The League Table, October 2010

So here’s where the series stands to date, in terms of sales revenue. It’s getting tougher and tougher for new books to work their way up the chart, since the older established volumes are still selling fairly consistently. (We’re not talking huge numbers here, people: just that almost none of the books have stopped selling completely, which is good to see.)

In that context, the Brian Eno book is doing remarkably well (aided, we are told, by the book’s subject buying copies for his friends) and the books on Pavement, Big Star, and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – who is currently top of the charts in Germany! – have started out strongly, too.

If anyone had told me, when I was putting this all together eight years ago, that the two best-selling titles by late 2010 would be on Neutral Milk Hotel and Celine Dion – that would have made no sense whatsoever. (The rest of the Top 10, if you think about it, is fabulously predictable…)

1. Neutral Milk Hotel
2. Celine Dion
3. Rolling Stones
4. Radiohead
5. The Kinks
6. Velvet Underground
7. The Smiths
8. Joy Division
9. The Beatles
10. Bob Dylan
11. David Bowie
12. The Beach Boys
13. Beastie Boys
14. My Bloody Valentine
15. Led Zeppelin
16. Pixies
17. Pink Floyd
18. DJ Shadow
19. Neil Young
20. Love
21. The Band
22. The Replacements
23. Jeff Buckley
24. Jimi Hendrix
25. Captain Beefheart
26. Sonic Youth
27. R.E.M.
28. Steely Dan
29. The Ramones
30. Black Sabbath
31. Dusty Springfield
32. Magnetic Fields
33. Brian Eno
34. Slayer
35. Nirvana
36. Elliott Smith
37. Minutemen
38. Bruce Springsteen
39. Prince
40. Guided By Voices
41. Tom Waits
42. Elvis Costello
43. Belle & Sebastian
44. James Brown
45. The Who
46. The Byrds
47. Nick Drake
48. Throbbing Gristle
49. Stone Roses
50. U2
51. Big Star
52. Jethro Tull
53. Joni Mitchell
54. Abba
55. The MC5
56. Sly and the Family Stone
57. Patti Smith
58. Afghan Whigs
59. Stevie Wonder
60. Wire
61. PJ Harvey
62. The Pogues
63. Pavement
64. A Tribe Called Quest
65. Flying Burrito Brothers
66. Madness
67. Guns N Roses
68. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
69. Nas
70. Public Enemy
71. Richard & Linda Thompson
72. Flaming Lips
73. AC/DC
74. Van Dyke Parks

And who could have predicted that a (very, very good) book about Van Dyke Parks would get off to a slow start?

Oh, and if you had to pick a live triple bill, for one night only, of bands/artists who are next to each other on this list, who would you most want to see? Right now, I’d go for a line-up of Springsteen, Prince, and Guided By Voices. That would put Pollard through his paces…

12 thoughts on “The League Table, October 2010”

  1. let' see now: here's a series of books purporting to deal with the predominantly American (or American influenced) popular music of the past fifty years or so, okay. music that is/has been overwhelmingly based, inspired, influenced, or just outright ripped off from the work of (mostly) black Americans. and out of the mere eight of these (from 74 in total!) specifically dealing with actual black artists, only one (Jimi, duh!) rises (somewhat) above the bottom half of the list? what is wrong with "u" people?

  2. If the laws of physics no longer applied, and I could see a triple lineup of bands it would have to be:Stone RosesJoy Divisionand gosh, Im torn between the Minutemen and Big Star….

  3. Your triple bill is an excellent choice. Since that's taken, I'm going to choose three who (since all are living) could form a triple bill: Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Belle & Sebastian. If I include a band that's no longer a going concern (broke up 40 years ago, 2 members dead), then of course: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie.

  4. Tough, because would you actually want to see The Beatles at their current ages if they were all still alive? It might be a little pathetic. Same for the Velvets and Moe "Tea Party" Tucker. Anyhow, I'll go with The Smiths, Joy Division, and Nick Drake.

  5. Jeff: that's very much allowed, yes. Bob: one would hope they could all pile on stage at the end for a soaring rendition of "Kokomo".I've changed my mind now – going for a night with Dusty Springfield, the Magnetic Fields, and Eno – probably at BAM.

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