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Forum - General: Music/Charts related - ALBUM Tracks Flooding the SINGLES Chart

It's a new year but, sadly, the same raping of the singles chart by album tracks continues with Dawn FM by The Weeknd. Nine of its tracks are in the Top 50 with seven more assumed to be in the rest of the Top 100. The shitshow that was 51 Christmas songs jammed into the Top 100 was only a fortnight ago. ARIA, have mercy on us. Is this madness ever going to end?

Last year, there were only 365 ARIA Top 100 singles chart debuts, which is well down on the average of 452. What makes the deficit even worse is that 156 of them are album tracks from album bombs alone. That's a whopping 43% of the year's singles chart debuts. It's truly disgraceful and needs to stop!

ARIA ENTRYENTRIESTITLEARTIST
29/03/2111JusticeJustin Bieber
19/04/219Fearless (Taylor's Version)Taylor Swift
24/05/2111The Off-SeasonJ. Cole
31/05/217SourOlivia Rodrigo
05/07/219Call Me if You Get LostTyler, The Creator
26/07/216FaithPop Smoke
02/08/215F*ck LoveThe Kid Laroi
09/08/2111Happier Than EverBillie Eilish
30/08/213Solar PowerLorde
06/09/2127DondaKanye West
13/09/2121Certified Lover BoyDrake
08/11/2111=Ed Sheeran
22/11/2113Red (Taylor's Version)Taylor Swift
29/11/21930Adele
20/12/213Fighting DemonsJuice Wrld
Total:156charting album tracks 

I can compile the stats for all previous years in the album bombs era if needed.
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This effect is pissing me off and the charts are stagnating because of this.

The UK have a rule where artists are only allowed three of their most popular tracks in the top 100… this was after Ed Sheeran had all 16 tracks from Divide feature in the top 20 (even including the ones on the deluxe edition)

They also have changed the streaming ratio for older tracks past their peak and declining in streams.

I don’t think it will affect Christmas tracks, but ARIA should be looking into this and implementing something similar to what they do in the UK.
I'm not gonna type my screed because you know my opinion but instead I'll ask:

-Do you think having less album tracks on the chart will suddenly make people stop listening to new albums and instead just singles?
-If we're calling for the UK Chart rules, do we want to bring their baggage with it, where songs arbitrarily change their ratio at the whims of labels often with no discernible logic?
-Did you know that "Shivers" was supposed to be #1 in the UK last week but it didn't get its ratio reset while "Easy On Me" did?
-Do we want songs to reach #1 while never being by any measure the most popular song of the week?
-Did you know that the UK just has a generally more robust listening public with greater interest in new music than Australia and equivalent rules just wouldn't see the same results?
-Did you know that Olivia Rodrigo, J. Cole, Kanye West & Drake's albums are the reason why "Someone You Loved" isn't still in the top 50, and in fact big album releases *help* new singles get into the upper reaches of the chart?
-Are we perfectly fine with songs being astroturfed into the chart under the illusion of popularity, does that need to be addressed?
-Do we think that increased chart exposure actually signals radio stations to start playing songs more despite all the evidence to the contrary?
-Did you know that the volume of catalogue singles in the digital AND streaming charts has been steadily rising for years?
-Do we actually want a situation where the 500th most popular song of the week is in the top 50?

Like I don't want to start a rant but every time people bring this argument up, it's usually just being reactionary without critically analysing the situation.
Hijinx… seriously WTF?

Why do you continuously and strongly believe that what you type has any rational and should be considered factual.
There is many problems with how charts are tabulated always will be… nothing can be perfect.
However there’s clearly an issue… it’s as plain as the nose on your face.
You don’t listen to the majority of songs that present themselves onto the chart.
I have watched for a solid decade the tripe you spill and I’ve just sat reading *sometimes commenting. On how what you think is flawed!
I have no doubt in my mind that you have nothing better to than rain on the parade of people who put their blood sweat and tears into compiling charts and gaining happiness from the unfolding week after week.
You just don’t understand… because your mind wont allow you too…
Seriously savagegrant is 100% right he has lived through the glory of the charts over the years and has an amazing website dedicated to it.
You’re just going to ignore everyone that disagrees with you. Those many silent people or the ones that left over your controlling of forums, chat room and shift the main focus off the chart to the your sole interests.
Just Stop ✋ Please.

