First Chart Entry / Biggest Hit To Date: “Pompeii” (#1 for two weeks, 2013)
#1 for two weeks, 29+ weeks in the top 40
Oh, where do we begin? Let’s start here. Take a solo project, turn it into a band, get signed to Virgin Records and a few years down the line, you’re on top of the charts. It’s a little oversimplified, but it’s certainly not a bad progression for the British quartet Bastille, who dropped a historical hit on us this year in “Pompeii”.
The smash about the smashed up Roman city (thanks, Mount Vesuvius, we never liked you anyways) was written and co-produced by lead singer Dan Smith, as well as Mark Crew. With a distinctive sound and vocal, it’s no wonder it caught the attention of a lot of people during these past twelve months. However, you don’t see a lot of fourth singles becoming big hits after an initial string of underperforming releases, but that’s exactly what happened with this in the U.K., as it shot up to #2 during the spring. The tribal-meets-modern song then came onto my radar, leapt up my chart, and spent two weeks at #1 in August and September. It’s still descending on my top 40 and is just about to hit the 30 week mark.
In the U.S., like many British crossovers, the song has needed a little extra time to break out. It did manage to sneak in four weeks at #1 on Alternative radio in October and November and is now just crossing over to the mainstream formats. Looks like it’ll be huge into early 2014. A U.S. followup, the title track from Bad Blood, is now being worked at a few formats where “Pompeii” already peaked out. (“Bad Blood” originally went to #90 in the U.K. about a year and a half ago.)
Bastille may have just missed out on being this year’s Top Newcomer on my top 40, but they sure have a great future ahead of them. I’m sure you’ll be seeing their name all over my chart deep into 2014 to the point where you’ll question, “Does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?” Congrats, guys!