Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Keeping up with the Top 40

After finishing grad school last year I did what a lot of folks do and attempted to catch up on the various books, films, games, music, and television shows I had been putting on hold while working on my Masters.

Being a relatively organized guy, I decided the simplest thing to do was to track the popular stuff from the last few years (using everything from Nielsen Ratings to Publishers weekly and IMDB to track down what sold the most and then figure out how far behind I was.

For Film and TV I actually didn't do too bad - I ended up with less than a dozen series and about 40 films behind my kids and friends, so I could catch up pretty quickly.

With books I was a bit further behind, but as my BFF Mike tends to read the current big SF I wasn't doing too badly either.

This left me with music.

In terms of popular music I was actually about twenty years behind anything that was really popular.  This doesn't mean I wasn't listening to anything good, just not anything really current.

So I decided each week I would start listening to the top ten songs in Canada.  Then, bowing to the inevitable, I added the US top ten list (an awful lot of overlap) and after a few months decided to add the UK top ten list as well (which actually introduced me to a number of Canadian artists) and about a month ago I added the Australian top ten list as well.

So far the experiment has been pretty fun - I recognize way more songs on the radio and in the malls, and every once I a while I surprise my musically-inclined friends with some trendy info.

So there you go - I'm creating a baseline understanding of current Top 40 music in the western world - not sure what I'll do with this info, but I have to admit it's a lot of fun!

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