Porkies Again

We really do try to keep him away from the “special” water. In this issue, the truth about bestselling albums. We are sorry

Illustration: Sean Coen

No one expected someone so small and so deadly to win our hearts. But Paul the gnat wasn’t just handy with razor wire: his voice was woven with angel dust. The bit on ‘The X Factor’ when he vomited on his own excrement in the exact key of E minor? Be still my throbbing heart. No wonder he became such a superstar; an insectoid Susan Boyle. The trail of bloody carnage left in the wake of his murderous daytime television interviews is almost forgotten now, bar a few burgundy smears on Lorraine Kelly’s cummerbund. As I write, Paul the gnat holds the enviable record of the bestselling British debut album of the past year – and rightly so.

I’m guffing out of my facehole. Such lies. The bestselling UK debut album of the past 12 months is actually by a troupe of acrobatic upholsterers. How could we forget their live performances? Tone deaf, but with a fine eye for jute, they’d glide gracefully from trapeze to trapeze while screaming Soft Cell’s ‘Bedsitter’. How none of the futons hit the floor I’ll never understand. No word of a lie: The Swinging Stitchers hold the record for the most album sales by a British act in the past year. Official.

That’s not true. The bestselling Brit debut album was really by an army of robots manufactured in Milton Keynes. Remember? They went on ‘The One Show’ dressed as pirates and regaled us with hilarious binary drinking songs. The refrain “Zero one one zero one zero zero” took playgrounds by storm, wide-eyed children unaware of the grotesque and illegal lyrics. We all bought that album, didn’t we? Apparently their follow-up will be a compendium of sea shanties with Kraftwerk, complete with four identical parrots.

Hush my mouth, I’m telling porkies again. The bestselling UK debut of the past year is actually Adele’s didgeridoo techno opus, rated minus-five stars by ‘Homes & Gardens’ magazine. No, I lie. The bestseller is the sound of a dog staring at a Play-Doh model of itself: it comprises 20 minutes of whimpering followed by an hour of confused panting. Or maybe that was Pink Floyd’s comeback ‘Ummagumma (Dubstep Remix)’.

Actually, that’s hogwash. The bestselling debut album by a UK artist in the past 12 months involves Bradley Walsh singing ‘Mr Bojangles’, a song made gold by Sammy Davis Jr then crapped on by a giggly gameshow host. Nah, that doesn’t sound right. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rapping along to ‘Music For Airports’? Possibly. Perhaps the bestseller was the Vengaboys doing Sinatra. I dunno. I should have researched this.

This column should end with a rant about me being so out of touch with current music trends, I may well have written the whole thing in Swahili. What do I know about what album sells best these days? I’m so decrepit, I’m barely able to balance my gramophone on my penny-farthing anymore. But here’s something truly disturbing, worse than anything else 2017 can throw at us. One of the albums I’ve described in this column is – in all truth – the bestselling debut album by a British artist of the past 12 months. And you didn’t even notice.

I’m not sure if that should make you ashamed or proud. Even a stopped Fat Roland gives the right album news twice a day.

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