Delirious? for No 1?

by Richard on March 30, 2010

I read a little while ago about a Facebook campaign to get the Christian band Delirious? to the no. 1 spot in the charts. I learn today (from the always splendid Dave Walker at the Church Times blog) that it is gaining a head of steam.

The campaign has since progressed very well without my endorsement - the (approx) 49000 members of the Facebook group have been downloading the two tracks (studio and live versions) with sufficient enthusiasm for them to have reached No 1 and No 3 in the Amazon chart by last night (above). The songs are also making progress up the iTunes chart (17 and 41 at the time of writing). The Official Chart positions, including sales up to midnight on Saturday 3 April, will be announced on Easter Sunday.

Facebookers may be getting behind this, but my impression is that the Christin blogosphere is distinctly underwhelmed.
Mark Tiddy wonders Can’t we just have RATM again?* and suggests the new Scouting for Girls single instead. I’m not arguing. I might even download it.

These campaigns are all very good and laudable, I’m sure. Well-intentioned, anyway. But what I’ve heard of the Delirious? single suggests that it simply isn’t very good. How can a song with the lyric

I’m gonna be a history maker in this land
I’m gonna be a speaker of truth to all mankind
I’m gonna stand, I’m gonna run
Into your arms, into your arms again

be taken seriously? Not that being any good has ever been a necessary condition for getting to no. 1

* That’s Rage Against the Machine. See. I’m down with the kids.

{ 1 trackback }

didn’t do it then, won’t do it now « Strands of Life
03.31.10 at 2:00 pm

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Graham 03.30.10 at 8:40 pm

Whilst I’m not against Delirious? getting to number 1, I do wonder why this campaign’s creators chose History Makers as the song to do it with. As you say it isn’t an amazing song, and definitely not even Delirious?’ best. If they want a Delirious? song at the top of the charts at Easter why not chose ‘Majesty’? It is by far their best song (and voted as such by fans) which actually proclaims the message of Easter and the grace of God in a clear and straightforward way.

2

Kim 03.30.10 at 9:49 pm

Baaaa.

3

Pam 03.30.10 at 11:22 pm

Ignore the animal noises, Graham, and keep chipping away at the brick wall.

4

ee 03.31.10 at 9:47 am

We sang that song in church once. It was diabolical. Of course, it was never really meant for that purpose - but the words are still just poor.

It makes me laugh when I hear Christians complain about Christian music not getting played on the radio and TV. It does, quite a lot - but it’s Gospel, not ‘Contemporary Christian Music’. And it’s good.

5

Richard 03.31.10 at 10:24 am

I’ve never been into the ‘CCM scene’, so I’ve no idea what’s supposed to be good or not these days. But I did download the Scouting for Girls single, and very pleasant it is.

6

Adrian 03.31.10 at 10:44 am

Given that this song may not be quite the up there with some of their great artistic achievements, it seems to be a crowd anthem that’s pulling people from all over. Have a listen to the following tracks from the band:
1. Investigate
2. It’s OK
3. Heaven

Now, those are great tracks!

7

Kim 03.31.10 at 12:20 pm

My “Baaaa” was not directed at Graham but at the post’s report on the Facebook campaign to get a Christian song to Number One at Easter. “Adolescent” is about the kindest thing I can say about it; the theological triumphalism of the exercise, particularly during Holy Week, borders on the profane. And the song itself is indeed crap.

Also I’ve just checked out the lyrics of “Investigate” and “It’s OK”. If, as Adrian claims, these tracks are “great”, it must be down to the music. The lyrics of “Heaven” are not bad - except that “Heaven” should be “The Kingdom”. Jesus died to no avail if it was only to get us to “heaven”.

Graham is right - “Majesty” is the best of the lot.

8

C 04.01.10 at 12:28 pm

It has actually made me quite angry reading all these comments .. History Maker may not be their greatest song and maybe others could be better … but could someone please look at the positives .. Christians all over the country are uniting to send a message to the UK that they want to be heard. This song whatever you think of it tells people that when they pray miracles will happen that there is a powerful God in heaven who can change situations … so rather than discussing whether the song is the correct or the best one maybe we should pray that some of the words of that song effect people’s lives and people realise that Easter is not just about Chocolate!

