Sunday, November 4, 2007

World music choices

I've been playing in Gracenote this morning and having a lot of fun. Gracenote is a program that maps out the public's favorite music artists by geography. I was looking for some new music to take on my trip today, and thought that I might find some emerging artists. Well, that was stupid thinking because Gracenote pretty much only shows you who is hot in the short-tail.



What I learned from my poking around is that the Beatles are still big just about everywhere in the world. It was actually quite interesting to see how dominating the legacy bands are in almost every country: Beatles, Led Zepplin, U2, Pink Floyd, Chili Peppers... The only places these bands didn't totally dominate were in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and some Asian countries. Looking at the list of who is hot in these countries immediately took me back to the time I spent in Yemen. When I was there in the early 90s they were totally enamored with Anne Murray. I kid you not. I was there for six weeks and my driver never played another artist. When I politely intimated that I wasn't a big fan of Ms. Murray it was a serious moment. I thought I might be forced to walk.

So when I saw the list of top artists in the Middle East and Africa I had to smile. Of course, the Beatles and U2 are still high on the lists, but we see some interesting divergence creeping in: Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Madonna, The Bee Gees, Metallicca... I see some things haven't changed in the last 20 years. I also can't contain my joy that Air Supply didn't appear on a list anywhere in the world. There is still hope for mankind.

1 comment:

jmk said...

Thanks for the pointer. I only knew Gracenote as that site that used to be CDDB!