect, both are fakes who just fake it to a slightly different audience but are now proven to be manipulated the same way.

Now if you REALLY wanted to show you could change mass marketing, you would have gotten NOBODY to buy ANY song. Because for Sony, the profits are still the same.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510504)

RATM is no different then X-Factor in that respect, both are fakes who just fake it to a slightly different audience but are now proven to be manipulated the same way.

Firstly, you should at least google "Rage Against The Machine" before saying something so incredibly ignorant. Secondly, what the protest group was trying to do was to stop some bland, middle-of-the-road, one-hit-wonder from getting #1 when it should be going to someone who at least has the where-with-all to write their own goddamn songs. Your "mass marketing" straw man no place here.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510574)

what the protest group was trying to do was to stop some bland, middle-of-the-road, one-hit-wonder from getting #1 when it should be going to someone who at least has the where-with-all to write their own goddamn songs.

I agree that the X-Factor effort is bland pap that doesn't deserve to sell (and let's not forget that it *did* sell by the bucket load. This isn't a zero-sum game.)

However I question this fetishisation of acts who write their own material. Writing and performing are orthogonal talents. One person can have both, but having one talent in isolation is not something to be demeaned. Burt Bacharach was a fine songwriter. He sometimes performs them himself, and it's OK, but not that great. Most people would rather hear the Walker Brothers perform "Make It Easy On Yourself" than Bacharach himself.

Before The Beatles it was really quite rare for pop acts to write their own material.

Ask yourself, what would you rather? A great band performing a bad song written by themselves? Or a great band performing a great song written by someone else?

And what would you say to a great songwriter who's a weak performer? Stop writing?

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (1)

manicb (1633645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510838)

An interesting debate, but I don't think Rage Against The Machine are a great example. The music is partially driven by their technical virtuosity - you really do have to be able to play guitar and use effects like Tom Morello to come up with some the elements of their songs. The actual sounds are pretty important for this style. And there aren't many metal bands that happen to have a singer that can rap. While the band can certainly do a good cover (see their version of "Maggie's farm"), it requires considerable creative input. While there is nothing wrong with having good songwriters and good performers, music would be considerably poorer if we didn't encourage people to pursue both.

The best thing for a good songwriter who isn't a performer is to team up with a strong performer and write material that will suit them. See Guy Chambers/Robbie Williams. It's far from unheard-of in rock for the main songwriter in a band to hide behind some keyboards or a guitar; let the frontman and lead guitarist do the flashy stuff.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510842)

I tend to find that the only way music sounds very good is when the "performer" has a personal stake in it. So your songwriter is out of luck in my case.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510604)

Now if you REALLY wanted to show you could change mass marketing, you would have gotten NOBODY to buy ANY song.

And just how the fuck would you do that? You can't prevent the people that like x-factor one hit wonder buying the single because THEY LIKE IT. They aren't going to protest it.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (1, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510654)

THEY LIKE IT

WRONG they buy it because

1/it's in the charts

2/because they are being brainwashed: the radio turning it 25000 times a day.(and the producers of those shows getting a cut).

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (2, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510720)

Being "brainwashed" into liking something doesn't negate you liking it. In fact, it entails it.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510858)

Stop using logic - you'll only be accused of trolling . . .

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510856)

I used to take this view that people didn't "really" like mainstream film/music/whatever, they only "think they like it".

Then I realised that was the worst kind of condescending attitude. Lots of people like mainstream media output, and that's what makes it mainstream.

Re:Actually, all this shows is how silly charts ar (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510624)

In this case by showing Sony we won't take their crap, by buying their crap

No, it's a case of showing Simon Cowell that we won't take his crap by buying someone else's music. yeah, it's on the same label but the sentiment of "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" is perfect when taken in this context.

Yeah, getting people to buy nothing is nice idea, but it's too passive to work. It's better this way.

X Factor is Criminal (5, Insightful)

igb (28052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510530)

As I walked into the Yamaha shop in Ginza an hour ago there was a CD player whacking out bloody Susan Boyle massacring John Stewart's Daydream Believer. There should be a law, there really should.

Re:X Factor is Criminal (1)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510644)

You think that's bad? Her single for Christmas is the Rolling Stone's Wild Horses. I mean come on...what a tragically beautiful song. She just went all Elaine Page on it and ended up robbing it of any sentiment at all. Sterile and lifeless.

Re:X Factor is Criminal, there should be a law... (2, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510718)

Amendment proposal 42 is before the House; the lawful slaying of sir Simon Cowell offe Brighton for crimes against humanity.

All in favour say Aye.

Re:X Factor is Criminal, there should be a law... (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510840)

All in favour say Aye.

Good Lord, do they? Are they all Scottish or something?

Purpose is not stated (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510534)

It was supposedly a kick against the commercialism of Christmas and commercial dominance in the music scene

Supposed by whom?

All it was, was a couple of people saying "wouldn't it be cool if {classic rock song with apt band name} were Christmas number one instead of the pappy ballad that's supposedly a foregone conclusion. It was an idea with memetic fitness, so it took off.

Each individual's reason for buying is their own. Whether it's a perceived statement against capitalism, just a kick against the man, or even really liking the song and somehow not already owning a copy.

FWIW, my reason for taking part was that I thought it would be funny and cool if it worked, and the outlay was 29 pence. If it sends a message to Sony that there's good money to be made promoting non-manufactured bands, so much the better.

Re:Purpose is not stated (1)

tompeach (1118811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510640)

FWIW, my reason for taking part was that I thought it would be funny and cool if it worked, and the outlay was 29 pence

In which case it wasn't counted, the minimum price is 40p for a digital download to be included (not that I expect you to loose any sleep over 20p)

Source: http://www.theofficialcharts.com/docs/Official%20UK%20Singles%20Chart%20Rules%20August%202009.pdf [theofficialcharts.com]

Re:Purpose is not stated (4, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510668)

Amazon.co.uk sold both downloads as loss leaders. The 40p limit applies to the wholesale price, not the retail price.

  - I pay Amazon 29p
  - Amazon pays Sony 40p (or more?)
  - It counts towards the chart
  - Amazon hopes my retail experience was good, and I'll come back for more music downloads in future. This time at a profitable price.

Everybody's happy.

Re:Purpose is not stated (1)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510732)

This was actually the first time I used amazon to buy and Mp3.

One 29p single and 3 albums later I think their cunning ploy worked...

Re:Purpose is not stated (2, Informative)

OoberMick (674746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510726)

Except that's dealer price not consumer price (from your link!), Amazon are making a loss of 11p on each sale. They confirmed it on the forums [amazon.co.uk]

Not the first number one on downloads at all (4, Informative)

R0UTE (807673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510598)

it's interesting to note that this is the first song to reach the number one spot through downloads alone in the UK

Umm, no it isn't. Crazy by Gnarles Barkley was the first song to reach number one in the UK on downloads alone. This was the first song to be the Christmas number 1 on downloads alone.

Like Syco really care (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30510708)

It's not like the X-factor winner's song sold badly. A song that gets to number 2 has made incredible profits. And it's unlikely that RATM displace many sales. The facebook campaign has made huge profits for both.

Yay, let's protest consumerism by consuming MORE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30510824)

Social media are powerful alright, if your audience is a mouth-breathing uneducated mob.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>