The annual flurry of interest in the race to top the Official UK Singles chart at the end of December and so be crowned Christmas Number One proves that even in an era when music purchases mean less and online streaming becomes the norm, it still matters to a large section of the British public what ends up at the top of the charts.
That's the view of veteran UK music commentator James Masterton who believes the social media frenzy, newspaper column inches devoted and the surprisingly large amount of money staked on this one particular chart race proves that following the singles chart and tracking the popularity of the latest pop hits is still a core part of mainstream British culture.
Says Masterton: "Every year the interest in the charts and my weekly columns on the topic reaches a new crescendo. This has already been an amazing year for chart stories, from the near total domination achieved by Ed Sheeran album tracks in the spring, through to the long-running success of Luis Fonsi's 'Spanglish' hit single Despacito. But Christmas means there is a level of interest beyond even that. And with acts of the calibre of Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora battling it out for top honours this is certain to be a fascinating end to the year".
Masterton has this year celebrated 25 years of writing online about the UK charts, his first pieces appearing in November 1992. His weekly analysis has appeared over the years on some of the entertainment's biggest online brands - Dotmusic, Yahoo! Music UK and About.com. It now appears each week on his own Chart Watch UK site where, along with the regular weekly chart columns, there is an archive of the entire 25 year history of his work, making this one of the most content-rich resources of music writing online.
As well as writing for a worldwide audience each week, Masterton has appeared on television and radio, for both BBC and commercial networks as an enthusiastic communicator of how the singles charts drive the public's view of popular music.
For someone like me who can’t get enough of UK charts and stats, James’ top 40 commentaries are a wonderful thing - and not only when he mentions one of my own records. Both an invaluable source for historic sales data and current trends, Chart Watch is essential reading." - Fomer Number One hitrmaker Neil Claxton (Mint Royale)
Chart Watch is both an invaluable resource and a steaming rubbish dump of the kind of trivia you'll never get asked in a pub quiz. You'd have to be pretty nuts about pop music to keep this up for 25 years. I'm glad James is." - Danny Kelly, Journalist and Broadcaster
For more information or to have James Masterton as a guest on your programme or as a lively source of information for an article, don't hesitate to get in contact.
- Contact Name:
- James Masterton
- Chart Watch UK writer
- Chart Watch UK
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- Contact Phone:
- 07970 213 573
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