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Download-only Single Becomes UK Number One 192

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the bit-by-bit dept.
Stuart Gibson writes "As predicted, the Gnarls Barkely single 'Crazy' has reached the number one spot on the official UK charts, based solely on legal downloads. The CD version of the single will not be released until tomorrow. This is the first single to be eligible for the honour as, until last month, download sales would only be counted if the track was also available to be bought as a physical copy."
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Download-only Single Becomes UK Number One

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  • Proof (Score:4, Funny)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:44PM (#15047324) Homepage
    Now we have proof that crappy music will remain popular regardless of the method of distribution.
    • Re:Proof (Score:2, Informative)

      by gunpowda (825571)
      I don't see the humour here - it's a damn good song.
      • i have to agree, the song really isn't bad.
        it's not too great either, but for something that you can just
        download it's good. still there's no reason why it should be a #1 single.

        and the quality could be a bit better :)

        this will find a nice place for it in my playlist.
    • Re:Proof (Score:4, Funny)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:53PM (#15047354)
      Hey ... with a name like Gnarls Barkley, it's gotta be good.

      Or does that only apply to grape jelly?
      • > Hey ... with a name like Gnarls Barkley, it's gotta be good.

        If you want an download only single to succeed you have to have a unique name or customers won't find it on Google [google.co.uk].

    • Re:Proof (Score:5, Informative)

      by Propagandhi (570791) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:55PM (#15047358) Journal
      And proof that there will always be some idiot will make wild assumptions re: other's musical tastes.

      I bet you don't even know who made this song, you probably think it was some guy named "Gnarls Barkely", nevermind that such a person doesn't actually exist. For your information Gnarls is a collaboration between Cee-lo and DangerMouse. I'm not much of a Cee-lo fan, but DangerMouse is the shit. His Grey Album (half White Album, half Black Album) was as close to bittorrent platinum as an album could be, and DangerDoom (another collaboration, this time with MF Doom) was an awesome hip hop album (you probably hate hip hop, but I guess that's your loss).

      At any rate: forget the past of these two artists, this song is awesome and I'm really looking forward to their album.
      • Re:Proof (Score:1, Insightful)

        by mindstormpt (728974)
        Ohhh, if it's Cee-lo and DangerMouse it's an entirely different story. The names are even more ridiculous.
      • Re:Proof (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        [...]Gnarls Barkely[...]Cee-lo[...]DangerMouse[...]Grey Album (half White Album, half Black Album)[...]bittorrent platinum[...]DangerDoom[...]MF Doom[...]

        Are you using some new transcription of Chinese in roman letters, -- or is this twilight zone?

      • Re:Proof (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fbjon (692006)
        I don't follow the latest hits, I have no idea who you're talking about, I haven't heard it before, but having just listened to 'Crazy', I think it's pretty good stuff.

        Some slashdotters seem to think: popular song == bad; popular song that makes a lot of money on sales == t3h evil/RIAA(or equivalent)/worthless sell-out.

        On the other hand, the GP does have a certain point, in that popular music will be popular, regardless on distribution method, regardless of vain lock-in. Or rather, popular music will be dis

        • Re:Proof (Score:3, Insightful)

          by linzeal (197905)
          If you guys want to find new music by comparing to the music you already listen to , check out the link in my sig. Last.fm has reawakened my passion for finding new music to listen to that I thought stopped when I was 25 or so. Now I find that I am buying about 3-4 CDs a month like I used to when I was a teenager. Giggles, ponies!!!!
          • Another interesting service along similar lines is at www.pandora.com [pandora.com]. Input a band or song you like, and it picks something that sounds similar, you vote whether you like it or not, and see where it goes from there.
        • And if the majority of Slashdot posters used your logic and thought things through like you did instead of leaping on the first thing they disagreed with it would be a much better forum.

          Like it used to be.

          Or do I just remember it being good in the past?

          I can't really remember any more you RIA GNAA GOATSE gay bi pig.

