Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pop Music Numbers

I ran across this weird little item on Visboo. Titled "Sad Facts About Popular Music" it consists of a list of artists who have sold more recordings than supposed much better artists. No news to we of the classical persuasion, of course. But some items looked a bit odd, so I decided to check one out. No. 3 on the list states that Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" single sold more copies than any Beatles' --and the rest is obscured, but let's imagine the last word is "single". Is that actually true? According to Wikipedia (where there are articles on absolutely everything) "As of January 2012, "Tik Tok" had sold over 6,149,000 downloads in the country alone, making one of only six songs to sell more than six million copies in the US." All right, now let's see how that stacks up against the Beatles. The question does not have a clear answer because there is no independent body that collects worldwide sales. But looking around the web, I come up with these estimates in a few different places. The Beatles' biggest selling single seems to have been, not "Hey Jude" (with 8 million sales), but "I Want To Hold Your Hand" with 12 million sales (or almost double Ke$ha's). But that is dwarfed by the number of sales of the Sgt Pepper's album with 32 million sales. So, the moral of the story is either don't believe everything you see on the Web, or maybe don't believe anything you see on the Web. Heh.

Wow, she makes Lady Gaga sound like, uh Franz Schubert. It's a long, long way from "I want to hold your hand" to "Boys tryin' to touch my junk, junk".

Of course, "I want to hold your hand" is probably a metaphor, but "Boys tryin' to touch my junk" is not. Or is it? Perhaps the former means "I want to make love to you" while the latter means "please God, won't someone rescue me from the drunken mess that is my life?" Heh.

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