The charts: the role of record companies on becoming a no. 1

The new studio album of my fave band is a 10 weeks away from release and via a major: how do I feel about the charts?

Of course, I hope the guys would be number one again and anywhere, but what is the role of the major they got signed to?

I do remember that since early 2000 the major record companies, the true corporations had a leading role on the market: they did believe in their artists, they really supported them, they fed them and… I suspected – but only when my heroes weren’t no. 1s, – lol!  – they somehow customized the charts, according to the hero of the moment. The digital 2.0 reality upset this system, no one of the above huge record corporation weren’t prepared and all changed… or so think I.

Being a no. 1 in the charts is at any time a fantastic visiting card for any performer : I guess 30 years ago it was harder, seen the quantity of  sales required to be proclaimed no. 1 was higher: the only boost was the radio stations, so you had to be original and creative and smart to be noticed. Today you have your own Page, you have the support of your social contacts, you can hope the number of FB contacts grows until someone of a decent record company notices you and hires you for a sign.

Another way to be noticed by a record company and to get signed is to play your material in every label you know, via private gigs, parties, etc… The local billionaires might be influential on the record labels, or on other types of music powers thanks to which you ca have a “help” also in the top ten.

OK so far it reads that I still think you can be no. 1 only thanks to a good supportive record company: it doesn’t have to be necessarily a big major, the size doesn’t matter, it’s enough the team the artists have back is a real moral support.

The current 2.0 world is marked by the almost total absence of record companies and of the traditional charts. The game is now strictly between the artist and his audience. The strategy had to move away from the record major: the new liaison is between the artists and their audience. It’s the artist who builds up his audience, not the record company any longer.

I’ve seen the case of an indie company who arrived to perform at the prestigious Glastonbury Festival, the other day, their album was a huge hit on Facebook. One of the two members was a FB contact of mine and I started to support them by reading to the rough lines of the debut lyrics of the songs on the album he was writing. I wish they can be number 1 for a good while, that’s the payoff for the efforts made.

The meaning of being no. 1 today. The conquest of the top of the charts brought much joy, satisfaction, the crews had the sensation of having the payoff… it was the happy ending of a cycle.  Much more it could be today, ‘coz the word of music we knew is dead and both “flops” and “tops” are a more serious matter. We have noticed the growing in numbers of charts types, with the contribution of the social media: if one of the “traditional” charts shows a little disaster, the official press releases inform you your hero was instead no. 1 on somewhere else. The today artists really have to appeal on the people much more they tried to some decades ago, so being very much appreciated is a stronger feeling.

To answer to my questions on top of this blog, in the specific case: given them signed to a big major there shouldn’t be trouble of reading their name on the charts. It seems the sign of the deal happened in the most classic way and I feel that if they go on topo it will be like in the good old times. Their label is a trademark of success; the label really is a respectable one and its role should be of support their artists. The band’s new deal reads promising. Now it’s up to my fave artists’ talent.

To end, I read one of my music heroes saying streaming music is the future. I just don’t share it; it’s not comfortable to get it on your device. However the music streaming platforms are growing in numbers and the famous “Singles charts” are already drawn under the influence of the streaming services.

DD TV xx


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