A month at No. 1 for "We Are Young" and fun.
At the risk of re-introducing into your psyche the earworm that is "We Are Young," the infectious ditty by New York City band fun. (yes, lowercase, with a period) that has officially become the feel-good anthem of 2012, it deserves noting that the song remains at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 for yet another week, the fourth in a row.
"We Are Young" joins another infectious pop-rock song, Australian singer Gotye's understated "Somebody I Used to Know," in the top five, and if the double whammy of guitar pop isn't exactly on par with the boy band stampede currently bum-rushing the charts, the two acts' successes are worth noting in the same breath as evidence that an undeniable melody or the proper anthem at the right moment can rocket to the top despite all the dance-pop ruling the Top 10. Toss in last year's equally undeniable pop-rock song "Pumped Up Kicks" by L.A. band Foster the People, and a path toward the top for a rock band, which a year ago seemed overgrown for lack of use, can be discerned.
To give an example of the momentum that "We Are Young" has built: According to Nielsen SoundScan, the song sold 387,000 this past week (up 11% over last week) for a total of 2,539,000. The song was up 7% in streams (1.18 million) from the previous week, and 36% in radio play (88 million impressions). The album from which the song is taken, "Some Nights," has sold 161,000 copies. The record has just been issued on limited-edition vinyl, too. Not bad for a hit that begins with friends doing drugs in a bathroom before turning into a song about drinking, desire and young love.
At least it's not about a killing rampage, like "Pumped Up Kicks."
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: The band fun. has just released its hit album on vinyl. Credit: fun.'s Tumblr site