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The interesting case of Work *****


Someone Who Knows

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Work ***** is an interesting example of how charts can be misleading. Work ***** was largely viewed as being a pretty major disappointment on the charts at the time, coming off the heels of the Femme Fatale era and Scream & Shout, when Britney looked nearly invincible on the singles charts. It debuted at #12 and peaked there, returning to the Top 15 briefly. It has sold a little over a million downloads on iTunes.

Yet, the YouTube video has over 250,000,000 views, the public seems more aware of the song than of, for instance, I Wanna Go, it was parodied on South Park (which meant the writers thought its audience would be aware of the song and get the joke), and in general it seems to be what most people recognize as the last major single Britney released. She still opens the Vegas show with it, and opened her Billboard performance with it, and it's still incorporated into her merchandise. Despite its weak radio play and disappointing download numbers, it somehow became a hit over the long-term, anyway.

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4 minutes ago, Someone Who Knows said:

Toxic did go to #1 on Pop Radio tho

also slave 4 u was #27 or something and it's iconic

I think work ***** mainly became popular because it was controversial, no pop star did anything like that at the time so everybody was shook, I remember when it came out everybody was talking about it (at least where I live)

radio play and charts =/= popularity

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3 minutes ago, Noah Fatale said:

also slave 4 u was #27 or something and it's iconic

I think work ***** mainly became popular because it was controversial, no pop star did anything like that at the time so everybody was shook, I remember when it came out everybody was talking about it (at least where I live)

radio play and charts =/= popularity

I had never heard of slave 4 u until I became a stan tbh and I never hear it played.

WHITE HOT FOREVER

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Just now, Urbanney said:

I had never heard of slave 4 u until I became a stan tbh and I never hear it played.

well you're a rare case then, everybody knows slave 4 u it's literally such a legendary song and people still reference it to this day :giggleney: it's not played on radio anymore obviously since the sound is very dated

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I think it's because of the theme of the song. Everyone can relate to it. 

Plus it's almost a staple of anyone's Gym/workout playlist.

Plus it's a catchy phrase.

It was a risky song to release given her prior catalogue but I think they knew it was have a cultural impact regardless of chart success. They never let the song die as she keeps performing it at the beginning of shows. 

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1 hour ago, Noah Fatale said:

well you're a rare case then, everybody knows slave 4 u it's literally such a legendary song and people still reference it to this day :giggleney: it's not played on radio anymore obviously since the sound is very dated

Slave 4 U's VMA performance with the snake is iconic. Slave 4 U is not iconic or legendary. There's a difference.

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I think this is the case with a majority of her singles. A lot of them aren't "instant hits" but later become well-known to where people consider them to be "hits" and give off the illusion that they have charted higher than they actually peaked. 

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Work ***** was a risky single to release at the time. It didn’t have a chorus and it seemed like the US didn’t care for songs without a chorus, the song itself is very Euro-friendly tho but she barely promoted the song. Britney looks incredible, there was some choreo, the sharks were very cool and the phrase is very popular among gays thanks to RuPaul already. That last one was also a bit of a risk, would the gays accept Britney to use that phrase as well?!

The song itself is just really catchy hence it’s still the opening song in Piec of Me and it’s def in her top 5 signature songs now
 

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Yaas! Gagnam Style 2.0 slayed lives back in 2013 mainly because:

1. The amazing visuals we got after 2 years without new Britney material. Lewd singles have such a great power by opening an era. So the hype was huuuge. Britney has always been a visual artist and her music videos played a huge role in her fame. 

2. The new little old-britney style choreography. That was the closest we were from Primeney since 2004. 

3. The song tried to follow the trend of EDM tracks since 2012. Just as "Just luv me" is the 2.0 of "Good for you", "Work *****" was intended to be the Gagnam Style 2.0 and I even think that, with proper promotion, it could have been a bigger hit, but we know her allergy to promo, so... 

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