#930, 22nd June 2002 2002 was the 50th anniversary of the charts, and Elvis had been dead for half those fifty years. His partisans might not have put it so crudely, but the impulse was clear – Elvis #929, 8th June 2002 It’s hardly unusual for a reality TV star to try and cement their precarious fame with a cover version.The scale of the public reaction upon his death took media observers by surprise; the Elvis industry kept on rolling, turning a star back into an icon. Will Young’s puckish take on “Light My Fire”, a cover of Jose Feliciano’s cover of Jim Morrison’s signature come-on, is particularly well-taken.But “Colourblind” is not just a participation medal.In Darius we see not one but two of the classic reality pop tropes make their appearance.(Calasso understands that the gauze of legitimacy is, by its nature, quite easily shredded – he just thinks that what happens after tends to be worse.What he makes of former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating is unknown, but may be guessed at.) What makes country music great is that this aura is itself a gateway to expression and tonal play – once the tiresome question of “do they mean it, man?
There’s little question that if the public had been given any say in things we’d have seen more from Darius in Popstars.Country artists emerge within a tradition and while they may modernise, criticise, expand, revive, reinvent or inherit that tradition, they do not reject it.Roberto Calasso, the Italian philosopher of tradition and ritual, was talking about Vedic seers and the Catholic Church rather than Garth Brooks when he waxed lyrical about how tradition confers a gauze of quasi-mystical legitimacy on individuals and institutions, but the point applies just as well.#934, 31st August 2002 If Blazin’ Squad had never existed, would it have been necessary to invent them?You suspect record labels would have given it a so-solid try: a hydra-headed rapping crew, but full of youthful good looks and free of nasty predelictions?