Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Weekly Chart Notes: How Gotye Got a No. 1 Dance Hit

May 11, 2012 by music news · Leave a Comment 

Programmers say that, remixed, the rock-based ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ is a perfect fit for dance radio.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images


Nothing says “dance music” more than a xylophone.

As previously reported , Gotye ’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” featuring Kimbra, ascends to No. 1 this week on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs and Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts. As it leads the Billboard Hot 100 for a fourth week and Alternative Songs for a 10th frame, the song is the first to top all four tallies.

In the 23 years that the Hot 100, Dance/Club Play Songs and Alternative Songs have co-existed (the lattermost list is the youngest of the three, having premiered the week of Sept. 10, 1988), “Somebody” is the first song to score a No. 1 hat trick, while only two titles had reached the top of even Dance/Club Play Songs and Alternative Songs: U2 ’s “Discotheque” (1997) and New Order’s “Regret” (1993).

How did a song known for its sparse, rock-based production become a No. 1 dance hit? Essentially, by tuning out that quirky xylophone, as a combination of transformative remixes and the global success of “Somebody” helped convince programmers of the song’s potential for their format.

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