Is the Top 40 having a mid-life crisis?

Live at Leeds inspired our Yorkshire Voice team to debate the state of the Top 40. Who do you agree with?

 Jon Cronshaw

Jon Cronshaw

Jon Cronshaw

“There’s no quality in the top 40”

I went to the doctors recently. While sitting in the waiting room a local radio station was piped in through the surgery at an ungodly volume.

I waited for almost an hour to see the doctor as the surgery continued to pump out the deluge of musical sewerage. I realised that I was out of touch – I don’t get pop music.

I don’t want to be one of these grumpy old men in their faded Status Quo t-shirts whining about how they used to write ‘proper songs’ – but the stuff I was hearing was horrible, homogenous, Auto-Tune soaked bilge.

It’s not about preferring old music to new – I still seek out emerging artists and innovative music. I just feel somewhat alienated from popular culture’s low standards.

I’m not the kind of person who will take a disliking to something because it’s popular – I’ll take a disliking to something if it’s not very good.

The charts are clogged up with a slew of vapid, commercial music that is transitory and artless – its value merely fleeting.

Is it so wrong that I want music to be something that people care about beyond the superficial and the economic?

 I prefer music to be something lasting and beautiful , something challenging and innovative, something that is meaningful.

 I’m not going to tell people what to like, but I don’t want to be subjected to this rubbish when I’m waiting to see a doctor – or anywhere else for that matter.


Sallie Gregson


 “Top 40 is brilliant!”

Just look at the top 40 this week, it’s brilliant! Obviously I don’t love every song on there. For example, Chris Brown can leave music altogether thank you very much and Psy at 18 is perhaps a little too generous, but most of the songs on that list are actually fantastic pop records.

Ever since I can remember the radio in our kitchen has always been on, tuned to Radio 1 or whichever local music station. When we got Sky TV the music channels were the most exciting thing to me and my sisters. Forget Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, we wanted to watch the video for Sisqó’s Thong Song on repeat (big song in our house).

Upstairs in each of our rooms you will hear Radio 1xtra, Capital or BBC 6 Music, but in the kitchen or car, it is Radio 1 – and we love it. Despite a difference in tastes and disagreements over many songs, it’s music that has brought us closer than anything.

And that is what music is about, bringing people together. Whether it is at festivals, gigs or even just over the table, without the sense of community music would just be pointless.

So let’s argue over what is good or not in the charts right now (Daft Punk feat Pharrell deserves to be number one definitely but Hey Porsche by Nelly is a little too ridiculous to be in the top 20) because music was made to enjoy. And who doesn’t enjoy a little arguing?


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