Pop Playground
The Stagnation of the American Charts

By: Todd Burns

Posted 12/09/2005 - 12:33:05 PM by calimero:
 I kinda like the "air of inevitability" of songs on the US charts - you actually can kinda tell why most of 'em are on there. UK charts seem entirely random, which makes any given song's placing on the chart kinda meaningless. But the stagnation *is* a problem, and it makes the pop world in the US a lot duller than it should be, I know radio has to cater primarily to people whose interest in music is limited (i.e. the majority) and therefore emphasize the familiar, but top 40 radio wasn't always this dreary. There's gotta be some kind of way to make things less predictable while not tuning out passive listeners. Is anybody even trying to do that?