          All of my base are belong to me?
        • Re:Proof (Score:3, Informative)

          Another Slashdot mentioned pop band came out with a download-for-free album about 8 months ago. http://www.harveydanger.com/ [harveydanger.com] is worth checking out, you've got nothing to lose and I liked it so much I PayPal'ed them some money for the album.
      • Re:Proof (Score:2, Funny)

        by arcanumas (646807)
        Is DangerMouse related to Mighty Mouse or Mickey Mouse? :p
      • Re:Proof (Score:2, Interesting)

        by MacDork (560499)
        this song is awesome and I'm really looking forward to their album.

        Unfortunately, according to the RIAA RADAR, [magnetbox.com] "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkely is published by WEA records (German Warner Bros.) making it an RIAA 'property.' It doesn't matter to me how talented they might be, I will make no purchases as long as they associate themselves with the RIAA.

      • You're both wrong. De gustibus non est disputandum.

        • Re:Proof (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Literaphile (927079)
          Then how shall it be debated? How can we debate a song (or any work of art) if not from the approach of taste, as you say? That's the only way we can, in fact, since there's no objective idea of "good" art. Thus, any opinion will be based on taste. Linguam Latinam quoque dicere possum, sed ratio mea potentior fit? non sic. Et eloquentia et substantia praesint.
          • Re:Proof (Score:2, Insightful)

            How can we debate a song (or any work of art) if not from the approach of taste, as you say? That's the only way we can, in fact, since there's no objective idea of "good" art. Thus, any opinion will be based on taste. Linguam Latinam quoque dicere possum, sed ratio mea potentior fit? non sic. Et eloquentia et substantia praesint.

            Sorry, I only know the little bit of Latin I picked up watching gladiator flicks with Cliff and Norm. I'm going to presume you said something wittily devastating, stutter and stamm
      • Re:Proof (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        DangerMouse is the shit

        Ooh, crumbs, DM!
      • Re:Proof (Score:3, Funny)

        by BewireNomali (618969)
        dude, I'm a fan too. Dangermouse is killer. I'm not as much a Cee-lo fan - but the dangerdoom album was bananas. I'm also a Madvillian fan - basically a big doom fan.

        I'll get this album for the beats, definitely. It'll be hot.

        music is one of those things. the random critiques people make of music they've never heard or music they don't understand never ceases to amaze me. because music is so personal and relative, it seems smart not to judge that which one is not. I suspect that flames will follow your post
      • Re:Proof (Score:2, Informative)

        by Fraew (10491)
        So i'm guessing all the dudes who have been so blank-faced 'this consarnity new music!' in this thread are unaware of the Adult Swim connection?

        DangerMouse previous recorded an album with brilliant US hip-hop artist MF-Doom as 'Danger-Doom' which featured cameo's by the Adult Swim crew (including Brak, Zorak, Space Ghost - and best of all the Aqua Teen Hunger Force). He seems to be getting really well known in hip-Hop scenes for his collabrative work; really funny stuff.
      • Re:Proof (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        All parties in the matter of People vs. Propagandhi in the matter of hypocracy, please step forward.

        And proof that there will always be some idiot will make wild assumptions re: other's musical tastes.

        And, 3.5 sentances later,

        you probably hate hip hop

        The people rest, your honor.
      • I'm not much of a Cee-lo fan, but DangerMouse is the shit.

        Isn't that the stuff best sent down the toilet? Guess you agree with the poster that the song is no good?
      • Says you.

        I could only stand about 30 seconds of it.

        I think "grating" would be a good word.
      • As well as Getto Pop Life with Jemini (sp)... I think these people are just so reactionary to something hitting #1 that they won't stop to realize that it's not the usual pandered, record-company assembled, carbon copy garbage. Danger Mouse is part of a group of select few hip-hop artists that are not just making posturing gangster-anger anthems, they are reviving a rather stagnant industry.

        The underground hip-hop scene is amazing right now.
      • It's bland, production line crap that will be forgotton in a week, that only sold because it was plugged on the radio. No different to a CD.

