Simon & Garfunkel's 'Sound of Silence' Hits Hot Rock Songs Top 10, Thanks to 'Sad Affleck'
The duo's 1966 classic -- already revived thanks to Disturbed's cover -- enters at No. 6, sparked by a Ben Affleck meme.
The duo's iconic breakthrough single, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1966, debuts at No. 6 on Billboard's April 16-dated Hot Rock Songs chart (the tally launched in 2009) following its appearance in a YouTube video, titled "Sad Affleck," which features a portion of an interview with Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. During a lengthy period when Cavill is answering a question concerning the film's negative reviews, Affleck is seen seemingly staring off into the distance, while the Paul Simon-penned tune plays.
It's yet another installment in a meme that's flourished since 2013, spawned from a recurring bit incorporating the song for a similar purpose during the fourth season of Netflix's Arrested Development.
Simon & Garfunkel's "Silence" bows largely from streaming, and also enters Rock Streaming Songs at No. 2 with 5.6 million U.S. streams (5.1 million from YouTube), a 582 percent surge, according to Nielsen Music. It's also up by 46 percent to 5,000 downloads sold.
As the original returns, Disturbed's cover of "Silence" rises 4-3 on Hot Rock Songs, up 22 percent to 41,000 sold after the band's March 28 performance on TBS' Conan, prompting Paul Simon to praise the remake on social media and in an email to lead singer David Draiman. The update also extends its reign on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart to five weeks and jumps 69-51 on the Billboard Hot 100, passing 2002's No. 58-peaking "Prayer" to become Disturbed's highest-ranking hit on the latter list in the band's two-decade career.
Notably, with two versions of "Silence" in the Hot Rock Songs top 10 simultaneously, a composition doubles up in the top tier for a second time; Hozier's "Take Me to Church" ruled the Dec. 6, 2014, chart while former Voice contestant Matt McAndrew debuted at No. 8 with his version.
(Only one other time have two different versions of the same song made it to the Hot Rock Songs top 10 at all, although not concurrently; in the same season of The Voice that McAndrew offered up his Hozier remake, Taylor John Williams covered Lorde's "Royals," which reached No. 10 on the Dec. 20, 2014, chart. Lorde's original had led the ranking for 19 weeks in 2013-14.)