1) Of course not. That's silly. Album tracks shouldn't be on the singles chart in the first place, that's the problem. If you wanna see how popular ALL songs are then ARIA has a streaming chart for that.
2) The UK's rules are better than doing nothing at all and just letting anything chart. A better system would be ARIA determining which songs are singles and sticking by it - no chopping and changing singles statuses.
3) My suggestion would fix that problem.
4) My suggestion would fix that problem too unless, of course, the song that should be #1 is not a single.
5) That's why the streaming component of the chart should be scrapped in favour of airplay. I don't care how popular streaming is, it was a mistake to include it. It's made the charts stale and full of non-singles.
6) They are not singles, they are album tracks, so they simply don't count. If we want Someone You Lubed out of the chart then ARIA should also introduce a recurrent chart and fuck it off to there.
7) The main astroturfing of songs into the charts is from the most popular Spotify playlists. It's a bigger problem now than traditional payola ever was.
8) It used to until streaming took over the charts.
9) Even more reason to get airplay data into the charts
10) Yes if most of the songs above it are album tracks and old-arsed singles. The ARIA charts were created as a promotional tool to market current singles. If ARIA fix the charts then it will return to that.
I don't always agree with what jinx says and in this instance he and i are of opposite views, however to the best of my knowledge i was always under the impression that jinx listens to quite a broad range of music. Anyway that's not what we're discussing. The problem is the defining of an album track as opposed to a single i suppose. Since singles aren't always released one at a time as they were up until the 2000's (before digital became such a big thing) a record company might say that since all the album tracks are out there to be purchased/streamed/downloaded then all of an albums songs are considered to be singles. Looking at savage's responses and this might only be because i am in that camp already, i can't find anything to disagree with
So you're advocating against astroturfing but you want airplay to be in the chart instead? The only thing airplay is going to do is slow the chart way down and extremely skew the demographics. Radio adds on average about 2 songs to the top 40 a week, usually weeks late and they keep them on forever.

I agree streaming has its many, many issues which is why this sort of situation should be addressed at the source. Tell Spotify Australia that they don't need to keep pushing "BED" by Joel Corry for the 45th week in a row (that being said, without these playlists, the charts would be EVEN slower). But this is all part of a greater picture where music audiences are much more decentralised, so these are all components without the greater sway that say, iTunes' front page used to have.
Radio isn't exactly much of a benchmark about what people are liking. There's no button to say whether you liked the last song played and want to hear more from that artist. Downloads/streaming are more accurate because if a person likes a song, they'll download it. It's a greater indicator of what is popular which has always been the case with the charts. I don't think it necessarlly means that all of the tracks off The Weeknd's album are popular, it's that (at a guess) all of them are being treated as singles The charts aren't exactly paced at tortoise speed this week but they are slow.
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Radio's current woes are no doubt caused by our stale, irrelevant singles chart that lets just anything that streams be eligible to chart. If ARIA can weed out all the non-singles and old singles in the chart then we'd start to get a positive feedback loop that would restore the chart back to what its purpose was in the first place - to promote current singles.
The problem with radio is that it's a dying medium whose median demographic ages up every year, and so most of the CHR-leaning stations have shifted to Hot AC. Most of the commercial stations I hear when I'm out are always playing the bare minimum of new & Australian content in order to keep their broadcasting license. It'll be Olivia Rodrigo wedged between Toto & AC/DC wedged between Frank Walker. In 2020 the most played song on the radio one week wasn't on the ARIA Chart, and the ARIA #1 Single wasn't on the airplay chart. Radio has fallen deeply out of touch (apart from when they play Hall & Oates)
You might be right, Jinxie. Streaming got us into this mess, maybe it can get us out too? Spotify playlists are problematic but the regular flood of non-singles and having old singles hang around like stale farts are the most pressing issues.
Where does the line in the sand get drawn though? At what point does a single go from current to old? Back when single releases off of an album were staggered to fill in time before the inevitable tour or next album the previous single would be considered the old single. How would we do that now? A number of the re-entries on last weeks top 100 would be seen as ineligible and would be removed from the chart. Mr brightside would never have reached a new peak since it came out nearly 20 years ago. Living on a prayer being currently featured in an advertising campaign, if that were to re-enter the top 100 that too wouldn't be included. So what to do then? Does ARIA introduce a retro chart, for songs that gain some traction from downloads and streams but are blocked from entering the official top 100?
See I think with time that's becoming a Venn diagram that covers the whole contents of the chart lol.

