Why is nostalgia so in right now? Maybe music isn’t as good as it used to be, or maybe life is just too darn complicated nowadays and we want to return back to simpler times through music.
Old songs can become popular again for lots of reasons. Sometimes, they are featured in a TV show that brings it back into the cultural consciousness. This happened with Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush being featured in Stranger Things and Don’t Stop Believin’ appearing in both The Sopranos and the first season of Glee.
Movies influence this too. When Stand by Me came out, the song of the same name jumped back into the charts. Thanks to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Beatles’ Twist and Shout climbed back into the charts again.
Sometimes the sad news of a musician’s death can send people rushing back to listen to their most famous songs, such as I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Purple Rain by Prince, and Lucid Dreams by Juice WRLD. Each of these songs re-entered the Billboard charts in the days after the artist’s death.
TikTok is the latest and greatest vehicle for a resurgence of a particular song, sometimes for the most bizarre of reasons. In 2020, people in their pandemic-induced lockdowns watched a video of a boy skateboarding while drinking cranberry juice. They watched it so much (83 million times to be precise) that the song playing over the video, Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, was thrust back into the charts.
TikTok has given similar boosts to the likes of Ally and AJ’s Potential Breakup Song, Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell, Thriller by Michael Jackson, and Primadonna by Marina.
I can see this only happening more and more often as newer generations discover the great music of the past few decades.
Old Songs That Charted Again
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