        Also the rules state that it can only get in the official charts if it's released afterwards on CD, so it's not technically download only.
    • Re:Proof (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bortykins (933215)
      It is a great song. It is also nice to hear something that doesn't sound exactly like absolutely everything else.
    • Re:Proof (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The-Bus (138060)
      Gnarls Barkley is the collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Loo Green. Cee-Lo had one of the most well-received albums of 2004, and Danger Mouse has been involved with a lot of critically acclaimed, succesful projects.

      Just because you (and a lot of others) haven't heard of them doesn't mean they're bad. This is not Suga Babes II.

      You'd think the /. crowd would be more understanding.

      (For the record, I think Gnarles Barkley is just OK so far... I prefer some of Danger Mouse's other work).
    • I think it's a great tune, and I HATE most of the stuff that's on the radio.

      Have you even listened to it, or are you just making a snap judgement?

      Oh, wait... this is Slashdot, where people don't even "RTFA" most of the time.
    • Download sales of music outnumbering CD single purchases?

      Could this mean the RIAA and such have been wrong all those years?

      I know everybody in the world has said they were, but they were so sure of themselves; even trying to ban it.

      Now I don't know what to believe anymore!
  • by billstewart (78916) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:47PM (#15047333) Journal
    Oh, wait, they're actually counting downloads people *paid* for? :-)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You may have been joking but, here [mininova.org] it is.
    • Actually, no. (Score:1, Redundant)

      by neoshroom (324937)
      Oh, wait, they're actually counting downloads people *paid* for? :-)

      They aren't. Nobody paid for the download; its simply available on their website. In fact, if you go there it autoloads and plays, so you get counted toward the total.

      I call that cheating. And its driving me crazy. Driving me craaaazy.

      Hmm...needs more cowbell.

      __
      Elephant Essays [elephantessays.com] - Custom created research papers and essays.
    • Apple sold one billion songs.

      That's a 'b'

      Billion.

      Nine zeroes.

      Big number. More than a lot. Like, really big number.

      Just before iTunes launched everyone said "who's going to pay for something you can get for free?"

      Then Apple sold one billion songs.

      That's a 'b'

      pwnt

      Next.

      • No. They sold 1000000000-X songs and gave away X songs. 1000000X1000000000. I know a soda company gave away at least a million songs. And a magazine a million more. Half the MP3 players Radio Shack sold at one point came with free iTunes download cards. I am sure there are thousands of free-itunes-download promotions that I do not know about. I would estimate that X is somewhere in the vicinity of 300000000 (that would be approximately 1 free song per person in the USA).
        • by Fooby (10436) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:50PM (#15047534)
          Not exactly. They didn't just give these downloads away, costing them nothing more than bandwidth. Apple and/or the various giveaway sponsors paid full royalties on these songs. Which is close to a dollar each. Apple doesn't make much if anything on downloads, they make money on hardware.
      • Apple sold one billion songs.
        [...]
        Just before iTunes launched everyone said "who's going to pay for something you can get for free?" Then Apple sold one billion songs.
        That's a 'b'
        pwnt
        Next.


        It took them what ... three years? Napster used to burn through over a billion [wired.com] in 1 month. That hasn't slowed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:01PM (#15047384)

    who used in in one of their BBC radio 1 channel branding idents (which was very cool) where they animated real objects in various real life scenes (street lights , cars , scaffolding, people) to the soundtrack like a VU meter

    very cool effect and it worked perfectly with the track, i remember when it first aired people asked me "have you seen that bbc advert" and "i love this track", played often its not suprising the tune did well, this is just like any other adverts that have cool tunes, if its a good tune people will buy/seek it, good music conquers all

    AJ
  • Radio 1 on the BBC channels (who own the station). Most people would have heard it from the ad and not the terrible station.
  • by LordSnooty (853791) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:05PM (#15047399)
    This is the first single to be eligible for the honour as, until last month, download sales would only be counted if the track was also available to be bought as a physical copy.

    Readers must note that download-only tracks are not eligible for the UK chart, the rule is that the physical version must be released within one week of the download version. So, it's just a way to get an extra week in the top ten.

    And, this song's success isn't solely down to internet hype or hoopla over downloads... it was used on an eye-catching BBC Radio 1 advert that received heavy play on the BBC's channels. Sadly I can't find a link to it, but UK readers will surely know which one I mean. Here's a link [youtube.com] to a different Radio 1 ad that uses the same technique.
    • Solely?

