Lambada (song)

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Lambada (cover).jpg
"Lambada" artwork
Single by Kaoma
from the album Worldbeat
ReleasedJuly 1989
Format7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD single, CD maxi
Songwriter(s)Chico de Oliveira, Gonzalo Hermosa-Gonzales
Producer(s)Jean-Claude Bonaventure
Kaoma singles chronology
"Dançando Lambada"

"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 recorded by French-Brazilian pop group Kaoma. This song is part of many ethnic places and cultures such as Latin America and the Philippines. It features guest vocals by Brazilian vocalist Loalwa Braz. It was released as the first single from Kaoma's debut album Worldbeat. The video, filmed on Cocos beach in the city of Trancoso, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, features the Brazilian child duo Chico & Roberta.

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

At the time of release, the song 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. It is one of the greatest-selling singles of all time, having sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.[3]

Song information[edit]

The lyrics and music of Kaoma's "Chorando se foi (Lambada)" are an unauthorized translation of the song "Llorando se fue", originally composed, performed and recorded by the Bolivian Andean pop group Los Kjarkas in 1981.[4][5] The song's lyrics and music had been lawfully registered in 1985 by the founding members of Los Kjarkas – Gonzalo and Ulises Hermosa – in Germany's Music and Authors Society (GEMA). The unauthorized copy by Kaoma led to a successful 1990 lawsuit by Los Kjarkas against Kaoma's producer Jean-Claude Bonaventure.[4]

According to Gonzalo Hermosa, 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.[6]

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[7]
  • 1984 – Armonia 10 from the LP El Chinchorro, Vol. 2[8][9]
  • 1984 – Sexteto Internacional
  • 1984 – Tropical Pingüino[10][11]
  • 1984 – Wilkins from the album Una Historia Importante – 15 Grandes Exitos[12]
  • 1985 – Juan "Corazón" Ramón from the album Cada Día Mejor[13]
  • 1985 – Don Medardo y sus Player from the album Lo Mejor del Año, Vol.4[14]
  • 1985 – Vico y su Grupo Karicia from the LP Voz y sentimiento[15][16]
  • 1986 – Márcia Ferreira[17][18][ISBN missing]
  • 1986 – Los Graduados from the album Flor de un día[19]
  • 1987 – Sonora Andacollo from the album Norte Tropical – Lambada[20]
  • 1988 – Los Hermanos Rosario from the album Otra Vez[21]
  • 1988 – Ana Morena from the compilation album Baila Baila Baila, Vol. 2[22][23]
  • 1988 – Tropicalismo Apache from the album Exitos Quemantes
  • 1989 – Los Flamers from the album Gran Reventon Gran, Vol. 5[24][25]

In 1984 an upbeat version of the song introducing the accordion was released by the Peruvian group Cuarteto Continental, whose arrangements (produced by Alberto Maravi) were later copied by Kaoma.[1][26] The first Portuguese translation and recording of "Llorando se fue" – as "Chorando se foi" – was released by Brazilian singer-songwriter Márcia Ferreira (with co-writer José Ari) in 1986 under her third album.[17]

Nowadays the song is credited to the Hermosa brothers (authors), Alberto Maravi, Márcia Ferreira and José Ari.[27]

In France, the song was used in a television advertisement for Orangina.[28]

Chart performance[edit]

The single became a worldwide summer hit, selling over 5 million copies in 1989[29] and was part of the Lambada dance craze. It reached number one on eleven different charts, as well as number four on both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart, number five on the Australia ARIA Singles Chart, and in 1990[30] it hit number 46 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of the best known Brazilian songs of all time.

"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 the number-one on the year-end list.

Music video[edit]

The music video of the song was filmed on stage on Tago Mago Island in the Mediterranean Sea and on Cocos Beach in the city of Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil. It features the Brazilian child duo Chico & Roberta as love interests. Roberta's father does not want her to hang out with Chico, but Loalwa mends the situation among the three.[31]

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]

Owing to its huge success outside Brazil, "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)" was also recorded by Kaoma in English and Spanish.

