Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Musical nationalism

I was half listening to the Finnish news in English this morning at 7.30 am on YLE - i.e. still half asleep - and thought that I had heard them say that newest single from top-Finnish-soft-rockers HIM, had gone straight into the British charts at no.1, knocking off another Finnish song, from crap-goth-opera-rockers Nightwish, from the top spot. I wasn't quite sure why this was headline news in comparison to, say, the ongoing who-the-hell-is-in-charge-of-Finnish-foreign-policy-? debate, but there you go - cultural exports and all that.

So I was surprised to see the headline in Helsingin Sanomat this afternoon:
HIM single fails to make it into British Top 40 on release
This seems even more unimportant news than actually getting to number 1 in the 'hit parade'. Hesari does note though at the bottom of the piece that:
On the more specified UK Top 40 Rock Singles Chart, on the other hand, HIM made it to #1. The band took over the top position from another Finnish group, Nightwish, whose Amaranth single now slips down to number two.
So actually the news on the radio this morning was that HIM had made it to the top of the UK "Rock" chart. I didn't even know that the UK had a rock chart!? I guess someone has to count what the losers in overly tight jeans, bullet belts and immensely bad hair fashion spend their money on, but really YLE - you are meant to be the national broadcaster. Please! Reporting on how 'your lads' are doing in the UK rock chart seems to be scraping the bottom of the petty nationalistic pride barrel.

It did make me wonder why the Finnish media is obsessed with how well the Finnish bands do (or don't do) in the UK charts as opposed to, say, the German top 40?

Could it be because the UK has given the world The Beatles; The Rolling Stones; The Sex Pistols; The Smiths; New Order; The Stone Roses; Teenage Fanclub (ok - I snuck that one in on a more personal note); Radiohead; Oasis; etc. Whilst Germany has given the world, ummmm.... The Scorpions.

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