The Biggest Selling Artists of the 21st Century, Channel 4

by | Nov 6, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

A thrilling countdown of all the top selling, and in most cases, best recording artists of the past five years.

What to say if you didn’t like it

A Pandora’s Box of music was opened and all the blandest, most artificial, complacent music swirled out in a grotesque cloud of choking tunes.

What was good about it?

• The Streets although, damnably for Britain, Mike Skinner has sold fewer records than either Daniel O’Donnell or Atomic Kitten.

• In spite of the terrible odds against him, Dermot O’Leary was his typically brilliant self.

• Music journalist Paul Lester. His best quotation was: “Keane are completely flavourless.”

• The Scissor Sisters and Eminem.

What was bad about it?

• Half a decade is not long enough as each of the entries have already been exhaustively documented many times before and the profiles said nothing new; or if it was new, it was utterly trivial.

• The appearance of Jamie Cullum, the man with the weirdest hair in pop since Art Garfunkel.

• Edith Bowman stating that The Darkness are a “marmite” band in that you either loved them or hated them. This is such a feeble and cowardly way to analyse something, to superficially apply a view and then abstain from further comment makes the initial perspective worthless. And besides, on Bowman’s terms, we think The Darkness are “alright”.

• Midge Ure on Travis: “Using a banjo is a brave, brave move.” Perhaps in the world of luddite rock musicians, where using a drum machine is a capital offence and playing a synthesiser is rewarded with persecution and scorn.

• With one or two exceptions, the entire list was composed of the end of musical evolutionary lines; nobody will be inspired by Nelly, Blue, Craig David, Christina Aguilera. And their only purpose in the future of music can be to enrage someone to the point where they form a band as antidote to the appalling music they must suck up through this liquid diet of detritus.

• Tim Westwood endorsing the fact that many rappers also have fashion and jewellery lines.

• Trevor Nelson’s ludicrous high-backed throne. He also praised Maroon 5.

• We are always unhappy to see Neil Fox. Unless he’s being crucified on a cross built from Keane’s manifest raw insincerity and nailed into the fake wailing flesh by nails made from a mountainous pile of Christina Aguilera’s unused dignity.

• Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful in which a pristine American millionaire patronises ugly people the world over by claiming that true beauty really exudes from within. And it’s always the “beautiful” who are over eager to state this is the case. If Aguilera started dating the Elephant Man, then her message may have some credence, but as it stands she just sounds like the mouthpiece of a record company who desire to get the less prepossessing to buy their product through the ruse of illusionary inclusion.

• In this decade U2 have been as animated and inspired as Leonid Brezhnev was in his latter years.

• John Evans of Classic FM who, in a roundabout way, implied anyone who liked Russell Watson was an unwashed oik and culturally inferior, unaware of the true merits of singing the somnolent interminable doodling of dead composers.

• The Top 10 almost read like a chart of the most played CDs at dinner parties, during which the dull songs desensitise the diners to the embarrassment of those awkward silences. A top 10 which consisted of: Oasis, Stereophonics, Anastasia, Blue, Norah Jones, Westlife, Dido, Coldplay and Robbie Williams.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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