I wrote this for MTV Hive. Headline from here. (My roommates were having a party the other day, and at one point we were talking music and I brought up how great Kiss was [because this is a thing I do at parties apparently] and everyone seemed surprised at the prospect of her even having an album.)
Really good article! I found the stuff about the impact of changing chart rules on streaming particularly interesting because I hadn’t realised the timing or considered how it would particularly help this kind of not-exactly-novelty breakthrough and defining hit (the acts don’t only exist for the one song/idea, but people think they do - does that sum it up?).
I would say though that “We Are Young”, “Somebody that I Used to Know” and “Call Me Maybe” all felt like quite unusual chart events from over here in the UK too without any equivalent change, though “We Are Young” had its success led by the US and might well not have happened in the same way without the change.
I think 2012 was also just a weird year for these, though, or a sign of internet fuelled things to come, because I’m trying to think of similar from previous years and only coming up with “Fireflies” and “Mad World” (you can tell it works because I don’t need to include the artist).