But yeah it's an odd dynamic at the moment. Streaming playlists, much like radio, rely on keeping familiar tunes in there to cushion the experience. Listening to unfamiliar melodies for hours straight is generally an unpleasant experience for most. The problem is finding that right balance. It seems like radio & streaming are both trying to tap into nostalgia, as both are prone to heavily pushing interpolations/covers/remakes of old hits. It's especially bad for Australian music as the biggest/most pushed Australian songs of late have been a cover of Down Under, a remix of We Run The Night, and an Elton John/Dua Lipa sample/interpolation vehicle that has Pnau printed on it (I don't count it as Australian but I'm fairly sure content quotas do). All well and good but it doesn't really help new music at all.

I also think though the arbitrary charting status of a heap of tracks is pretty noteworthy. I reckon ARIA's manual chart inclusion system has kept more SINGLES out of the chart than any manner of chart hogging has.
My theory is they need to create two separate charts.

The main (single) chart consisting of releases bound to that year or (12 months) upon release.

Everything else falls into a retro/catalogue chart where it could stay for eternity!

Radio isn't the answer because it's biased based on what the record companies and streaming promotes. For example my regional Western Australian major FM station Hot FM I reckon has Easy On Me on repeat 24/7 and has a catalogue of a hundered songs (I don't joke, it's torture), do we count these spins aswell?

Just my 5.5cents
I would agree with a retro chart as long as from the first chart (were it done) that each song is at week 1 and previous ARIA/AMR/KMR weeks are not counted. Also any peak would be a new peak. I feel your pain Beanster. Not only have i never listened to easy on me repeat for 24 hours, i haven't listened to it at all. I would never have known how cold heart went had i not heard a snippet of it from an elton radio interview and even now i can't tell you how it goes.
I love how Taylor Swift broke down all the barriers of what a single should be when she released Red (TV) and All Too Well (TV) (10 Minute Version) became a worldwide #1. All Too Well is, by every definition, not a single:

-It is from an album that already "existed" and is part of an album re-recording.
-A previous version of the song also already existed in that original album, and also in the re-recording.
-It is 10 minutes long and, as a result, completely unsuitable for radio.
-It is also not an 'official single' from Red (TV)
-It is the last song of a very lengthy 2 hour album.

And yet it was undeniably the most popular song that week by choice of music consumers and rightly so! Everybody was talking about it, it was all over social media and popular culture. You cannot argue against the fact that it was the most popular song that week.

I don't think the chart rules are perfect but as they are, but it currently allows instances for a song like All Too Well (10 minute version) to hit #1, and it would be a great injustice if it didn't because the song is one of Taylor's crowning achievements as a musician. But through many of the rules proposed, All Too Well probably would not have been eligible and would have been denied charting and that would have resulted in one of the greatest chart injustices of the past few years.

And this is a problem with any charting rule, is that they might introduce another unfair situation down the track. 3 singles allowed means what if a 4th official single is denied just because? That's only one example of many. You introduce a slippery slope where more potential chart injustices can happen due to other technicalities.

My philosophy with charts have always been is that the best way to determine popularity is to have everyone make a personal chart, and combine them all. IMO, the current Spotify system is the closest we're going to get with that. I also agree that it's not perfect, I personally dislike the strong effect of Hot Hits Australia and how that can make or break a song entering the charts.

But the reality is that whenever a big album comes out, a lot of people are going to buy and listen to it and that popularity should be reflected in the chart. A cool phenomenon from that is that you can tell exactly which songs from the big album releases are resonating with the public. As a result, the problem with policing how many or which songs from an album gets allowed to chart becomes problematic because a song like All Too Well could become excluded.

As for the old songs, I agree that it's pretty gross to see the staleness and all these songs racking up ridiculous runs on the chart. But again, when you actually do combine a theoretical combined "personal chart" from everyone in the country, the fact is that 90% of the population really do listen to the same 10 songs for months and months on end. It's not streaming's fault that people still love and want to listen to Mr. Brightside, but that's the reality. I heard Mr. Brightside being blasted at parties (pre-covid) every weekend and everyone would be yelling it at the top of their lungs. To sum up, people's music listening habits are crap, and that's what gets captured.

