Lambada (song)

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"Lambada"
Lambada (cover).jpg
"Lambada" artwork
Single by Kaoma
from the album Worldbeat
ReleasedJuly 1989
Length3:28
LabelCBS, Epic
Songwriter(s)Los Kjarkas, Gonzalo & Ulises Hermosa-Gonzales
Producer(s)Jean-Claude Bonaventure
Kaoma singles chronology
"Lambada"
(1989)
"Dançando Lambada"
(1989)

"Lambada", also known as "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" or "Llorando Se Fue (Lambada)" (both meaning 'crying, he/she went away' in Portuguese and Spanish, respectively), is a song by French-Brazilian pop group Kaoma. It featured guest vocals by Brazilian vocalist Loalwa Braz, and was released as the first single from Kaoma's debut album, Worldbeat (1989). The accompanying music video, filmed on Cocos beach in the city of Trancoso, in the state of Bahia, Brazil featured the Brazilian child duo Chico & Roberta.

The song in Portuguese was a mix cover of the 1986 hit "Chorando Se Foi" by Márcia Ferreira (with lyrics translated to Portuguese) and the Cuarteto Continental hit "Llorando Se Fue" (the first upbeat version of the song introducing the accordion), released in 1984 through the Peruvian record label INFOPESA and produced by Alberto Maraví;[1][2] both songs were adapted from the 1981 Bolivian song "Llorando se fue" by Los Kjarkas.

At the time of release, "Lambada" was regarded as the most successful European single in the history of CBS Records, with sales of 1.8 million copies in France and more than 4 million across Europe.[3] Overall, "Lambada" sold 5 million copies worldwide in 1989 alone according to the New York Times.[4] However, the Kaoma group did not credit the original song of Los Kjarkas, turning their version into plagiarism and ending with lawsuits that would be won by the original authors of the song, the Bolivian group and their Portuguese-language co-authors.[4][5]

Background and release[edit]

The lyrics and music of Kaoma's "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" were an unauthorized translation of the song "Llorando se fue", originally composed, performed and recorded by the Bolivian Andean folk group Los Kjarkas in 1981.[6][7] The song's lyrics and music had been lawfully registered by the founding members of Los Kjarkas, Gonzalo and Ulises Hermosa, in 1981 at the Bolivian Institute of Culture (IBC) and in 1985 at Germany's Music and Authors Society (GEMA).[8] The unauthorized copy by Kaoma, which was credited to fictitious composer Chico de Oliveira,[9] led to a successful 1990 lawsuit by Los Kjarkas against Kaoma's producer Jean-Claude Bonaventure.[6] In 1991, French court ruled that co-writers Márcia Ferreira and José Ari were the authors of the Portuguese translation for Kaoma's version.[5][10] Nowadays, "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" is credited to the Hermosa brothers (as authors), Alberto Maraví, Márcia Ferreira and José Ari.[11]

According to Gonzalo, Los Kjarkas had based "Llorando Se Fue" on a small, nostalgic Andean melody. Their song was written in a sad and slow Afro-Bolivian Saya rhythm.[12]

Prior to Kaoma's 1989 release of the song, several covers of "Llorando se fue" had been released as dance tracks:

  • 1984 – Cuarteto Continental from the LP Fiesta de Cumbias[13]
  • 1984 – Armonia 10 from the LP El Chinchorro, Vol. 2[14][15]
  • 1984 – Sexteto Internacional from the LP Mas Sexteto[16][17]
  • 1984 – Tropical Pingüino[18][19]
  • 1984 – Wilkins from the album Una Historia Importante – 15 Grandes Exitos[20]
  • 1984 – Chacalón y la Nueva Crema from the EP Llorando se fue/Llorando y sufriendo[21]
  • 1984 – Grupo Trebol from the LP Tropical Andino[22]
  • 1985 – Freddy Roland from the LP Chicha Up[23]
  • 1985 – Juan "Corazón" Ramón from the album Cada Día Mejor[24]
  • 1985 – Don Medardo y sus Player from the album Lo Mejor del Año, Vol.4[25]
  • 1985 – Vico y su Grupo Karicia from the LP Voz y sentimiento[26][27]
  • 1986 – Márcia Ferreira[28][29][30]
  • 1986 – Los Graduados from the album Flor de un día[31]
  • 1986 – Pastor López from the album Cumbia Universal[32][33]
  • 1987 – Sonora Andacollo from the album Norte Tropical – Lambada[34]
  • 1988 – Los Hermanos Rosario from the album Otra Vez[35]
  • 1988 – Ana Morena from the compilation album Baila Baila Baila, Vol. 2[36][37]
  • 1988 – Tropicalismo Apache from the album Exitos Quemantes
  • 1989 – Los Flamers from the album Gran Reventon Gran, Vol. 5[38][39]

