Why a 25-Year-Old Dinosaur Jr. Song is #18 in Japan

February 12, 2019
Guitarist J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. performs during LouFest in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday, August 25, 2012. (Photo by Zia Nizami/Belleville News-Democrat/MCT/Sipa USA)

Photo by Zia Nizami/Belleville News-Democrat/MCT/Sipa USA

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Last week the Dinosaur Jr. song “Over Your Shoulder” from 1994’s Without A Sound suddenly became the top-viewed video in Japan, beating out the likes of Ariana Grande and Queen (pushed by the movie Bohemian Rhapsody). The song, which was never released even as a single, appeared at number 18 on Japan’s Hot 100 chart, and the video for the song has 8.1 million views. Why, exactly, has been baffling the internet for the past few days, but according to Gizmodo, there is a bizarre answer.

The song was played as a brief, recurring clip on a 15-year-old Japanese T.V. show called “Gachinko Fight Club.” The pirated show has been streaming on youtube, and the website’s algorithm has been recommending videos including the song by the thousands:

“In the end, no one factor made “Over Your Shoulder” a Billboard hit in Japan. Nearly 25 years ago, it was released. More than 15 years ago, it was used on a Japanese reality show about boxing bad boys. Six years ago, Billboard started counting YouTube plays. And just days ago, YouTube apparently began recommending pirated episodes of that reality show to Japanese users, who seemingly binged it in the thousands, playing ‘Over Your Shoulder’ over and over again in the process.”

Read Gizmodo’s full explanation here, it’s actually a pretty interesting combination of strange circumstances. However it happened, way to go Dinosaur Jr.