Blue (Da Ba Dee)
|"Blue (Da Ba Dee)"|
|Single by Eiffel 65|
|from the album Europop|
|Released||October 7, 1998|
|Eiffel 65 singles chronology|
"Blue (Da Ba Dee)" is a song by Italian music group Eiffel 65. It was first released in October 7, 1998 in Italy by Bliss Corporation and became internationally successful the following year. It is the lead single of their debut album Europop. The song is the group's most popular single, reaching number one in many countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, New Zealand, Israel, Lebanon, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Australia, Austria, Greece, Germany, and Hungary, as well as reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in January 2000.
In the United Kingdom, the song originally entered the top 40 purely on import sales; it was only the third single to do this. The song also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 2001 Grammy Awards, two years after it was released.
Writing and production
"Blue", written by Eiffel 65 lead singer Jeffrey Jey, keyboardist Maurizio Lobina, and producer Massimo Gabutti, it was known for Underground Warriors, was inspired by group member Maurizio Lobina's composed opening piano hook. The producers of the song then came up with the idea for a dance song. Jey stated that his inspiration for the lyrics was how a person picked his lifestyle. The colour blue as the main theme of the song was picked at random, with Lobina telling him to write nonsensical lyrics. Gabutti came up with the "da ba dee" hook. The pitch-shifted vocal effect used in the song was created with a harmonizer.
Lyrics and composition
The song's lyrics tell a story about a man who lives in a "blue world." It is also stated he is "blue inside and outside," which, along with the lyric "himself and everybody around 'cause he ain't got nobody to listen," and "blue are the feelings that live inside me" may indicate that the term blue represents his emotional state; however, the song also states that a vast variety of what he owns is also blue, including his house and his car ("a blue Corvette"): various blue-coloured objects are also depicted on the single's cover. The song's hook is the sentence "I'm blue," followed by a repetition of the sounds "da ba dee da ba daa", which the hook is based around. This sound shared by related compositions such as "Around the World (La La La La La)" by ATC that surfaced around the same time.
The song received mixed reviews from critics. Billboard wrote that "the hook here, with its dancy but curiously compelling singsongy rhythm and lyric, is destined to react instantly with listeners far and wide." They also noted that it has a "euro sound" and "it's creative, it will affect listeners on both ends of the demographic spectrum, and it's anthemic." Entertainment Weekly positively reviewed the song, calling the song "a fleeting, feel-good foot-tapper" and gave the song a rating of B-. The Daily Vault's Christopher Thelen described it as a "quirky little hit" with a "bouncy chorus". He also noted that "the key is the use of the voice synthesizer". PopMatters reviewer Chris Massey, in his review of Europop, described his initial reaction to the song as being "really, really bad." However, he later stated in the review that after many repeated listenings of the song he "loved it." AllMusic editor Jose F. Promis described the song as a "hypnotic smash" in his review of Europop.
Rolling Stone, however, in their review of Europop, gave the song a negative review, stating that the song "blends Cher-esque vocoder vocals, trance-like synth riffs, unabashed Eurodisco beats and a baby-babble chorus so infantile it makes the Teletubbies sound like Shakespeare." The magazine also placed the song on their list of the "20 Most Annoying Songs," at No. 14.
The single, released in October 1998, was a chart-topper in many European countries. The song initially found success in France, where it debuted in August 1999 and reached number one for three weeks. It then found success in other European countries, reaching the top spot on many charts in September the same year, including Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and many other countries. It replaced "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega on many of these charts at the top spot. In the United Kingdom, the song spent three weeks at the top of the singles chart in September and October, eventually becoming the second biggest selling single of that year in the country behind "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears.
The song also found success in other regions, including Oceania and North America: it reached number one in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It became a top ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, reaching number six. It became the highest charting Italian song in the United States since Al di là by Emilio Pericoli that also peaked at six in 1962.
The music video for the song was released in 1999 by BlissCoMedia, a computer graphics division of Bliss Corporation, known at the time the video was produced and released as BlissMultiMedia.
