This is apparently turning into a music blog. I don’t want that to happen. I want this to be more a humanity blog - so I’ll bring it back around, soon enough.
Last week Susan Boyle’s debut CD pumped out over 700,000 copies, taking the cake by a wide margin. Apparently 80,000 of that number came from some home shopping network number she did. Genius.
Genius marketing, really, realizing that the majority of people who buy CDs these days are the same demographic as those people who would buy Susan Boyle are the same demographic as those people who watch home shopping.
But 700,000 copies! That’s the biggest female artist’s album debut in history! Perhaps if we weren’t so good at pirating music it wouldn’t be, but it is! Exclamation point!
I – like many many many – thought it was fascinating, really fascinating, quite interesting, really, how Boyle’s story was presented on Britain’s Got Talent: here’s a cat lady, a crazy bat, and we can laugh at her! Mwahaha. (Remember poor William Hung?) The audience was visibly hostile to her when she first came out on stage.
And then she opened her mouth, and they were all on their feet screaming her name by the end of the piece.
Once upon a time (this summer) I read the Wikipedia page (so I know it’s true) of Susan Boyle’s. The Wikipedia page had a quote (you can see it yourself, if you so desire) about how this type of talent show is a modern version of the Victorian freak show. We aren’t so much interested in pretty and talented people. We get enough of those from Hollywood. We’re more interested in the crazy people -- either because they’re crazy and don’t realize how poorly they sing, or because their physical appearance is nothing like their voice, or their skill at [insert instrument or talent here].
Which is really silly, isn’t it? Don’t lawyer me on this statistic, but it has to be over 95% of opera singers who are just. Plain. Butt. Ugly. Because it doesn’t matter what they look like! We’ve paid tickets to hear their voices, and they’re going to be in major costumes and pancaked on makeup anyway, so what’s it matter? What’s with the Victorian freak show?
I don’t know. And delo ne sovsem v tom (the thing’s not entirely in that). What I’m trying to talk about are 700,000 copies of a debut album in its first days of sale. This is a wildly successful figure for someone who has escaped the freak show. We already know what kind of voice she has, and what she looks like! And I think I saw somewhere that she might have gotten some kind of vague, matronly makeover – good for her!
So now she’s legit. And people are buying her records (or watching her on youtube, or finding her on some kind of torrenting site) because they want to hear her sing, regardless of looks. That makes me happy. Happy as a clam.
Or as the caviar I’m eating right now. Mwahahahahahahhaa.
6 months ago