Emeli Sandé broke a chart record that had stood for half a century this week, as her album spent its 63rd week inside the top ten of the UK charts.
The Beatles had previously held the record with their debut effort ‘Please Please Me’, but now the Scottish singer has yet another title to put up on her shelf for ‘Our Version Of Events’. With the album also the highest selling album of 2012 by quite some distance and her winning her a duo of BRITS, Sandé’s debut has been a phenomenon.
So why does this news leave me rather annoyed?
After ‘Our Version Of Events’ didn’t get unilateral love from us hoity-toity critics, it’s been truly amazing to see the sales that she continues to get. Despite being out for over twelve months, the album is the biggest seller of 2013, with more than 429,000 copies flying off the shelves since we changed our calendars.
I must admit that I’m with the groups that have yet to be bowled over by album. Sure, she’s a very good singer and it’s very well made, but something about it doesn’t really set my soul on fire. Maybe it’s the over-exposure, but the album never fills me with the same emotion as Florence Welch, Birdy, Adele or Imogen Heap can with a single song. It’s never anything near offensive, but it goes too far to appease everyone and simply ends up being a wee bit dull.
There’s no doubting the technical proficiency of Sandé but it seems rather wrong that she should beat the Beatle’s record after it’s stood since 1963 without even being troubled. That was an album that not only brought around the birth of what would become the biggest band of all time, but was also one of the first albums to justify the medium.
Before The Beatles came along and flipped the script, LPs were simply a way to get all your singles together and put a couple of filler tracks in there to pump it up. Singles used to be the dominant force in record sales and therefore were what artists put their time and effort into. The Beatles turned that around and made the album the focus instead. That such an auspicious and momentous album could now have its title snatched off it by ‘Our Version Of Events’ seems a little but wrong.
While I’m glad that it’s not One Direction or Justin Bieber that’s broken the record, I doubt that this will be seen as a defining album of our times in anything more than simple sales statistics, as it simply doesn’t move the musical goalposts in anything like the same ways that Adele did two years ago.
Do you think that Sandé deserves the record and I’m simply being too hard on an artist that the UK’s taken it its heart? Let me know in the comments section below.