What People Listened To
In anticipation of my own upcoming Top Ten recordings of 2006, I cruised across the internets to find what the masses have been purchasing over these past 12 months. This couldn't possibly have been foreseeable as a stressful event. I spend at least half my free time listening to, reading about, and discovering new and exciting music. The Big Ten of 2006 couldn't possibly be foreign to me, right?
Imagine my surprise, then, when I couldn't recognize about half of Billboard's list. I mean, these artists could have attacked me in a lighted alley and spent the better part of an hour kicking me, and I only would have been able to identify half of them in a police line-up later. In fact, I suspect that were that unikely event to happen, I would likely just report, "Johnny Cash assaulted me! He had some other people with him, too."
So without further ado, read on as I demonstrate how entirely clueless I am when it comes to pop culture…
01. Carrie Underwood, Some Hearts. I have no idea who this is. I mean, seriously, not a clue. My girlfriend suggests that this person might have done a Milky Way commercial, but man, that’s just not where I get my music news. Not a clue.
02. The High School Musical Soundtrack. Is this from a movie, maybe? I’ve never heard of the movie, I’ve never heard of the recording. Had you shown me this Top Ten list and stated that one of these recordings is made up, I would undoubtedly have chosen this one.
03. Nickelback, All the Right Reasons. Ugly lead singer, on MTV a lot, did a song for the first Spiderman movie a few years back? I can’t actually name a song, but if they were among the people assaulting me in that alley, I’d identify them sooner or later.
04. Rascal Flats, Me and My Gang. I have a vague feeling that this is a country recording of some sort. Truth be told, I might have even heard something off of it, since I suspect they were playing on an award show I flipped by on the television. But again, I couldn’t identify them or any of their songs in a police lineup.
05. Mary J. Blige, The Breakthrough. I know who Mary J. Blige is. She’s that woman who became famous because she was married to one of Janet Jackson’s producers. I don’t believe I’ve heard anything by her within the past year, unless this recording includes her remake of U2’s “One,” which I DID have the displeasure of being subjected to once.
06. Eminem, Curtain Call: The Hits. The title suggests the boy might be done with recording. I know who he is, of course – he’s that guy who pissed off all the gay people with his junior high sense of humor a few years back.
07. James Blunt, Back to Bedlam. Nope.
08. Kenny Chesney, The Road and the Radio. Hey, he was married/is married to the actress who was previously married or came close to being married to Jack White. You know, the Bridget’s Diary chick. Yep. No, I don’t know any of his songs, but… I’ve heard the name.
09. Johnny Cash, The Legend of Johnny Cash. My brother informs me that this is a box set, which explains a lot. You see, even if it’s merely a three-CD box set, that would mean Johnny would have only sold 1/3 as many copies as those around him to end up in the Top Ten. Because no one buys 1/3 of a box set, and Billboard figures their sales in a counter-intuitive way…
10. Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway. I am aware she exists.
Okay, there’s what your fellow Americans have been listening to this year. Coming soon: the list of what I have been listening to this year. Hint: None of them have appeared in a Milky Way commercial…