This brings into the question on what role the charts should play with new music. The thing is, the charts are reacting to what's happening, and I feel like a lot of people here want the charts to be proactive - setting what the new trends are, showing the general public what the top new hits are. This may have looked like what was happening 20 years ago, but this was never the case. The charts are only there to just reflect and react to what is happening. The solution to this: the media - Spotify playlists, radio, TikTok or whatever - should be doing a better job of promoting new music. And in the past, that was the case, because radio, a much more prominent music presence, would push new music to the consuming public all the time. New songs would get promoted heavily on print media. Both of these forces have been greatly diminished in the online space. And now that people have access to decades of music catalogues available at their fingertips, what is the average person going to listen to by choice? The songs from their favourite artists and the nostalgic songs they grew up with from decades gone past. I don't think it's a coincidence that a lot of new music released in the past 5 years have been treading '80s tropes and reviving '70s-'90s sounds. With greater access and choice, the preference of the average music consumer is to listen to older, already released music. Nowadays, I just take joy in observing what old hits are surfacing and finding out they're still liked and consumed by the Australian public. Who knew that the 2013 smash "Classic" by MKTO was still listened by so many people to this day? I love that Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," one of my favourite songs of all time, is still greatly beloved and listened to by everyone.

Therefore, I think the chart system as it is (although not perfect), more accurately sums up what people are liking and consuming. The side effect of this greater accuracy? It's actually revealed how averse people are to new music. And this phenomenon is reflected worldwide, not just on the ARIA charts. Mr. Brightside made the UK EOY top 50 I believe? Ridiculous, but also amazing at the same time.

tldr - the charts are just doing their job, but people suck.
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As long as a track is being bought / streamed enough to make the chart, then it should chart.

The Singles Chart needs to be renamed the Track / Song Chart.
ARIA (reallllly) lost me when they started denying songs like Dark Horse + Rise Like A Phoenix etc - why coverup what is popular with a sample audience?

My ranting opinion: because it doesn't 'fit in' with an artist/label schedule? I hate being told what I need to listen to because "its on the charts therefore popular" and if its not on the charts, well, its not a hit - always given that a benefit of the doubt as office admin minutiae oversight but in the larger scale the coercive control and the usurping nature of "*this* is what is popular" is a stale marketing tactic that has shifted to the bottom of the barrel, i get turned off by almost all of it, I have in the past listened to the singles but now I generally stay away from the albums altogether and with the singles-only entries being almost entirely trop pop covers to appeal to the nostalgic crowd - i'm essentially only a spectator to what charts these days, no more Top 50 countdowns and I struggle to watch that hour of rage on Saturdays.

Conversely the album track thing has been a nail in the coffin because it shifted a change in values from promoting balanced & measured popularity with a entropic system where a record label can just payola chart entries (yes labels will negotiate rotating release dates so there is maximum "entire albums" on the chart just for the 'kudos')

There is a streaming chart, great starting point to kick album tracks to, I was always fond of ARIA never including "radio plays" for the same separational reasons.

In theory tracks should be actual, confirmed singles. If an artist (read: record label) decides to 'release' all the album tracks as singles (to get around this rule) then the album should be denied from charting/ratioed less because essentially what is happening now is those album tracks are being counted twice for the singles chart and also the album, accreditations need to be curtailed as such they have lost their meaning quite a lot - so its a whole lotta bla bla bla hype of mediocrity in a struggle for relevancy.

Its kinda like politics, drain the swamp so others with talent can have a go - not the same rotting cheese that is boring and out-of date.

We all know that ARIA is essentially the record labels hyping themselves to unrealistic levels, we all here seem to have a pet peeve about some feature not making the chart/s as holistic as they should/could be but maybe its just that ARIAs chart is losing relevance in the world of streaming service charts and algorithms and they are recklessly adapting by embellishing old models of hype.
I completely disagree with savagegrant and Nateboi. I always enjoy seeing albums tracks charting it is ever so exciting. I agree with beanster about having a retro chart tho however the songs should still chart on the main chart. Well that's my 2 cents deal with it and stop complaining about every little thing

I’m one to talk not type and what I have to say regarding the topic is too large to type.

Interesting read above though.

I will add though. It’s the decision of the label / artist as to whether they would like their material to be present on the chart.
Wiz Khalifa / Empire Of The Sun - The Thrill should have charted and should have been present on the EOY.
We shouldn’t place blame on ARIA for these exclusions.


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