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UK charts accused of "snobbery" over Everybody's Gone to the Rapture soundtrack snub

Should video game OSTs be considered classical music? The Chinese Room thinks so.

There's a row brewing over whether the soundtrack to PlayStation 4 exclusive Everybody's Gone to the Rapture should be a part of the UK's official classical music chart.

The debate was sparked after The Official Charts Company this week removed the game's soundtrack from the Classical Artist Albums Chart, saying it had been placed there in error.

But studio head and composer at The Chinese Room Jessica Curry took to Twitter to complain about the removal. Curry suspected her OST would have been number one in this week's Classical Artist Albums Chart - had it been included.

It seemed like a peculiar decision, especially given The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra's The Complete Harry Potter Film Music is currently 29th in the chart.

When contacted by Eurogamer, The Official Charts Company's Lauren Kreisler said the Everybody's Gone to the Rapture soundtrack was moved to "the correct" chart earlier this week after appearing in "the wrong" chart last week. This Friday's chart will reflect these changes, Kreisler said. Currently, the Rapture OST is a new entry in the Soundtrack Albums Chart.)

The general chart rules for the genre are that original soundtracks and scores performed in a classical style, by either a single artist or various artists, are not eligible for the pure Official Classical Artist Albums Chart, The Official Charts Company said.

These instead contribute towards the Official Soundtrack Albums Chart. (As an aside, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture and Harry Potter are both eligible for The Classic FM Chart, which The Official Charts Company also compiles, based on a slightly different filter.)

While this explains the removal of Curry's soundtrack from the Official Classical Artist Albums Chart, it does not explain why The Official Charts Company separates soundtracks into their own chart in the first place, even if they're flagged as classical music by music labels. (It's worth noting Everybody's Gone to the Rapture's OST was released by the Sony Classical label).

Responding to this point, The Official Charts Company insisted it does consider the Rapture OST "a bona fide classical album", and this is reflected in the fact it appears in the Official Classic FM Chart.

"We treat video game soundtracks in exactly the same way that we treat movie soundtracks - no original soundtrack recordings appear in the Official Classical Artist Albums Chart, whether they are movie or game soundtracks," Kreisler said.

"The fact that 'Rapture does appear in the Official Classic FM Chart (which is, in essence, the industry's Official Combined Classical Chart - and compiled by the Official Charts Company) reflects the fact that we do consider this a bona fide classical album - it is at Number 7 on that chart this week."

Kreisler's explanation is unlikely to satisfy The Official Charts Company's critics, however. A clearly upset The Chinese Room has already accused the firm of elitism and snobbery when it comes to video games.

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