The gothic version of “The Sound of Silence” by Reprise/Warner Bros.’Disturbed is unquestionably a smash. The rockers’ Simon & Garfunkel cover has sold over 300k, as has the album it appears on,Immortalized (which streeted in August).
“Silence,” currently #30 at iTunes, is having a loud run at radio, having hit #1 at Active Rock and charting now at Alternative as the radio plan develops. The official video has racked up about 24.5m views.Howard Stern goosed the story still further by playing it on his show on Friday; the band will perform it onConan on 3/28. A major announcement, meanwhile, is expected in April.
This obvious smash is far outselling its exposure level. Peter Gray and team have proven their ability to consistently move the marketplace. If they can do it once again and solve this puzzle, we could be looking a million-selling album that will feature prominently in the Bunny’s bottom line.
The question is this: Will radio cave and play a proven hit record—driven by real consumer interest—by an act that potentially scares them? Can programmers overcome the blandness of the status quo to embrace something that’s clearly eliciting real passion? We predict this “Sound” will become impossible to ignore.
Disturbed currently own the top spot on the Active Rock charts with their cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” The cut comes off their most recent release, Immortalized, which was a chart-topper in its own right, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. On Monday night (March 28), the band took a step aside from their tour with Nonpoint to perform the song on late night talk show, Conan.
In the video above, Disturbed are rounded out by a full 15-person orchestra as singer David Draiman takes the spotlight with an emotionally powerful vocal effort. The song stays close to the original rather than Disturbed putting a meatier and heavier spin on it, but the dark overtones still carry a similar heft to the band’s metallic reputation. Draiman reaches into the bottom of his vocal register, gradually going higher and higher as the track moves on.
“The Sound of Silence” builds to a climax with the bridge as Draiman gives the biggest nods to Disturbed’s sound with a bit of a grittier vocal inflection, but it is all swept away with the gorgeous ending of the track. The singer talked to us about the cover (video below), saying, “It’s one of those songs that is so huge and so classic that many would argue that it is untouchable. I was very intrigued and very excited about it, but also it was very daunting and I had a bit of hesitation.”
Disturbed will be wrapping up their current tour on April 10, but have a few festival stops before heading back out on the road for a co-headlining tour with Rob Zombie starting on May 3. For a full list of dates, head to our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tour Guide.
David Draiman Discusses the Process for Covering “The Sound of Silence”
Disturbed performed its surprise smash “The Sound of Silence” on “Conan,” Conan O’Brien’s TBS-based talk show Monday evening (March 28). This marked the first time Disturbed had performed the song in front of a live television audience. Also, this appearance likely provided millions of Americans their first chance to see and hear Disturbed’s take on the 1960’s Simon & Garfunkel’s revered classic.
Viewers reacted quickly, as “The Sound of Silence” rebounded 30 positions on iTunes Top 100 in the 36 hours following the performance, putting Disturbed back in the Top 15. Also, 259,000 people viewed the video less than 24 hours after Conan posted the clip on his official YouTube channel Tuesday afternoon.
All of this happened as Disturbed broke Mediabase’s Active Rock All Stations one-week audience record (dating back to August 2012) with 7.733 million impressions on Monday morning’s official weekly chart. Following the performance, the Mediabase Active Rock All Stations increased further to 7.9 million impressions on the airplay reports released Wednesday morning.
Billboard posts all of the charts below on its main website, with the exception of Hard Rock Digital Songs and Alternative Digital Songs. The latter two charts are available on Billboard’s subscription website Billboard Biz.
Immortalized, the parent album for “The Sound of Silence” continued to scale five of Billboard’s online album charts posted Tuesday morning dated for the chart week ending April 9, 2016. Immortalized moved from number three to number two on Hard Rock Albums, six to four on Alternative Albums, and from eight to four on the combined Top Rock Albums Chart.
On the overall albums charts combining all music genres, Immortalized held at number 27 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart and jumped from 37 to 33 on the Billboard 200 – which combines album sales, single sales, and On-Demand Streaming (Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.). The CD showed increased unit gains on all of the above album charts as well.
‘The Sound of Silence’ scales numerous Billboard singles charts
On the Rock singles digital songs charts posted Tuesday for the chart week ending April 9, 2016, “The Sound of Silence” spent its thirteenth week at Number One on Hard Rock Digital Songs, moved from four to three on Alternative Digital Songs, and from three to two on the combined Rock Digital Songs Chart. Disturbed also jumped from eleven to six on Rock Streaming Songs, the highest positon for a Mainstream/Active Rock-based single since the chart’s inception in March 2013. The song bulleted (gained) on all four charts.
In terms of airplay, “The Sound of Silence” stayed at Number One for a fourth week on Mainstream Rock, jumped from 38 to 34 on Alternative, and held at 12 on the Hot Rock Airplay Chart (combining airplay from Mainstream Rock, Alternative, and Triple A Stations). On the Hot Rock Songs Chart, combining all Rock airplay, digital songs sales, and streaming, “The Sound of Silence” moved from five to four. Once again, the song earned a bullet on all four of the listed charts.
Finally on the overall singles charts, “The Sound of Silence” moved from number 24 to number 21 on the all-formats combined Digital Songs Chart and from 73 to 69 on Billboard’s overall singles chart, The Billboard Hot 100. The latter ranking marks the highest position on the Hot 100 for a Mainstream/Active Rock single since Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down” peaked at number 30 on the chart dated May 5, 2012, during that songs 23-week Hot 100 run. All of these rankings represent advancements on the provided charts following Billboard’s Rock Music Editor Keith Rutherford piece on this genre-bending smash March 10, 2016.
Keep tracking Disturbed’s ‘The Sound of Silence’
Please keep tracking the continued chart impacts from Disturbed’s “The Sound of Silence” following the song’s Monday night performance on “Conan” by visiting the Billboard, All Access, Kworb, and Live Pop Bars websites. Local Tampa Bay radio stations currently spinning “The Sound of Silence” include 98 Rock and 97X.