In 1984, an upbeat version of "Llorando Se Fue", introducing the accordion, was released by the Peruvian group Cuarteto Continental, whose arrangements (produced by Alberto Maraví) were later copied by Kaoma.[1][40] The first Portuguese translation and recording of "Llorando Se Fue" – as "Chorando Se Foi" – was released by Brazilian singer Márcia Ferreira in 1986 under her third album.[28]

The French managers Olivier Lorsac (aka Olivier Lamotte d'Incamps) and Jean Georgakarakos formed the band Kaoma in France after Lorsac was exposed to lambada in March 1988 during his visit to Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil. Lorsac and Georgakarakos bought the musical rights to over 400 lambada songs from the Brazilian music publisher Continental. Lorsac admitted he and Georgakarakos had heard a "remarkably similar" song by the Hermosa brothers, later recognized by French court to be Márcia Ferreira's hit cover version.[41][42][43][5]In France of 1989, Kaoma's song was used in a television advertisement for Orangina.[44]

Chart performance[edit]

"Lambada" became a worldwide summer hit, selling over 5 million copies in 1989[4] and was part of the Lambada dance craze. It reached No. 1 in eleven different charts, as well as No. 4 in both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart, No. 5 on the Australia ARIA Singles Chart, and in 1990[45] it reached No. 46 in the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of the best known Brazilian songs of all time.

As of 1991, combined sales of the album and the single have reached one million records sold in Italy.[46]

"Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" was the 37th best-selling single of the United Kingdom during 1989. In France, where it topped the chart for 12 weeks and sold almost two million copies, the single was No. 1 on the year-end list.

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Lambada" was filmed on stage on Tago Mago Island in the Mediterranean Sea and on Cocos Beach in the city of Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil. It featured the Brazilian child duo Chico & Roberta as love interests. As a semi-plot, Roberta's father does not want her to hang out with Chico, but Loalwa mends the situation among the three.[47]

Motion picture[edit]

The song was licensed by producer Richard L. Albert for his film The Forbidden Dance after he saw Kaoma perform in a Los Angeles club. Not only was Kaoma's rendition used, but the song was also performed by Kid Creole and the Coconuts on screen, with English lyrics.

Cover versions, samples and mentions[edit]

The song "Sochna Kya" from the 1990 Hindi film Ghayal copied the melody of "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)".[48]

Also in 1990, experimental rock band Sun City Girls covered the song for their album Torch of the Mystics with the title "The Shining Path."

The Japanese singer Akemi Ishii released a cover version in Japanese on 21 March 1990. It peaked at No. 16 on the Oricon charts and was re-recorded in 2011.[citation needed]

The Hong Kong DJ Aling Choi Ling Ling released a cover version ”人生嘉年華“ in Cantonese on 1990.

In 1994, the song was used in the Arcade video game 'Best of Best' by the korean company SunA.

Elephant Man released Hate Mi in 2004 which copies the melody of "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)"[49]

In France, "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" was covered by another group, Carioca, which peaked only at No. 22 on 9 September 1989 and remained in the charts for nine weeks.[50] It was also covered, around that time, by other Brazilian singers, such as Fafá de Belém, whose 1985 album Aprendizes da Esperança was an early exponent of the lambada rhythm. In that same year, a cover by Regina appeared on the album Lambada Tropical (credited to Chico Mendés) and on the compilation albums Max Mix 9[51] and Hits '89.[52][53]

The Turkish singer Cengiz Coşkuner recorded a version of "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)", with lyrics written by Ülkü Aker, it featured on his album Seni Gidi Seni & Kapris Yapma, which was released in 1990.[54] Another Turkish singer, Rüya Çağla, wrote and recorded a version for use as the title track of her album Lambada, also released in 1990.[55]

Ivete Sangalo recorded a version of "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" for her album As Super Novas, released as its third single, becoming number 1 in Brazil. She also recorded the song on her second live album.

