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Talking Heads See a Sales & Streaming Bump After David Byrne's 'SNL' Performance

David Byrne
 Jody Rogac

David Byrne

"Once in a Lifetime" appears on both the Rock Digital Song Sales & LyricFind U.S. charts

Consumption of Talking Heads’ catalog rose after frontman David Byrne’s Feb. 29 appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

In all, the band’s songs drew 5.7 million U.S. on-demand streams in the tracking week ending March 5, a boost of 36%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Additionally, Talking Heads earned 6,000 equivalent album units, a boost of 50%, with 2,000 of those via album sales. And on the digital download side, it racked up 7,000 song downloads, up 245%.

Leading the way on a song level: “Once in a Lifetime,” which Byrne performed on SNL while promoting his American Utopia show, which after a multi-city tour also enjoyed a Broadway run that will continue this fall. The song earned 2,000 downloads, enough for it to debut at No. 10 on Billboard’s Rock Digital Song Sales chart dated March 14. In its time, it peaked at No. 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated May 3, 1986.

“Psycho Killer” also saw gains, though its rise also came concurrent with its appearance in a trailer for Amazon Video’s new series Hunters. With 1,000 downloads, the song debuts at No. 21 on Rock Digital Song Sales.

On the LyricFind U.S. chart, which tracks lyric usages and searches in the United States as tracked by LyricFind, “Once in a Lifetime” debuts at No. 1 with a spike of 3,118% in searches after Byrne’s performance, according to LyricFind, while “Psycho Killer” also appears at No. 6 with a 327% gain.

Byrne’s solo catalog, which includes the soundtrack to American Utopia’s Broadway production as well as the 2018 album that initially inspired it, also saw a streaming and sales gain; he drew 458,000 streams (up 185%) and 2,000 album units (up 247%).

On SNL, which was hosted by John Mulaney, Byrne performed both “Once in a Lifetime” and “Toe Jam,” and he also appeared in the “Airport Sushi” sketch.


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