Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (#5)

If you told me 15 years ago that these faces were capable of producing a monster hit that would spark the birth of a global dance revolution, I'd say: fat chance.  But the middle-aged duo of Antonio Romeo Monge and Rafael Ruiz, a.k.a. LOS DEL RIO, did just that with MACARENA.

The flamenco-pop song was actually recorded in Spain in 1993 (inspired by a dancer whom the two had seen perform in Venezuela).  Its growing popularity there led to a concert for the Pope, and prompted BMG execs in 1994 to license an American dance-club single remixed by the BAYSIDE BOYS.  Continued club play in cruise ships headed for Miami plus much buzz helped get the tune to No. 1 in Billboard's Hot 100 in 1996, spending 14 weeks there, though 3 full years after the original version was released.

MACARENA has penetrated pop culture in many ways.  Nickelodeon has produced an animated short of the song; dance instructors have proliferated the web with videos teaching us the moves; even Al Gore used it as a punch line during the Democratic National Convention in 1996.  See here two soldiers in Iraq keeping alive the MACARENA spirit:

But if you want to hear the music that accompanies the gestures, check out this video:

We're nearing the top spot of Billboard's Hot 100 of all time.  Do await our next installment.  No. 4 belongs to a singer who recorded the hit at age 14....

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