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'Somebody That I Used to Know': Gotye combines YouTube covers

August 13, 2012|By Deborah Netburn

Over the weekend, Gotye, the singer-songwriter behind the ubiquitous song "Somebody That I Used to Know," posted a new video to YouTube called "Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra."

The video is an audio and visual remix of dozens of YouTube covers and parodies of the song.

Talk about a meta-, full circle, only in 2012, moment.

Thankfully, "Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra" plays with the melody and structure of the original song a bit, and you don't have to listen to any singers try to navigate the high notes in the chorus.

So even if you are suffering from debilitating "Somebody That I Used to Know" fatigue, this video is worth watching.

In a description of the video ostensibly written by Gotye himself, he acknowledges that the attention this particular song and video of his has received is a bit ... much.

"Reluctant as I am to add to the mountain of interpretations of 'Somebody That I Used to Know' seemingly taking over their own area of the Internet, I couldn't resist the massive remixability that such a large, varied yet connected bundle of source material offered," he wrote.

On his website, he includes a list of all the videos he grabbed to make the remix, complete with links.

It's a nice tribute to all the tributes.

And the truth is, Gotye owes his original song and video's huge viral success in part to these tributes.

As YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca points out, part of the YouTube popularity of the song stems from a very viral cover from January by the band Walk Off the Earth that features five performers using one guitar. That one tribute video has been seen 130 million times

"The thousands of covers and parodies of "Somebody That I Used to Know" have also helped fuel the song's popularity and have garnered hundreds of millions of views of their own," Allocca said.

As to whether "Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra" marks the end of the "Somebody That I Used to Know" remake era, that remains to be seen. But our fingers are crossed. It's enough people!

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