Macarena (song)

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"Macarena"
MacarenaLosDelRio.jpg
One of the 1993 early releases
Single by Los del Río
from the album A mí me gusta and Fiesta Macarena
Released1993
Format
Recorded1992; 1994
Genre
Length3:51 (Bayside Boys mix) (Radio edit)
4:12 (Bayside Boys mix)
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)
  • Rafael Ruiz Perdigones
  • Antonio Romero Monge
  • SWK
Producer(s)Los del Río
Los del Río singles chronology
"Macarena"
(1993)
"Macarena Christmas"
(1996)

"Macarena" (Spanish pronunciation: [makaˈɾena]) is a Spanish dance song by Los del Río about a woman who cheats on her boyfriend while he is being drafted into the army.[2] Appearing on the 1993 album A mí me gusta, it was an international hit and dance craze in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 and continues to be a popular dance at weddings, parties, and sporting events. One of the most iconic examples of 1990s dance music, it was ranked the "#1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time" by VH1 in 2002. The song uses a type of clave rhythm. In 2012, it was ranked as the No. 7 on Billboard's All Time Top 100. It also ranked at No. 1 on Billboard's All Time Latin Songs.[3][4]

Composition[edit]

Macarena's composition features a variant on the clave rhythm.[5][6] The song is written in the key of A♭ major, moves at a tempo of 103 beats per minute, and follows the repeated chord progression A♭–G♭ throughout.[7]

Origin and history[edit]

As a result of their lounge act, Los del Río were invited to tour South America in March 1992 and, while visiting Venezuela, they were invited to a private party held by the Venezuelan empresario Gustavo Cisneros. Many prominent Venezuelans were in attendance that night, including former president Carlos Andrés Pérez.[citation needed]

Cisneros had arranged for a local flamenco teacher, Diana Patricia Cubillán Herrera, to do a small performance for the guests, and Los del Río were pleasantly surprised by Cubillán's dance skills. Spontaneously, Antonio Romero Monge, one half of the Los del Río duo, recited the song's chorus-to-be on the spot, as an accolade to Cubillán, but naming her "Ma'dalena" (Magdalena): "Dale a tu cuerpo alegría, Ma'dalena, que tu cuerpo e' pa' darle alegría y cosa' buena'" ("Give your body some joy, Magdalene, 'cause your body is for giving joy and good things to it"). In Andalusian culture labeling a woman "Magdalena" is to give her a faint association with Mary Magdalene's reportedly seedy past, and more accurately describes her as being sassy or sensuous.[8]

The refrain musically matches that of "'Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)", written by Melvin "Sy" Oliver and James "Trummy" Young, first recorded in 1939. The similarity is particularly apparent in the modernised version by the Fun Boy Three and Bananarama (1981).[citation needed]

Record breaking and worldwide impact[edit]

The song was originally recorded in 1992, and released in 1993 as a rumba. This was the first of six versions of the song that can be associated with Los del Río. Another version, a new flamenco rumba pop fusion theme with fully Spanish lyrics, attained significant success in Spain, Colombia and Mexico. It also became popular in Puerto Rico because of its use as an unofficial campaign theme song for then-governor Pedro Rosselló, who was seeking reelection under the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico's ticket. Being the base for many cruise ships, visitors to the island were constantly exposed to the song during their stay in Puerto Rico. This may explain how the song spread to—and became a hit in—cities with sizable Latino communities in the United States, particularly Miami, New York City and Los Angeles.

English-language remix[edit]

In mid-1996, the song became a worldwide hit roughly one year after the Bayside Boys (composed of Mike Triay and Carlos de Yarza) produced a remix of the song that added English lyrics.[9] Jammin Johnny Caride, a radio personality at Power 96 in Miami, first learned of the "Macarena" when clubgoers at a club where he worked as a deejay requested the song.[9] Caride brought the "Macarena" to his supervisors at Power 96 who asked him to create an English-language version of the song.[9]

