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....