      Perhaps it's also down to the fact that it's really rather a good song? my friend, an avid giles peterson/zane lowe fan sent me this song (oops! who said that?) a while back and i thought it was great. if i paid even the slightest bit of attention to the singles chart then i'd probably own a copy (in digital format) right now.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      here you go

      Zane Lowe Gnarls Barkley advert/ident [nyud.net]

      very cool, if only more adverts where like this, but then it wouldnt be on the BBC
    • eye-catching BBC Radio 1 advert

      Wow, that is special. I don't think i've ever had the radio catch my eye.
    • Readers must note that download-only tracks are not eligible for the UK chart, the rule is that the physical version must be released within one week of the download version. So, it's just a way to get an extra week in the top ten.

      Really? Where did you hear this from?

      I'm CTO at a download store in the UK and we report sales to the chart people, which contribute to the UK singles charts. The only requirement I know of for our reporting is that the track has an ISRC number. As far as I'm aware that's it -
  • by neoshroom (324937) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:11PM (#15047415)
    Anyone else think its a bit tricky how if you go to their website the song autoloads and plays, so you get counted toward the total?

    I call that tricky. And its driving me crazy. Driving me craaaazy. Driving me craaaazy.

    Hmm...needs more cowbell.

    __
    Elephant Essays [elephantessays.com] - Custom-created research papers and essays.
    • The chart only includes paid-for downloads from UK services such as iTunes and OD2, not free plays.

      Basically, they tried to bring up-to-date the chart to include whichever format you buy a single in.

      I personally think it's sketchy that the single must be physically released the next week: this seems more a ploy to keep retail shops on-side with the chart compilers. It shouldn't matter who it is released to or when, only the total number of purchases after that week.
    • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by MustardMan (52102) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:27PM (#15047465)
      Crazy by Gnarls Barkley has been tipped to make music history this week by becoming the UK's first number one single based on download sales alone.

      Download SALES. Not downloads. Visiting the website a trillion times wouldn't change the ranking on the charts.
      • Visiting the website a trillion times wouldn't change the ranking on the charts.

        On Slashdot, that sounds like a challenge!

  • Meanwhile (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by dtfinch (661405) *
    The book in my sig is already the #1 bestselling book on Amazon, despite having not been released yet.
  • Maybe it's just because I'm not British, but I just listened to this song on the group's website and it sounds pretty annoying.

    #1 music is pretty much always crap though...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Both Cee-Lo and DJ DangerMouse are American Artists.
      It's become big in the UK because it's been played on the radio here since Mid 2005. Also the BBC Radio 1 Ads helped spread it too.
      Usually I'd agree that the British Charts can be ignored (being a Brit myself) as being full of rubbish, but I seem to like this track since it's more my Genre of Music.
  • website vs myspace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by opencity (582224) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:55PM (#15047548) Homepage
    Interesting to hear the audio difference between their home page and their myspace page. Myspace losing the highs.

    Also interesting that when I search iTunes for gnarls barkely I get no returns (?)

    Song's not bad.
    • The track is only available from the iTunes UK store at present, I think. Google found links on Phobos, but iTunes said they were UK store, not US.
      • Assuming for the moment that I don't care and that I went and heard the sample off the myspace page anyway: (flame intended for Apple not parent)

        Shouldn't this be crossposted to 'Apple about to lose market share'?
        I glanced at the iTunes home page and didn't see: Switch to UK store. It may be there but you've now lost the people who:

        Are still a little confused by this interweb.
        Will google 15 minutes for 'javascript bug safari 1.3.2' and null for Englands latest pop sensation
        • *shrug* I'd have to vote for "Record label doesn't let Apple sell song on US iTunes store that's not for sale in brick-and-mortar UK stores yet, for whatever reason."

