Pokemon Spotted in Top Five of Kid Digital Songs Chart
The original "Pokemon Theme" – by Pokemon – blasts to No. 4 (up 1,079 percent in sales) amid 'Pokemon Go' mania.
Pokemon fans aren't just catching their favorite pocket monsters virtually thanks to the new mobile game Pokemon Go. Every Pokehunt needs a theme song, and fans are renewing their interest in the franchise's original one for the occasion.
Amid Pokemon's resurgence and pop culture takeover, the English language version of the "Pokemon Theme," credited to Pokemon as the artist, blasts off again, bounding from No. 17 to No. 4 on Billboard's Kid Digital Songs sales chart, reaching its highest rank ever, with a 1,079 percent gain to 7,000 downloads sold in the tracking week (ending July 14), according to Nielsen Music, easily its best digital sales week. The previous week, the track re-entered the chart with a 125 percent burst to 1,000 sold. The song had previously ascended to No. 10, dating to the chart's January 2010 inception; until the past two weeks, it had not appeared on the ranking since February 2015.
The "Pokemon Theme," although credited to Pokemon, was performed by Jason Paige, who has sung background vocals for Michael Jackson and, for a time, fronted Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Additionally, the "Pokerap," also billed as by Pokemon, debuts on Kid Digital Songs at No. 15 (1,000 sold, up 593 percent).
The songs make their hefty sales gains after the new Pokemon Go app debuted July 6; thus, this week's charts reflect sales July 8-14, the first full week since the app went live. Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game by American-based software company Niantic that allows players to catch and battle with their own Pokemon using GPS and camera functions on their mobile phones. The franchise quickly reclaimed its spot in the hearts of fans, attracting stars including Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.
Pokemon has a noteworthy history on Billboard's charts dating back to long before its recent resurgence. Pokemon: 2.B.A. Master – Music From the Hit TV Series, on which the "Pokemon Theme," "Pokerap" and more music was featured (including a dance remix performed by Vicki Sue Robinson, whose "Turn the Beat Around" rose to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976), originally debuted at No. 180 on the Billboard 200 dated July 17, 1999, and rose as high as No. 90 that September. Later that year, the soundtrack to Pokemon: The First Movie roared onto the Billboard 200 at No. 8 (its peak), selling 129,000 copies in its first week (Nov. 27, 1999). Follow-up Pokemon: The Movie 2000: The Power of One debuted at No. 97 and peaked at No. 85 in its second week (Aug. 12, 2000; 16,000 sold).
Since then, Pokemon chart appearances have been fewer and further between, the last on the Billboard 200 being 2013's Pokemon X & Pokemon Y: Super Music Collection, which debuted and peaked at No. 104 (Nov. 30, 2013; 5,000 sold).
Notably, the "Pokemon Theme" has peaked higher on a Billboard chart than its current No. 4 rank on Kid Digital Songs: it rose to No. 3 for two weeks on the Hot Dance Singles Sales charts dated Jan. 1 and 8, 2000.