Dinosuar Jr.’s 1994 song “Over Your Shoulder” has become popular in Japan for some reason that no one has been able to quite figure out yet. As Billboard reports, the Without A Sound track was the top-viewed video this last week with almost 8.1 million views, beating out mainstream crossover acts like Ariana Grande and Queen, who are currently on the charts thanks to a Bohemian Rhapsody push.
Billboard was unable to identify the reason why the song charted so high, but they do have a loose guess: “The likely answer is that some unknown user uploaded a video or videos using these songs, which were then viewed enough times for the songs to make significant inroads into the ranking.”
But the oddity has made its way to Twitter, so hopefully someone comes up with a more concrete answer soon.
Biggest mystery in Japan right now is how a 1994 song from Dinosaur Jr (Over Your Shoulder) topped the Billboard Overseas charts last week, beating out the likes of Ariana Grande and Queen. It also also topped the video charts with over 8 million views on YouTube. pic.twitter.com/qDmVeXafiQ
— Patrick Macias (@Patrick_Macias) February 8, 2019
UPDATE: Billboard Japan has issued a statement to Gizmodo shedding some light on Dinosaur Jr.’s chart surge:
The Japan Hot 100 incorporates YouTube views within Japan of audio and video assigned with an ISRC code. This includes user-generated clips that utilize authorized audio.
We believe a recurring segment from an old terrestrial TV variety program—which prominently featured Dinosaur Jr.’s “Over Your Shoulder” as well as the non-Japanese tracks that mysteriously appeared on the Japan Hot 100 dated Feb. 11 [tracking date: Jan. 28 to Feb. 3]—went viral due to renewed interest, resulting in users to binge watch YouTube videos of the segment using these songs, racking up significant views to impact the chart.
Some of these user generated clips were then deleted, however new videos keep being re-uploaded which may result in these songs to appear again on this week’s Japan Hot 100, to be posted on Feb. 13.