When it was released in 2010, Foster The People’s indie-pop anthem Pumped Up Kicks became a moderate hit, reaching number 18 in the UK charts.
But the LA band’s debut single is enjoying a second lease of life on streaming services.
Last year, it was the UK’s most-streamed song of all those originally released in 2010, beating hits like Lady Gaga’s Telephone and Cee-Lo’s Forget You, which were chart-toppers that year.
Pumped Up Kicks was played 21 million times last year, according to the BPI, which has revealed the UK’s most-streamed songs based on the original year they made the chart.
The recording industry body said 90 billion songs were streamed in the UK last year, an increase of 33.5% from 2017.
The data highlighted how songs like Pumped Up Kicks can grow in stature after their release.
AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and Miley Cyrus’s Party In The USA top the streaming charts for 1990 and 2009 respectively, even though they didn’t trouble the top 20 at the time.
“It’s a process of songs gathering momentum as time goes on,” said Rob Crutchley of the BPI, who compiled the figures.
“A few of those tracks have featured in TV programmes and films, which helps push them over the edge in terms of gaining even more mass popularity, as new audiences become exposed to them.”
Queen were notable beneficiaries of this boost in 2018 following the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Don’t Stop Me Now became the most-streamed song from 1978; while Bohemian Rhapsody (the song) was the most-played track from the entire 1970s, overtaking Earth Wind & Fire’s September.
The Spinners’ Rubberband Man enjoyed a surge in popularity after its use in Avengers: Infinity War, as did Pat Benatar’s We Belong, which featured in Deadpool 2.
Even older films can have a halo effect – with Daryl Hall & John Oates’ You Make My Dreams becoming 1980’s biggest song thanks to its use in the 2009 rom-com 500 Days of Summer.
At the same time, some of pop’s biggest artists are missing from the BPI’s chart – with no entries for the Beatles, Abba, Madonna or David Bowie.
|Most-streamed songs 1990 – 2018|
|Year||Artist||Song||2018 streams (million)|
|2017||Keala Settle/Greatest Showman cast||This Is Me||114.7|
|2014||Ed Sheeran||Thinking Out Loud||30.6|
|2012||Passenger||Let Her Go||22.5|
|2011||Macklemore & Ryan Lewis||Can’t Hold Us||26.3|
|2010||Foster the People||Pumped Up Kicks||21.0|
|2009||Miley Cyrus||Party In The USA||18.0|
|2008||Jason Mraz||I’m Yours||26.9|
|2007||Arctic Monkeys||Fluorescent Adolescent||22.7|
|2005||Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx||Gold Digger||21.2|
|2004||Mario||Let Me Love You||19.0|
|2003||The Killers||Mr Brightside||46.9|
|2001||Nickelback||How You Remind Me||11.4|
|2000||Linkin Park||In The End||16.8|
|1998||Goo Goo Dolls||Iris||20.1|
|1997||The Verve||Bittersweet Symphony||17.5|
|1996||Blackstreet ft Dr Dre||No Diggity||17.9|
|1994||Mariah Carey||All I Want For Christmas Is You||39.0|
|1991||Nirvana||Smells Like Teen Spirit||18.6|
Elsewhere, Christmas songs continued to be popular, with Wham’s Last Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You scoring huge streaming numbers.
Other tracks simply lingered in people’s minds, long after contemporary hits faded.
“Naïve by The Kooks has been riding high for three years now,” said Crutchley.
“The album it’s from sold a lot of copies and they’ve still got a big, hardcore fanbase – but it’s only becoming apparent now what a cult hit that song’s turned into.
“And sometimes that’s what this is about, I think. These don’t have to be songs that were in the top 10. Songs can be rediscovered and gain momentum a bit later on.”
Crutchley added the availability of once-obscure songs on streaming services could even rescue artists from the dustbin of history.
“Do you remember Maniac by Michael Sembello? It was in the film Flashdance but it never charted in the UK. Now it’s getting more than 4 million streams a year.
“So if you’re embedded in history in some little way, there’s a chance people will go back and discover your music. You’re there for posterity in some ways.”
|Most-streamed songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s|
|Year||Artist||Song||2018 Streams (million)|
|1989||The Stone Roses||Waterfall||8.2|
|1988||Tracy Chapman||Fast Car||14.3|
|1987||The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl||Fairytale of New York||29.4|
|1986||Chris Rea||Driving Home for Christmas||19.8|
|1985||Shakin’ Stevens||Merry Christmas Everyone||21.0|
|1983||Eurythmics||Sweets Dream (Are Made of This)||21.5|
|1981||Journey||Don’t Stop Believin’||24.3|
|1980||Daryl Hall & John Oates||You Make My Dreams||24.8|
|1979||Paul McCartney||Wonderful Christmas Time||15.9|
|1978||Queen||Don’t Stop Me Now||25.4|
|1977||ELO||Mr Blue Sky||26.7|
|1976||Fleetwood Mac||Go Your Own Way||20.1|
|1974||Lynyrd Skynyrd||Sweet Home Alabama||14.9|
|1973||Elton John||Step Into Christmas||21.6|
|1971||John Denver||Take Me Home Country Roads||16.5|
|1970||Elton John||Your Song||12.5|
|1969||The Jackson 5||I Want You Back||20.4|
|1968||Otis Redding||(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay||11.2|
|1967||Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell||Ain’t No Mountain High Enough||18.3|
|1966||The Rolling Stones||Paint It Black||9.9|
|1965||The Four Tops||I Can’t Help Myself||8.7|
|1964||The Temptations||My Girl||12.5|
|1963||Andy Williams||It’s The Most Wonderful Time||12.3|
|1962||Sam Cooke||Bring It On Home to Me||5.1|
|1961||Ben E King||Stand By Me||16.2|
|1960||Etta James||At Last||6.8|