Somebody's covers that Gotye used to know
Gotye’s "Somebody That I Used to Know" sits atop the US Billboard charts, but it has also inspired hundreds of YouTube cover versions and hundreds of millions of views.PT4M32S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-1x8ih 620 349 April 19, 2012
Where’s Wally? He’s at the top of the US Billboard chart, that’s where.
Gotye’s smash hit Somebody That I Used to Know continues to take the music world by storm, rocketing up to number one in the US charts overnight and recording one of the highest ever weekly digital sales totals in the country.
The song by the Mornington Peninsula-based singer/songwriter, real name Wally De Backer, jumped from number two to one in the all-important Billboard Hot 100 chart, after already claiming glory in 17 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Denmark.
Gotye in one ... Melbourne's Wally De Backer is the first Australian artist to reign on the Billboard chart since Savage Garden in 2000. Photo: James Brickwood
The 31-year-old is the first Australian artist to reign on the Billboard chart since Savage Garden topped it for four weeks in 2000 with I Knew I Loved You.
He is the first solo Australian to hit number one since Olivia Newton-John racked up 10 weeks at the top in 1981 with Physical. Rick Springfield was the last solo male Australian artist to reign with Jesse’s Girl 31 years ago.
Billboard said the song, a duet with New Zealand-born Kimbra, gained momentum in the US when it was covered on the hit television show Glee on April 10, while just days later Gotye (pronounced “gore-ti-yeah”) and Kimbra performed Somebody on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Top of the world ... Gotye and Kimbra in the Somebody That I Used to Know video clip that has racked up 166 million views on YouTube.
The track sold 542,000 downloads between April 9 and April 15 in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That figure is the fourth highest since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003.
In Glee, the break-up song was was transformed into a tune about sibling rivalry between characters Blaine Anderson, played by Darren Criss, and his older brother Cooper, played by Matt Bomer.
The song was also covered on the US version of the television talent contest The Voice, while Gotye performed at the US music festival Coachella last weekend and is set to play again this Sunday on the closing night of the two-weekend festival.
On the Billboard chart, Gotye dethroned US indie pop band Fun’s We Are Young, which slipped to number two.
Gotye tweeted news of his US success overnight with a link to the song’s official video on YouTube, which now has been viewed 166 million times.
The international success of Somebody That I Used To Know follows on from its extraordinary local achievements.
Released in Australia in July last year, the song stayed at the top of the chart for eight weeks, the longest running No.1 since Savage Garden’s Truly, Madly Deeply in 1997.
It went on to win Triple J’s Hottest 100 poll, as well as ARIA Awards for song of the year and best video, while Kimbra was voted best female artist and Gotye was named best male artist and producer of the year.
Somebody That I Used to Know is taken from Gotye’s third album, Making Mirrors, which he recorded entirely in his parent’s farm on the Mornington Peninsula.
Despite the song’s runaway success, Gotye said he nearly didn’t finish the song.
It was one of the final two songs that he penned for the album in November 2010, and Kimbra was not his first choice for the duet.
Another high-profile Australian female singer reportedly walked out in the middle of a recording session.
"At times I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish it, or that I wasn’t going to find a singer like Kimbra to really make the female part something special," De Backer told The Age last year.
"But there was always something about the song that made me think, ’This one’s got something worth sticking it out for’."
Belgians have embraced Gotye as a local boy made good, despite him moving to Australia at age two.