Caride recruited his two partners at Bayside Records, Mike "In The Night" Triay and Carlos de Yarza, to remix the original song.[9] The new, English-language lyrics were written by Carlos de Yarza. The Bayside Boys, Triay and de Yarza, added a new dance beat specifically targeted to American and British[citation needed] audiences with English-language lyrics sung originally by a studio singer, then later during a concert tour by Carla Vanessa.[9] Vanessa accepted a fixed-fee contract for her participation and live performances, and so does not receive any residual performer royalties.[10] The finished version was called "Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)."[9] The Bayside Boys remix hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1996 and remained at the top of the chart for fourteen weeks.[9]

Popularity[edit]

The reworked "Macarena (Bayside Boys remix)" spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart,[9] one of the longest runs atop the Hot 100 chart in history. The single spent its final week at No. 1 on its 46th week on the chart, recorded as the latest No. 1 single in Hot 100 history. Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1996.[11] In the United Kingdom the song was released in June 1996 and peaked at No. 2 on 17 August 1996,[12] kept off the No. 1 spot by the huge popularity of the Spice Girls song "Wannabe."[13] In Australia, it was the number one song for 1996.

"Macarena" remained popular through 1996, but by the end of 1997, its popularity had diminished. The song stayed in the Hot 100 chart for 60 weeks, the longest reign among No. 1 songs, only surpassed fifteen years later by Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". The Bayside Boys remix includes a sample from Yazoo (also known in the United States as Yaz) track "Situation"—the laughter of Yazoo vocalist Alison Moyet. The chorus uses female vocal samples previously used by the Farm in their song "Higher and Higher (Remix)" from their album, Spartacus. The Bayside Boys toured the U.S. and the world, and featured singer Carla Vanessa.

By 1997, the song had sold 11 million copies. While having only a 25% take in royalties from the song, Romero and Ruiz became immensely wealthy. According to the BBC News Service, during the year 2003 alone—a full decade after the song's initial release—Romero and Ruiz made US $250,000 in royalties.[a] Julio Iglesias is quoted as congratulating the duo personally: "My success singing in English from Miami is nothing compared to yours; coming out of Dos Hermanas with little international exposure elsewhere and selling these many records in Spanish takes two huge sets of cojones."[14]

In VH1's 2002 documentary 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders, "Macarena" was ranked as No. 1. "Macarena" was also ranked No. 1 on a different VH1 documentary, 40 Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs.

On America's Best Dance Crew, it was danced to on the Whack Track Challenge, given to the Ringmasters.

1996 Democratic National Convention[edit]

In the United States, the song, and its corresponding Macarena dance, became popular during the same week as the 1996 Democratic National Convention in August that year. C-SPAN filmed Delegates dancing to the song in an afternoon session, which years later became a popular view on YouTube.[15] Vice President Al Gore, having a reputation for stiffness, made a joke about doing the Macarena dance during his speech. He said, "I would like to demonstrate for you the Al Gore version of the Macarena," then remained motionless for a few seconds, and eventually asked, "Would you like to see it again?"[16]

Music videos[edit]

There are two different music videos. The most common one, based on the Bayside Boys Mix and directed by French director Vincent Calvet,[17] was created in 1996, featuring Los del Rio performing on a white backdrop. Ten women are also seen dancing with the band. Among them is Mia Frye, who choreographed the video. This version, where nine of the ten women lip sync the English lyrics, samples a line from The Graduate ("I am not trying to seduce you!") that had been earlier used by George Michael in "Too Funky", but was later removed due to possible copyright issues. The other, similar version of the music video was in black and white and was more instructional in that the women and men are clearly shown performing the specific dance moves.

Accolades[edit]

Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank
2000 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Dance Songs"[18] 84
2002 VH1 United States "Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time" 1
2009 Billboard United States "All Time Latin Songs" 1
2012 Billboard United States "All Time Top 100" 7
2014 Rolling Stone United States "20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 1990s"[19] 3
2017 Billboard United States "The 100 Biggest Summer Songs of All Time"[20] 27
2017 BuzzFeed United States "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the '90s"[21] 49
2017 Paste United States "The 60 Best Dancefloor Classics"[22] 60

Charts and certifications[edit]

"Macarena"[edit]

