Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Authorities in the US confirmed yesterday that with the release of Taylor Swift's new album Fauxklore, the number of albums recorded in lockdown had reached 75,000 and rising.
“However fortunately there are very few active cases,” said ASCAP head Shondra Baker-Towne earlier today, “and by that we mean albums which have actually had any chart action based on physical sales, streams, downloads and retweets.
“Of the 76,000 and rising, only eight have actually appeared on the charts in the top 30. And of those 79,000 and rising just four have made the top 10.”
Baker-Towne notes that isolation albums (IA) – now at 83,000 and rising – have spread through cross-infection where groups post their album on digital platforms “and this encourages others to do the same”.
“With 98,000 and rising, we are looking at a kind of herd immunity to decent, professionally made music ands that is impacting on genuine artists who have been dedicated to their craft.
“Of the 127,000 and rising, a mere handful have any musical merit at all.”
An ASCAP breakdown of IA shows 63% to be in the r'n'b/urban category, 35% in the alt.country/singer-songwriter genre and the rest a mix of solo arias and music designed to make dogs howl.
The group GirlzSemiSofter – Wisconsin 12-year olds Brie-Hanna, Gouda-Marie and Havarti-Shandiqua who performed the whole of Drake's Scorpion album a cappella in their bathroom in one take – defied the odds and made the charts at the very start of social isolation.
“However they are also an example of how virulent this virus of IA can spread,” says Billboard chart manager James Orlando-Dade.
“Since then we have seen 132,500 similar albums of young teens in bathrooms covering everything from Black Sabbath's Master of Reality and Radiohead's Kid A to Beyonce's Lemonade and, oddly enough, a cappella versions of Beethoven symphonies.
“It's a truly dangerous phenomenon – it's now at 157,000 and rising – and of course being spread by Tik-Tok, You Tube and so on means there is no contact tracing possible.
“We simply can't put this evil genie back in the bottle, no matter how hard we try.
“We would hope that as time goes on the kids become bored with the whole thing and get back to doing what they should be doing at their age: sulking in their bedroom, niggling at their younger siblings and pissing their parents off.”
“This lockdown can't end soon enough for me,” says Baker-Towne. “If I hear another a cappella version of Taylor Swift's 1989 album I'll get a handgun and use it on someone.
For other articles along these lines, but more humorous perhaps, check out Absurd Elsewhere here.