          And then I'd go back to not caring, I guess, since the US store had Trans-Siberian Orchestra's album "Beethoven's Last Night" when I looked for it this afternoon.
  • who? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Knarls Barkeley sounds like what basketball star Charles Barkley would name his dog.
    • The Round Mound of Rebound would make for a much better single IMO. Just cue a clip of him shouting "Ginobili" over some dance track...
  • by mythz (857024) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:23PM (#15047624)
    There is a *very interesting* article on Joel on software (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2005/11/18.ht ml [joelonsoftware.com]) on how it is essential for the Record labels to be able to control the popularity of its songs:

    "...Here's the dream world for the EMI Group, Sony/BMG, etc.: there are two prices for songs on iTunes, say, $2.49 and $0.99. All the new releases come out at $2.49. Some classic rock (Sweet Home Alabama) is at $2.49. Unwanted, old, crap, like, say, Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) -- the crap we only know because it was pushed on us in the 70s by paid-off disk jockeys -- would be deliberately priced at $0.99 to send a clear message that $0.99 = crap.

    And now when a musician gets uppity, all the recording industry has to do is threaten to release their next single straight into the $0.99 category, which will kill it dead no matter how good it is. And suddenly the music industry has a lot more leverage over their artists in negotiations: the kind of leverage they are used to having. Their favorite kind of leverage. The "we won't promote your music if you don't let us put rootkits on your CDs" kind of leverage.

    And Apple? Apple wants the signaling to come from what they promote on the front page of the iTunes Music Store. In the battle between Apple and the recording industry over who gets to manipulate what songs you buy, Apple (like movie theaters) is going to be in favor of fixed prices, while the recording industry is going to want variable prices."
    • No one in this generation is going to pay 2.49 for 1000's of songs like they paid .99 for 1000's of songs. My music collection pry cost me 10k over my lifetime so far, there is simply no way I am going to pay that amount for 1/4th of what I have now.
    • The labels already do control the 'popularity'. The top 10 lists weight radio plays the same as sales. Play counts far exceed sales, and the number of times a song is played is directly proportional to the amount the label 'paid' the broadcaster to play it. Thus the charts are organized exactly how the labels paid to have them.
  • I never could figure out who was Number One in The Prisoner. Now we know: Patrick McGoohan's nemesis was none other than ... Gnarls Barkely. Cool.
  • Not to mention a day late. Seriously, where is the good song?
  • whocares, stupid, slownewsday,gay...

    Is the public taking revenge at Taco et al for having us tortured with PinkDot yesterday?
  • by vik (17857) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:24PM (#15047787) Homepage Journal
    I hope this is a step along the way to allowing songs into the charts that are heavily downloaded and - legally - not necessarily paid for. Until that happens, the charts remain an indicator of how heavily pimped a song or artist is.

    Vik :v)
  • If so, it's hardly an accolade. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Frog [wikipedia.org] in case you were lucky enough to avoid it.
  • ...was also available to be bought as a physical copy.
    Hey, downloaded copies are still physical copies. The internet still obeys physical laws, even when it doesn't obey the DMCA.
  • Whats the difference between a popular download-only song and a popular song that you can buy on CD?
  • Pity... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by trawg (308495) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:06PM (#15047895) Homepage
    It is a pity that it is still easier to type 'gnarls barkley +crazy +mp3' into Google to pirate it than it is to actually buy this online - at least in Australia. They're playing it a lot on a local radio station here and I quite like it, and this article finally gave me the artist so I could look it up to buy it.

    As always I tried Googling it first to see if it was iTunes - which it was; I got a handly link to the iTunes store, which opens iTunes. I was then politely told that this track is only available in the iTunes store in the UK.

    If the labels are ever going to take this Internet thing seriously they're going to have to readjust their way of thinking. They can't rely on their old system of having area-based licenses - it just doesn't make any real sense in the era of digital content.
    • In terms of digital 'licensing' for a specific country or even licensing to a handful of online shops, this is the 'old' way of doing it.

      For example, most of the online mp3 shops that cater for DJs will usually ship mp3 versions either at the same time or before it comes out on vinyl/cd. If somebody releases a track in Chicago, I can have it playing at a club night in London - the same day!

      And considering that many labels are selling them through 10 or more sites at a time, and all of them are DRM free I ho

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