Thursday 10 September 2009

Let's get The Who to number 1!

A campaign has begun to get The Who to number 1 in the UK singles chart, a feat they have never achieved in a career spanning five decades.

The premise is simple - in the week commencing 16th November 2009 as many people as possible (that means you, me and all our friends) need to buy an MP3 download of The Who's classic track "Baba O'Riley" (found on the thoroughly excellent, if not spectacularly titled, album "Who's Next"). If the campaign gets up enough steam, and enough support from people willing to shell out 79p - 99p to add this classic song to their MP3 libraries, then we get The Who back in the charts and hopefully to number one.

There are lots of good reasons to do this. Firstly, The Who have never had a number 1, so this is a great opportunity to right that wrong (and necessitate an update to a music round pub quiz question). Secondly, "Baba O'Riley" is a truly great song and deserves to be brought to the attention of a wider, younger audience - a kind of rock public service, if you will. Next, this kind of grass-roots web campaign could, potentially, highlight people-power in modern music sales, and illustrate how few sales are needed to trouble the charts these days. Also, this can be seen as an experiment in the power of social networking - can we do this? And lastly, wouldn't it be nice to have a proper song topping the charts for a change, even if only for one week? Maybe it's just me and maybe I'm getting old, but don't the charts seem to be, well, just a bit rubbish lately? Here's a chance to do something about that, even if only temporarily.

So, join the campaign and tell all your friends about it too. So far, the campaign has a website, Facebook group, MySpace page and a Twitter feed where you can find out more... join up now and prepare, in ten weeks time, to flex your chart muscle!

Tuesday 1 September 2009

There is a light that never goes out

So it seems that conventional 100W light bulbs will no longer be sold in the UK from today. An EU directive requires that these are phased out, and that only low-energy equivalents are sold. Some complain that low-energy bulbs cause migraines and eczema, whilst other bemoan that fact that they take a few seconds to warm up and give a decent light. The Daily Wail, in a typical fit of outrage, even gave away 25,000 conventional light bulbs in protest (for which, read cheap trick to increase circulation) at "further European intervention in British affairs". People have been stockpiling. Yes, really.

The fact remains though that the average energy-saving bulb uses 80% less electricity than an incandescent bulb, and could save the average household £590 in energy over its lifetime of eight to ten years. What's more, if all traditional bulbs across the country were replaced, the carbon saving could be the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road. This is pretty substantial, wouldn't you say?

They're not even expensive any more either. I was in Homebase over the weekend, and they were selling low-energy bulbs for 99p each or, incredibly, three for £1. Who, given this offer, would only buy one?

Anyway, bye-bye incandescent light bulbs, you won't really be missed. Except by the Daily Wail.

Footnote: the title of this post? A song of sublime beauty by The Smiths.