The song "Sochna Kya" from the 1990 Hindi film Ghayal copies the melody of "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)."[32]

The Japanese singer Akemi Ishii released a cover version in Japanese on March 21, 1990. It peaked at number 16 on the Oricon charts, And re-recorded in 2011.

In France, the song was covered by another group, Carioca, which peaked only at number 22 on September 9, 1989 and remained on the chart for nine weeks.[33] 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. Also in 1989, a cover by Regina appeared on Chico Mendés' LP Lambada Tropical and on the compilation albums Max Mix 9[34] and Hits '89.[35][36]

The experimental band Sun City Girls recorded a freak folk cover entitled "The Shining Path" on their 1990 LP, Torch of the Mystics.

The Turkish singer Cengiz Coşkuner song it with lyrics was written by Ülkü Aker. It was found in his "Seni Gidi Seni & Kapris Yapma" album, which was released in 1990.[37]

The Turkish singer Rüya Çağla song it with lyrics was written by herself. It was found in her "Lambada" album, which was released in 1990[38]

Ivete Sangalo recorded a live version of the song as a bonus track for her 2005 album As Super Novas. It was released in November 2005 as the third single from the album. She also recorded the song on her second live album.

The British girl group Spice Girls mention "Lambada" - either the song or the dance - in their 1997 hit single "Spice Up Your Life". They further used an excerpt from the song in a remix version as the final song on their 2007–2008 reunion tour Return of the Spice Girls.

Danish Eurodance group Fem@le released a cover version of the song in 2000.[39]

The Danish electronic dance music act Aycan released a remixed cover of this song in 2006.[40]

Mariana Seoane recorded the song in Spanish on her 2007 album Está de Fiesta... Atrévete!!.[41]

Seikima-II frontman Demon Kakka recorded the song in Japanese/Spanish on his 2008 album GIRLS' ROCK Hakurai.[42]

Also a Russian song that uses the famous sample sung by Svetylana Svetykova (Светлана Светикова) Ft. Salsa Boys called "Lambada".

In 2010, the Reggaeton singer Don Omar recorded a Spanish version of the song titled "Taboo" included on his album Meet the Orphans.

Jennifer Lopez's single "On the Floor" samples Kaoma's Lambada. The single hit #3 on Billboard Hot 100.[43]

In 2011, the Mexican singer Anahí recorded a live version of the song as a bonus track for her tour MDWT Go Any Go, on Brazil and Mexico.

A variation of the song appears in the game Parasol Stars as the game's Boss Music.

The song's melody is also used as a theme for ice cream trucks.

The dance is also mentioned on season 1 episode 10 of The French Prince of Bel Air: Kiss My Butler (5 Nov. 1990) when Geoffrey is accused of doing "...the forbidden dance."

There is a Sinhalese cover version named "Adare Oba Ma Hata" by Mariazelle Gunathilake and Piyal Perera.

Two Persian DJs, Amir Acid and Mehran created a Farsi version of this song with the same name "Lambada".

Arezo Nikbin, An Afghan artist created a Afghan version of the song with the name "دل به دلبر می‌رسد جانم".

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" single CBS
  1. "Lambada" – 3:28
  2. "Lambada" (instrumental) – 3:48
12" maxi CBS
  1. "Lambada" (extended version) – 6:44
  2. "Lambada" (instrumental version) – 3:48
  3. "Lambada" (Dj Stigma-Berveni remix) – 3:55

Charts and certifications[edit]

Lambada 3000 (Gregor Salto remix)[edit]

"Lambada 3000"
Single by Gregor Salto & Kaoma
ReleasedJuly 20, 2009 (2009-07-20)
FormatDigital EP
CD single
12" single
GenreLatin house
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"
"Lambada 3000"
"Step By Step"

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
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
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
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


Chart (2009) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[79] 8
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[80] 12


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External links[edit]