Like much of the Bliss Corporation's music videos, this one was done in a green screen garage studio at BlissCoMedia, and it featured computer-generated graphics that were done in 3ds Max. With very few resources, tutorials and books, and only one editing machine, the video was made between 1998 and 1999 in a garage in about 2 to 3 months, much like other videos made by BlissCo.
Former BlissCo employee Davide La Sala has stated about coming up with the story for the video: "We had brainstorming sessions and we were a very imaginative team, huge fans of sci-fi movies and video games: Blade Runner, Star Wars, etc… we were master in doing our best and working with the few tools we had to create complete short stories in a very short period of time."
Similar to other music videos by BlissCo, a total of five people worked on this video. The green-screen footage was done in a short amount of time, and some of it was put into a computer generated 3D environment, while components of the band were also shot. La Sala said, "We were very flexible but every person in the team had his own special skill who was more towards motion graphics, design and editing, others more skilled in architectural design and me and the CEO experts in animation."
The video takes place on Tukon4, where lead singer Jeffrey Jey is abducted by blue aliens Zorotl and Sayok6 during a concert. The aliens then proceed to leave Earth with him. Group members Maurizio Lobina and Gabry Ponte chase after them in their own small spacecraft, and eventually both ships arrive on the blue aliens' planet via a portal.
It is then shown that Jey was abducted to perform in a concert for the aliens, with him singing the same song he was about to sing when he was taken. He slowly realises that the crowd is composed entirely of strange blue beings, which are known as Tukonians, and becomes increasingly concerned.
After fighting off a number of alien guards using martial arts and several energy-based, psionic abilities, including force lightning, Lobina and Ponte succeed in rescuing Jey. While leaving the planet, they are asked to return by the aliens. They oblige, and spend the remaining duration of the video performing a concert for the blue-skinned extraterrestrials with Zorotl joining them on stage, creating a friendship between the band and the creatures. These events possibly lead into the scenario in the music video for "Move Your Body".
The events in the video share no relation to the song's lyrical content apart from the fact that the aliens all have blue skin.
Cover versions and samplings
German singer Max Raabe and Palast Orchester covered the song for his 2001 studio album Super Hits. A cover version was released on the 2006 Crazy Frog studio album More Crazy Hits. Flo Rida sampled the chorus of "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" in his 2009 single "Sugar". Dance music act Michael Mind Project used a sample of "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" in their 2012 single "Feeling So Blue". The single featuring Dante Thomas charted in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. The American country singer Coffey Anderson sampled from the song in his 2017 release "Bud Light Blue" also appearing in his 2018 album Country Style. In 2020, Italian rapper Shiva sampled the song in his single "Auto Blu".
Use in media
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The song has appeared in multiple films and television series. It was included in films such as Loser (2000), Big Fat Liar (2002), Iron Man 3 (2013), Mommy (2014), Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017), and Smallfoot (2018), the third instance during a flashback scene set in 1999, the year the song became popular. In television, it was used in Daria episode The F Word and in 90210 finale of season 1. On 15 March 2011 Ozone Entertainment released the song through the Rock Band Network. It is the first song on the service to incorporate the keyboard introduced in Rock Band 3. The song was also featured in an EDF Energy advertisement in 2015.
Formats and track listings
- Italy CD single 1999
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (DJ Ponte Ice Pop Mix) – 6:25
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (DJ Ponte Radio Edit) – 4:43
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Glamour Jump Mix) – 5:19
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Dub Mix) – 4:47
- German CD maxi-single
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Blue Ice Pop Radio Edit) – 3:39
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (DJ Ponte Ice Pop Mix) – 6:26
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Hannover Remix) – 6:24
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Dub Mix) – 4:48
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Ice Pop Instrumental Mix) – 6:27
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Blue Paris Remix) – 7:42
|Australia (ARIA)||3× Platinum||210,000^|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Platinum||30,000*|
|Belgium (BEA)||2× Platinum||100,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||45,000^|
|Germany (BVMI)||5× Gold||1,250,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||10,000*|
|Sweden (GLF)||3× Platinum||60,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||2× Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum||1,380,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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