Chart (1993) Position
Spain (AFYVE)[23] 10

"Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)"[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[52] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[67] Platinum 50,000*
France (SNEP)[69] Diamond 910,000[68]
Germany (BVMI)[70] 3× Gold 750,000^
Sweden (GLF)[71] Gold 25,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[72] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[73] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[75] 4× Platinum 4,300,000[74]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

"Macarena Christmas"[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[76] 5
Belgium Dance (Ultratop)[77] 19
Denmark (IFPI)[78] 11
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[79] 12
France (SNEP)[80] 34
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[81] 31
Norway (VG-lista)[82] 16
Spain (AFYVE)[23] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[83] 40
US Billboard Hot 100[84] 57

Los Del Mar version[edit]

"Macarena"
Macarlosmar.jpg
Single by Los del Mar
from the album Macarena: The Hit Album
Released1996
Format
Recorded1995
Genre
Length3:49
LabelLime Inc.
Songwriter(s)
  • Rafael Ruiz Perdigones
  • Antonio Romero Monge
  • SWK
Producer(s)Los del Mar

The song was covered by Los del Mar with vocals by Pedro Castaño. This cover was very faithful to the River Fe-Mix.[citation needed]

It was first released in 1995 and then again at the same time as the original in the United Kingdom and Australia. In the UK it only reached No. 43 in the charts, but remained on the charts for almost two months; however, the Los del Rio version peaked at number two. In Australia, the Los del Mar version was more successful than in the United Kingdom, and peaked at No. 2 whilst the Los del Rio version was still at No. 1. In Canada, the Los del Mar version was quite popular on MuchMusic and top 40 radio in 1995, eclipsing the later popularity of the original.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced for the song. In it, a man (Wil Veloz) sits in his house with his cat, getting ideas for the dance by watching clips of children dancing to the song. Two people comes to his house with a made-up dance to it. Soon, more people come outdoors of his house, performing the Macarena line dance. A girl's body transfers to a CGI replica on a screen, doing the dance. From this point, the video focuses on everyone doing the dance from it while Veloz sings it. At the mark of 2 minutes and 50 seconds, a car comes near the house. Two men come out of it. In Spanish, they say (complete with captions) "Hey! Can everybody dance your Macarena?". Soon, they (and two doubles) join the dance, leading into a fade-out. This removes 20 seconds out of the song.

In Australia, the video was slightly re-edited. Clips of the outdoors dancing part appear during the earlier part of the video, and the video ends on the shot of the car, slowed down a bit and freeze-framing. This removes 30 seconds out of the video.[citation needed]

Track listings[edit]

Australian CD single

  1. "Macarena" (Radio Mix) – 3:49
  2. "Macarena" (Bola Mix) – 6:08

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[52] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[98] Gold 250,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other remixes, covers and parodies[edit]

MC Rage parody[edit]

MC Rage released the single "Fuck Macarena" in November 1996. It is a hardcore techno parody of Los del Río's "Macarena" and mocks the original version's lyrics, as do the dancers in the music video. MC Rage sings vulgar mocking lyrics as an outburst against the huge success of "Macarena". It peaked at number 7 in the Dutch Top 40 on 27 December 1996, and at number 8 in the Dutch Mega Top 100 on 25 January 1997.[99][100] The song has a music video featuring gabber ravers dancing hakken.

The GrooveGrass Boyz version[edit]

In 1997, The GrooveGrass Boyz recorded a country music version of the "Macarena", with re-written lyrics.[101] This rendition peaked at number 70 on the Hot Country Songs charts and number 7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100. This version was released on Imprint Records and sold over 80,000 copies.[102]

Physics parody regarding the holographic principle[edit]

At the Strings 1998 conference in Santa Barbara about string theory, shortly after the publication of the paper "Anti De Sitter Space And Holography" by Edward Witten, Jeffrey A. Harvey composed a parody song "The Maldecena" about the Holographic principle.[103][104]


References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Antonio Burgos claims that the song generated 1.5 billion Spanish pesetas or US $8.9 million, at the exchange rate from the time the peseta was replaced by the euro (167 pesetas was equal to $1 United States dollar).
Notes
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External links[edit]