’12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music’ – A Response

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BuzzFeed has posted a list of “12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music” that irritated me. Putting aside the few spelling errors and childish ending, whoever put this article together apparently cannot understand how the music industry works and thinks that everything is equal and has been for the past 40+ years. Well Dave Stopera, I see your article and raise you a response. 

Check the list above and then check after the jump for my response to each point he raised.

“1. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix” 
Of COURSE Creed has sold more records!!! They entered into the music world during a time when the Internet was able to spread their information everywhere. They had music videos playing constantly. They were in movie soundtracks. What do you honestly expect?
“2. Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10″
Yeah, this one sucks. Especially Depeche Mode. However, let’s also be honest here and admit that Rihanna gets WAY more press than Led Zeppelin, REM, or Depeche Mode ever got in their prime. Come on now, have you ever seen a celebrity post about Michael Stipe in a bikini? Rihanna totally wins this one. Queue sad face…
“3. Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single”
Welcome to the digital age where singles can sell more copies than full albums. Also, the access to ‘Tik Tok’ is far greater than the access to The Beatles. 
“4. Flo Rida’s “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles’ “Hey Jude””
Again, it’s an age of singles and ‘Low’ was put everywhere it could possibly fit. Personal note: I got sick of that song 10 seconds into the first time I heard it. 
“5. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song”
I’m still unsure as to what “popular” means here. If you mean by sales, I can see this song beating out both of these artists for the simple fact that The Black Eyed Peas resonates with the youth crowd who are more likely to buy singles. Sorry 50+ readers, the majority of you don’t buy singles online and you know it.
“6. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record”
Guess what? Your parents probably loved the shit out of Celine Dion. Know why? She’s a safe choice musically. Bruce Springsteen, Queen, and Nirvana are all aimed at a much more targeted audience while Celine Dion has a wider group. Simple math here folks, the more you offer it to, the more it will sell.
“7. Same with Shania Twain’s “Come On Over””
If you don’t know it, I’m going to lay it clear for you right now: country music is one of the biggest sellers in the music industry. Add to the mix that this album is “country-pop” and the audience nearly doubled. Again, the more you offer it to, the more it will sell. 
“8. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singes [sic] from an album”
You know what? It was bound to happen sooner or later. Katy Perry also had a lot of very talented songwriters on her previous album, so I’m giving credit where credit is due.
“9. Barbara Streissand [sic] has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined”
Have you seen this woman’s discography???? Unbelievable! Also add to the mix that she has acted in several successful films (Tom Petty’s biggest movie was 1997′s The Postman) and puts on what is supposedly a very entertaining live show and it’s no wonder that she has sold that many records. Respect Babs. Respect.
“10. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus’ album “Some Gave All…” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album”
Do I need to remind you how popular country is? Oh, and here is where I’m going to show a little bit of musical ignorance/stereotyping: you buy one Bob Marley album and you never need to buy another reggae album EVER AGAIN. 
“11. The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles”
They release five songs per week, covering currently popular songs, and deliver them to millions of households with every episode. If you’re surprised by the above fact, then you shouldn’t be. Personal note: I cannot STAND Glee.
“12. This guy exists. [Editors Note: This refers to a picture of Justin Bieber]“
Some Canadians had a baby. Get over it.