Call me out-of-touch, but I only found out today who Rebecca Black is and just now viewed her paradigm-shattering YouTube video "Friday" (which has been watched by one million viewers since I last brushed my teeth).
But here's the reverse problem: young audiences are so disconnected from the past—and unaware of the roots of popular music—that many are unaware of the original Dylan version of "Friday."
To be fair, Black's version—with some innovative lyrical embellishments— hits emotional peaks you might not hear in Dylan's 1962 performance. But cultural fossil that I am, I nevertheless prefer the stark urgency of the stripped-down guitar-and-vocal rendition by a young Dylan who was just beginning to explore his Rimbaud-influenced, impressionistic lyrical palette.
Interestingly, the song he recorded after "Friday" was not—as we would expect—"Saturday" (because Dylan loved to pull the rug out from under us). Instead he chose to record "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" which nevertheless picks up on the dark, apocalyptic imagery hinted at in "Friday."
Ironies abound here. Based on her immediate appeal to the YouTube universe and the pre-teen schoolyard demographic, Black's career will likely eclipse Dylan's by Tuesday afternoon, even as she tries to reproduce his cerebral approach! (The test will come with her release of "Visions of Johanna" later in the week.) But the business lesson here should never surprise us: Quality is timeless.