Mariana Seoane recorded "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" in Spanish for her 2007 album Está de Fiesta... Atrévete!!.[56]

Seikima-II frontman Demon Kakka recorded "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" in Japanese/Spanish for his 2008 album GIRLS' ROCK Hakurai.[57]

The 2011 Jennifer Lopez single "On the Floor" sampled either "Lambada" by Kaoma, or the original "Llorando Se Fue" by Los Kjarkas.[58] "On The Floor" reached No. 3 in the Billboard Hot 100.[59] "On The Floor" itself would later be sampled by UK drill rappers A1 x J1 and Tion Wayne for their song "Night Away (Dance)", released in March 2022.[60]

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" single CBS

  1. "Lambada" – 3:28
  2. "Lambada" (instrumental) – 3:48
  1. "Lambada" (DJ Petro Panayoti aka Mixmaster Remix) 1989 – 4:50

12" maxi CBS

  1. "Lambada" (extended version) – 6:44
  2. "Lambada" (instrumental version) – 3:48
  3. "Lambada" (DJ Stigma-Berveni Remix) – 3:55
  1. "Lambada" (DJ Petro Panayoti Club Remix) 2019 – 6:00

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[93] Gold 35,000^
Belgium 300,000[94]
Canada (Music Canada)[95] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[96] Platinum 1,800,000[3]
Germany (BVMI)[97] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[98]
Physical single
2× Platinum 200,000^
Mexico 750,000[99]
Netherlands (NVPI)[100] Platinum 100,000^
Portugal (AFP)[101] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Sweden (GLF)[102] Platinum 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[103] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[104] Gold 400,000^
United States 2,000,000[3]
Summaries
Europe
1989-1990 sales
4,000,000[3]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Lambada 3000 (Gregor Salto remix)[edit]

"Lambada 3000"
Single by Gregor Salto & Kaoma
ReleasedJuly 20, 2009 (2009-07-20)
Recorded2009
GenreLatin house
Length2:53
LabelG-Rex Music
EMI Music (France)
Songwriter(s)Chico de Oliveira, Gonzalo Hermosa-Gonzales
Producer(s)Gregor Salto
Gregor Salto & Kaoma singles chronology
"Love Is My Game"
(2007)
"Lambada 3000"
(2009)
"Step By Step"
(2009)

In July 2009, a new Summer remixed version of the track by house and latin jazz DJ Gregor Salto called "Lambada 3000" (billed as Gregor Salto & Kaoma) was released in the Benelux. Loalwa Braz, the original singer of the song, was asked to provide new vocals for the remix. The track became Salto's second Top 20 hit in the Dutch Top 40, and third entry in the chart, peaking at #12. Its music video was shot on Curaçao and premiered in June 2009.

Track listings and formats[edit]

CD maxi single
No.TitleLength
1."Lambada 3000" (Radio Mix)2:53
2."Lambada 3000" (Olinda Radio Mix)3:35
3."Lambada 3000" (Original Club Mix)4:58
4."Lambada 3000" (Olinda Mix)6:40
5."Lambada 3000" (Arena Mix)7:41
Remixes, Part 1
No.TitleLength
1."Lambada 3000" (Bassjackers and Ralvero Remix)6:10
2."Lambada 3000" (Funkin Matt Remix)5:47
3."Lambada 3000" (Groovenatics Remix)6:27
4."Lambada 3000" (Jason Cheiron Mix)6:09
Remixes, Part 2
No.TitleLength
1."Lambada 3000" (Olav Basoski Remix)6:13
2."Lambada 3000" (Rishi Bass Remix)5:52
3."Lambada 3000" (Real El Canario Remix)5:45
4."Lambada 3000" (Wax-a-fix Remix)5:26

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[105] 8
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[106] 12

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