9

Richard 04.01.10 at 12:52 pm

If it’s true that it would be a Good Thing to have a “Christian” song at No. 1 (I’m not convinced, but we’ll leave that), surely what we want is the best possible song to be there? Or something close to the best?

10

Andy 04.01.10 at 12:53 pm

Amen to the last comment!
This is what people think of our church, divided! And you complaining about us bringing awareness of what Easter is all about doesnt help!
The campaign shows that God is still a big part in many lives in the UK and if it makes a few non christians talk to their christian friends about it then it has been a success! God has great plans and we don’t always know what they are, but we are open to His suggestions!
Even if you don’t like the song and don’t want to download it, then please pray for the campaign. It could affect millions in the UK and wider as the media attention grows.

And notice, the Scouting for Girls song is ‘This is aint a love song’…is that the Easter message you want?
God bless!

11

Andy 04.01.10 at 12:54 pm

When I said amen to the last comment, I meant the comment made by ‘C’

12

Matt 04.01.10 at 1:42 pm

I’m really interested to see some of the responses to the campaign about getting History Makers to the number 1 spot. Personally, I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen this particular song. Nor perhaps would I have chosen a Delirious track (as they don’t exist anymore). Sadly though, if you did want to choose a british band who are explicitly ‘christian’ in intent, you are fairly limited in choice. Here I am of course discriminating against those bands who are ‘christians’ and are very successfull, but have chosen not to be labelled as such. But why would you campaign to get one of those bands to number 1 at Easter? For most of the general public, the fact that such a single got to number 1 probably would go unnoticed. Certainly, the record label of such a band would want it to go unnoticed…

Personally, I like the sentiment of the lyrics - I’m not really a fan of ‘gonna be’ - but hey - it’s not grammar that’s at stake here. The song is talking about standing up for justice and making a difference to the world around you… well - that’s a good thing no?

As far as the campaign being adolecscent and triumphalist? Well - lets be honest, the majority of facebook users getting behind this probably are young! I’m not sure I would call it adolescent though? Is it triumphalist? Well some of the messages being posted on the facebook page are, but isn’t it the nature of the internet that people type without thinking? And in a group of 55,000, there will be a wide range and diversity of attitudes and approaches. Whilst some of the campaigners may be triumphalistic, I don’t think that makes the idea of the campaign such.

You also have to remember that there is a huge group of individuals out there for whom Delirious as a band represent so much - music that you could play to your mates and was explicitly labelled as ‘christian’. Yeah - there are better songs out there and better sentiment from artists who you wouldn’t know are ‘christians’, but here is a group who firmly stuck there feet in the church - for all its foibles and failings - made some great songs and tried to reach out.

We often hear the accusation of ‘if the song was good enough, it would make it to the top of the charts anyway’. I’m afraid I think that is assuming that the media and organisations that promote music are completely unbiased - of course they aren’t. Why is so much - frankly - rubbish music in the charts today? Because the system is manipulated from start to finish and is lowest common denominator. You could write the greatest contemporary unambiguously christian song ever and it would have difficulty getting radio play, let alone charting. Mainly because most of us christians are too fearful about being uncool and too afraid to look distinctive and different from our communities. We’ll all happily post online and have discussions in coffee shops with our friends, but when it comes to looking foolish for christ we’re hesitating at the back of the queue. (And I, for one, would have found dancing in the streets with David rather embarassing and would probably have slunk off somewhere).

So - in short - yep - I’ve bought the single. People in my work environment are starting to talk about the campaign - it even gave me the chance to talk about easter with colleagues - believe it or not, they didn’t know what easter was about. We’ve had debates and discussion and we’ve agreed to disagree. As far as I can see, this is good. Will it change the face of music in the UK? No. Will it enable others to be slightly cleared in the message of their music - perhaps.

We have to remember the sad reality that many of the current generation get their morals and guidance from music, not from intellectual debate or the blogosphere. Let’s see where this goes and what happens as a result.

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