Tomorrow is a new year… I thought I would end 2012 off by talking about what I think is/was THE song of this past year and would be the song to represent 2012 in a time vault. This is quite difficult to say because I live in the UK and the music that hits the charts and receives radio play here does not always make it to other parts of the world and same goes for music from other parts of the world – it does not always reach us. However, there are two songs I can think of that have reached the charts in multiple parts of the world this year that were big hits and would make good additions to a time vault representing 2012. These two being:
1. Gotye (featuring Kimbra) : “Somebody That I Used to Know”
2. Psy : “Gangnam Style”
Out of these two, I think THE song of 2012 would have to be Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. Some may argue and suggest that “Gangnam Style” was a lot more successful what with breaking a record and reaching 1 billion hits on YouTube but for being a song that is kind of silly/parody-like and kind of a novelty/joke, songs like this are often quite popular amongst the YouTube world. I find that people may not necessarily like the song, but it is so ridiculous and unique that they all want to see what it’s about and watch the video. It is a pop-music phenomenon. Gotye’s on the other hand, is just another ordinary indie-style song that didn’t necessarily have a reason to hit the charts world-wide but there was something about it that appealed to many listeners – me being one of them.
When I first heard this song, it was not actually Gotye performing it. Somebody (no pun intended) shared a cover by Walk off the Earth that I immediately fell in love with and I kept seeing it circulating through Facebook. Shortly after I saw the clip, I heard another version on the radio while at work and with the magic of “Shazam”, I learned that it was the original by Belgian-Australian artist Gotye (which is his stage name). After “Shazaming” it, I pulled it up on my phone, and no joke, I must have listened to it on repeat about 50 times that day. I must have shared it a few dozen times on Facebook as well. I just couldn’t shut up about how amazing I thought it was! When I got home from work (I was living with my in-laws at the time), I pulled it up on father-in-law’s computer and literally said LISTEN TO THIS, IT’S AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He wasn’t too keen and neither were the rest of the in-laws but I had a feeling about this song and made sure to say “Just you wait! It will get to number one!” They all thought I was crazy.
Weeks passed and surely enough, “Somebody That I Used to Know” was gradually receiving more airplay. Father-in-law would call me at work during these weeks and put the phone to the radio speaker and say “I DON’T BELIEVE IT, IT’S THAT SONG AGAIN!” and I would just keep saying “I told you, its going to get to number one!”. I kept an eye on the charts and it was creeping up. About 5 weeks after I said it would hit number one…guess what?? It did!! And here I was wishing I would have placed a bet on it! The world was going CRAZY over this song. It was all over the UK, Canada (where a majority of my friends and family are whom I raved to about this song), and when we went to Greece in the summertime, there it was as well! It came on during my bachelorette party and I went WILD!
Although this song was actually released in 2011, it did not reach worldwide success until 2012 (except for Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and the Netherlands where it hit the charts in 2011). I mean check out this video, made by Gotye himself. it shows you just how much people love(d) it. This montage also demonstrates the artistic inspiration “Somebody That I Used to Know” gives to so many people. The melody is so hauntingly beautiful. It just captivates people and you can see by many of the examples in the montage that it is very emotive.
Going back to Psy and “Gangnam Style”: although “Gangnam Style” broke the YouTube record for most views, “Somebody That I Used to Know” has achieved more prestigious results in terms of chart success and sales (although “Gangnam Style” has also done quite well).
And according to these stats (thanks Wikipedia), it seems like “Somebody That I Used to Know” may officially be THE song of 2012 based on sales:
“Worldwide, “Somebody That I Used to Know” has sold 10 million copies, making it the biggest selling single of 2012 so far and one of the best-selling digital singles of all time. It reached No. 1 in more than 23 national charts and charting inside the top ten in more than 30 countries around the world. As of April 2012, it is the most downloaded song ever in Belgium, as well as being the third best-selling digital single in Germany with sales between 500,000 and 600,000 copies, and the most successful song in the history of the Dutch charts. It received nine Platinum certifications in Australia, accounting for shipments exceeding 630,000 units. In New Zealand, it was certified four times Platinum. The song has sold 1.3 million copies copies in the UK as of December 2012, making it the best-selling single of 2012 in the UK.”
The only down side is, I think Gotye will have a hard time topping this….and probably Psy will as well…but it seems like just by the success of these hits alone, these two are probably financially set for the rest of their lives. If only I could compose a hit to reach the success of “Somebody That I Used to Know” or “Gangnam Style”!
So in 2012, I got married, I moved to Kent, I sold my first business, I survived the end of the world (again) and I fell in love with and predicted a number 1 for Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. It seems like the rest of the world (well, a lot of it anyway) fell in love with it too! Not a bad year for me or Gotye (or Psy). I wonder what 2013 will have in store for us all! Maybe I’ll write that successful number one hit and somebody will be blogging about it being THE song of 2013 next New Year’s Eve! Don’t laugh, it may just happen!
Do you agree that Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to know” is THE song of 2012? What other songs do you think would belong in a time vault representing 2012?