I like to call this move the Jonathan Franzen: Gotye, who managed to get a rock song onto the radio in 2012, has rolled his eyes at the Glee version of "Somebody That I Used To Know," probably while covered in angular paint swatches and looking really nervous about something.
Which is fine, because the Glee version--like every Glee arrangement--sounds terrible. But he appears to have waited until after the Glee version helped make him and his song famous, which is going to make it difficult to get it expunged from his Wikipedia page. Here are all five things he should probably gripe about to a newspaper, now that he can afford to buy the M.C. Hammer mansion:
1. "The 'Glee' cast's cover of 'Somebody That I Used to Know' sold 152,000 downloads in its first week and debuted on 18 April 2012 on the Digital Songs chart at No. 10 and the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 26." It's going to be tough to make people forget this happened, since the cast members of Glee have covered every No. 1 song of the last five years by now, but I believe he can do it. Or at least he can Jonathan Franzen it, which involves getting more press than you would have without protesting while still attempting to retain your indie cred.
2. The multiple Savage Garden references. Apparently Gotye has leapfrogged Ben Lee and Silverchair and become, universally, the biggest Australian star since... the members of Savage Garden. "Somebody That I Used To Know" was the longest-running chart-topper in Australia since "Truly Madly Deeply," and the first Australian No. 1 in America since "I Knew I Loved You." And now I've named every song your girlfriend loved when she was 13.
3. "The song has since been featured in the TV series 90210, Gossip Girl, and The Voice." I don't begrudge musicians who allow their music to appear in TV shows and commercials, but if he was bothered by the whole Glee thing those 90210 and Gossip Girl appearances can't have done him good.
In case you didn't see either one, I've received word that the song was playing while terrible people who looked like sexy children did terrible things to each other and made that face people on TV think is super hot.
4. "... its performance as a duet by Phillip Phillips and Elisa Testone on the eleventh season of American Idol before more than 16 million viewers on April 11, 2012." This is another one of those things he might find himself wanting to Jonathan Franzen now that the American Idol machine has made him thousands of dollars. Because they were totally covering the Glee version.
5. "On 3 October, the song became the second-longest-running Australian song... behind Daddy Cool's 1971 hit 'Eagle Rock' at 10 weeks." He shouldn't delete this because it puts his song in a bad or overly commercial light--he should delete it because the idea that a song called "Eagle Rock" by a band called Daddy Cool is the most successful in Australian history makes me forget everything else I'm doing or reading about.
It's like Australia, in 1971, was an alternate universe where they were doing the 1970s just a little better than we were. (Also, "'doing the eagle rock' is a metaphor for sexual intercourse", which is something you should definitely be aware of if you go to Australia.)
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.