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Forget 'Friday' -- here are 4 viral Web tunes we actually like

Doug Gross
Mad at the Web over Rebecca Black's "Friday"? Don't forget it also gave us bright spots like Grammy-nominated "I'm on a Boat."
Mad at the Web over Rebecca Black's "Friday"? Don't forget it also gave us bright spots like Grammy-nominated "I'm on a Boat."
  • Two weeks in, Rebecca Black's much-reviled "Friday" shows no signs of going away
  • But Web has brought us good songs, too: See "I'm on a Boat" and Cee Lo Green's "F--- You"
  • OK Go's "Here It Goes Again" is the epitome of viral success -- treadmills and all

(CNN) -- We're two weeks in and Rebecca Black "Friday" fever shows no signs of breaking.

The 13-year-old aspiring pop star's YouTube video, which went viral largely due to people savaging it as one of the worst songs ever, is threatening to hit a staggering 50 million views.

She's appeared on "Good Morning America" and "The Tonight Show," and the song just debuted at No. 72 on Billboard's pop charts.

We can't endorse some of the online nastiness that's been directed at this teenager (nastiness which, it must be said, helped propel the song onto the Web's radar).

But it's beginning to look like we might have to hear the droning, repetitive, auto-tuned refrain of "Friday ... Friday ..." at least once every seven days for the rest of our lives. (Some co-workers were even playing here at CNN last Friday afternoon.)

It's enough to make you mad at the internet for unleashing what could become its most viral earworm ever. So, to bolster your musical spirits, here are a handful of songs that we actually like -- and that we may have never heard without some help from the viral Web.

1. "Here It Goes Again," OK Go

If there's a more classic case of a song, or band, succeeding because of the Web, we don't know about it.

The indie rockers had recorded two albums but weren't really feeling the love from their record label when, in 2006, they posted a self-made video (which the label had turned down) on YouTube.

That was more than 50 million page views ago.

(The exact number is hard to tell. A licensing dispute got the original version pulled down.)

The video, as anyone with access to the internet has probably seen, features the band's four members in some complex choreography atop a set of treadmills. And as the treadmills attracted viewers, the infectious hook-laden tune recruited listeners.

These days, the band continues to crank out creative Web videos, signaling a new era of music marketing as much, or more, than any other pop group.

2. "F--- You," Cee Lo Green

It went on to achieve mega-hit status, getting a radio-friendly "Forget You" reworking and achieving that pinnacle of pop relevance -- a cover on "Glee."

But the buzz for Cee Lo's profane piece of funk-soul awesomeness started online in August when he posted an unofficial video that featured nothing but lyrics scrolling by on brightly colored screens.

It got the Facebook and Twitter treatment, racking up a respectable 9 million views on YouTube before the official video was released about 10 days later. (Note: Clicking the link to either video leads to fairly constant stream of soulful profanity.)

With its forbidden lyrics, the Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley alum's song was never going to get the kind of traction on radio that it did on the Web.

3. "I'm on a Boat," The Lonely Island

Andy Samberg and friends were junior-high buddies writing skits long before their digital shorts were making their way onto "Saturday Night Live."

But even with exposure on the venerable comedy show, it's the Web where their parody tunes take off.

Since 2005, Lonely Island songs such as "Lazy Sunday," "Like a Boss" and "The Creep" have been exposed to a couple of million viewers on Saturday night, then shared with tens of millions more on the Web. (And those are just the ones that we can mention the titles of.)

"I'm on a Boat" is the group at its best, joining with auto-tune maestro T-Pain for a pitch-perfect sendup of modern rap.

The profanity-laced song racked up more than 54 million views on YouTube, with its cleaned-up version adding another 5.5 million.

Amazingly, it even earned a Grammy nomination for best rap/sung collaboration.

4. "70 Million," Hold Your Horses

This one hasn't racked up the enormous numbers of some of the others listed here. (The fact there are several different versions on YouTube and spread out on other sites doesn't help.)

But what are the odds that millions of Americans would have heard this jangly pop tune by an French indie band without the magic of the Web?

The video for "70 Million" is a creative, colorful collage of scenes in which band members reconstruct images from famous paintings, from Michelangelo to Magritte.

It made the social-networking rounds last year, challenging viewers to a game of "name that painting" while exposing them to a fun, quirky song at the same time.


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