How relevant are the UK singles charts these days? In terms of being the best tool we have available to measure sales they’re still the best – they don’t take into account all sales, the likes of purchases from independent sites such as Bandcamp are not measured through the charts for example, but they still give the most concrete and least subjective guide.
With so many other methods of easily consuming music being available sales are not necessarily a 100% foolproof guide to who is ‘popular’, but they still present a more objective amount of evidence than other similar tools. A number 1 on the Hype Machine for example can often have very little relevance to the vast majority of music consumers in the UK. This is illustrated sharply when gigs by bands that are ‘big on the blogs’ and have had high Hype Machine chart placings pull only a tiny handful of people to see them. Last year we attended one such gig where despite coverage by the likes of Pitchfork, Gorilla vs Bear and a Hype Machine top 10 there were 16 people in the audience. Yet take an act like Ed Sheeran, who until very recently was hardly listed on Hype Machine and you’ll witness his shows selling out in minutes. At July’s Camp Bestival festival Sheeran’s set in the Big Top was packed to the gunnels (the busiest of the weekend), the crowd baying his name a good twenty minutes before he came on stage. The same weekend a number of ‘big on the blogs’ bands played to just a handful of people.
Sheeran’s recent single The A-Team reached the top 3 in the UK singles chart. When you combine this with his well-attended shows it supports the argument that despite the 1001 ways we can consume music, the sales charts are still relevant in terms of a gauge of what acts are popular at any one snapshot in time.
Sheeran is an unlikely pop star – with his mop of ginger hair and folk / hip hop angle of his songs, but we like him a lot. There’s something very real, very honest and very sincere about what he does. Breaking More Waves has never been afraid to cover new music that is popular – witness our past treatments of acts such as Ellie Goulding and Hurts as well as darker more underground stuff. Music is a broad church and we worship it all.
So here’s the new single from Ed. You Need Me I Don’t Need You features Wretch 32 and Devlin and was first posted on the blog in March – with a video of his SB TV performance which has now racked up over 3 million views on You Tube (another possible guide to popularity - but then don’t forget how many hits Rebecca Black received - we’re not convinced that the hits she received were because people liked her)
Below you can hear the single itself, a remix and watch the video. His album titled + is due in September. Expect it to do very well in the charts.Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You (feat. Wretch32 & Devlin)
Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You (Gemini Remix)