Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How bizarre

Australian artist Gotye is riding a wave of popularity in the US charts at the moment (at no 2 currently), on the back of his song Somebody That I Used To Know (featuring local lass/expat Kiwi now resident in Australia Kimbra) being featured on US TV shows Glee and The Voice, and a slot at last weekend's Coachella Festival.
It's great exposure for Kimbra, who has been getting lots of interest off the back of her solo appearances at the recent SXSW event. This story says she was the most highly searched-for act in online searches at SXSW.
A couple of NZ media outlets have got a little over-excited about the chart placing, suggesting that Kimbra would be the first Kiwi linked to a number one on the US music charts. Crowded House got to number two, and let's face it, at that time Neil Finn was a longtime Australian resident with two Aussies in his band. Never mind the fact that NZ radio programmers steadfastly ignored Crowded House until they had a hit in the US.

Or the fact that OMC went to number one on the US charts in 1997, with How Bizarre. Pauly Fuemana, we haven't forgotten you.

ADDED OMC's record label boss Simon Grigg has blogged on the behind the scenes record company machinations around OMC hitting number one in the US.

"... In the US the decision was made by Mercury, a US branch of PolyGram, to issue the single only to radio and use the airplay to drive album sales = more money. This was industry standard at the time and many acts did it... between June and August [97] we totalled some 560,000 radio plays on US top40 radio (it passed a million later that year) and some 10,000 video plays (most played US video of 1997 – 15,000) and finally I had a call from New York on August 16th, 1997. “You’re number one, number one!” screamed the woman from Mercury... we’d knocked off Meredith Brooks and we were number one..."

UPDATED Thurs 19 April: Billboard reports that Gotye and Kimbra have hit number one on the US charts, on the back of appearing on Saturday Night Live and Glee. "...the track sold 542,000 downloads in the April 9-15 tracking period, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The sum is the fourth-best since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003."


Bob Daktari said...

how long a string does one have to paint to link a kiwi to a US number one?

My granny knew this chap who painted houses, he in turn.... and then the band got a number one the in USA

Nice post Peter - and work on the Feelstyle stuff :)

Simon said...

I've followed up this Peter: