Which is that Taylor Swift/Zayn Malik song from Fifty Shades Darker. I note in passing that the original peaked at #33 on that same Dance Club chart. (Okay, yeah, it hit #2 on the Hot 100, but you I can’t have everything.)
Meanwhile, it’s back to the covers, this time a song first recorded by Katy Perry and released a whole two weeks ago. Whatever else you might say about Rebecca Black, she does pay attention to what The Industry is doing.
It’s been a slow climb. “The Great Divide,” released in August 2016, was #53 last week on this same chart:
This is only her third song to get any chart recognition from Billboard: “Friday” made the Hot 100 at #58, “Saturday” at #55. (On the Heatseekers chart, since discontinued, they were #1 and #2 respectively.)
In case you missed it:
I’m happy for her. (And I feel a measure of vindication after having stuck beside her for nearly six years.)
Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill,” from his album ÷ — yes, that’s the name of it — is an atmospheric ballad about growing up in Framlingham, Suffolk. All the more reason, I think, that it should be covered by a half-Indian guy from Cincinnati and a half-Mexican girl from southern California, right?
While we wait for something new from Rebecca Black, her friends and associates are reworking something not so new: this week saw the release of two new remixes of “The Great Divide.”
Dave Audé’s take, described as “Dance” in the iTunes Genre column, is pretty conventional but also pretty damned danceable. The Mauro Mozart version, characterized as “Electronic,” also commands you to move, though at over seven minutes it can also be characterized as “interminable.”
Her brand new song is a bit more mature, and her vocals are totally top notch.
It just proves that anyone can stand up, brush themselves off, and continue on. Black, who was 13 going on 14 when “Friday” was released in 2011 and is 19 now, never stopped singing — even though the internet was buzzing with negativity over her music video.
I recognized this as a screenshot from ASCAP’s Ace database, and mused for a moment: “Who would have thought that Rebecca Black would be a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers?” Yet there is is, in blue and white. (And she has an ASCAP publishing unit: Rebecca Black Music Publishing, which apparently has existed for a while, or at least since “Person of Interest,” her first writing credit.)
So I went back to Ace, and found “Alive,” “Jokes on Me,” “Last One Standing” and “Time of My Life,” from her brief teamup with Edward Wohl in 2015. What I didn’t find was this:
Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit is the English-language version of Legend of a Rabbit, the first-ever animated film from China to be exported to the rest of the world, possibly to try to earn back the CNY 100 million it lost in its domestic market.
One possibly intriguing character:
She’s named Mudan in the Chinese version, but for some reason they’ve called her “Penny” here. Yan Ni, fortysomething, was the original voice actor.
In English, Penny’s voice was provided by a teenager: Rebecca Black.
Yes, that Rebecca Black. From the few bits I can catch from the trailer, she sounds every bit like the fourteen years old she was in 2013 when the DVD came out. Still, I should see this some day.
With a Brooklyn appearance scheduled for tonight, Rebecca Black hit up just about every possible source of publicity in New York this week: WhoSay, Teen Vogue, Complex Music, MORE, and, yes, Billboard, and that’s just through Thursday. This is called maximizing one’s opportunities.
“Take a #BuzzFeedMusicBreak with Rebecca Black,” they said, and it proved to be more substantial than one might have thought, considering, well, Buzzfeed: for one thing, the “break” ran a solid 18 minutes, and for a more important thing, the two opening numbers were songs we haven’t heard before, songs we may see released one of those days. The first of them, an apparent ode to nighttime, is cheerfully catchy; she followed it with an ambiguous love song. The closer, inevitably, was “The Great Divide.” Did she work “Friday” into the program? Well, kinda sorta.
This might be an odd way to characterize “Friday,” the song that made Rebecca Black famous, considering it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #58 and has sold somewhere around half a million downloads but zero physical copies.
Then again, you probably remember these tracks, and they, too, never got above #58:
And despite having had the view counter reset once already (at about 166 million), “Friday” is closing in on a hundred million YouTube views:
This works out to about 2800 a day, and none of those days were a Friday. And if there are seven thumbs down for every two thumbs up, well, she gets paid just the same either way. I’m happy to attempt to pad out the count:
After which, I will of course look forward to the weekend.
Have you ever wondered the story behind “Live Like You Were Dying” for Tim McGraw? Did you know that the songwriter of “Friends in Low Places” actually traded his ownership of that song to pay off a hefty beer tab at a local bar in Nashville before it became a worldwide hit for Garth Brooks?
Introducing, “Nashville Unplugged: The Story behind the Song”, a songwriter in the round show that brings the most successful hit songwriters from Nashville right to you. The intimacy of this all acoustic, impromptu show makes for a highly interactive connection between the songwriters and the audience. No show is ever the same because there is no script or band; just some truth-telling troubadours with guitars in their hands, telling the stories behind some of the world’s greatest songs that they happen to have written.
Thursday in Pasadena. And I never would have guessed the opening act:
Billboard, I’m sure, would say otherwise, but I’d like to think that changing the drop day for new music from Tuesday to Friday is Rebecca Black’s doing. (And she did it a few years before the rest of the world, not like the rest of the world was paying attention.)
That said, there’s no video yet, but “The Great Divide” is out as a single; I picked it up somewhere within the first five minutes of its availability. This is the standard version:
Released simultaneously: a remix that pushes the song a hair closer to EDM and maybe a step away from Jim Steinman. I think I like the remix better, and hey, it gives RB the chance to double the take.
Update, 3 September: Here’s the official video, based on the remix:
The 21st of this month is Rebecca Black’s 19th birthday, but I figured I’d mention it here today because it’s Friday and that should require no further explanation.
A couple of weeks ago she turned loose a video in which she’s talking music with the two brothers who make up funk-pop duo Fox Wilde, with whom she’s apparently working on some tunes. The main thing I gleaned from it, though, was a reminder of how great a simple t-shirt/jeans combo can be:
Interestingly, there’s apparently only the single rip, over her left knee, so these jeans aren’t fully “distressed” in the contemporary sense.
“Why I didn’t go to prom” is a subject that has occasionally seen fit to reintrude itself at various times during the last 47 years, and since I have always felt that my own explanations were never quite satisfactory, I felt a twinge when Rebecca Black disclosed that she didn’t go either:
Although there’s probably more of a story here with these Zooey-esque bangs she’s wearing these days. (Did she finally get tired of the noticeable widow’s peak?)