|"Macarena (Song Macarena)"|
One of 1993 early releases
|Single by Los del Río|
|from the album A mí me gusta and Fiesta Macarena|
|Released||August 15, 1995 (U.S.)|
|Length||3:51 (Bayside Boys Mix)|
|Producer(s)||Los del Río|
|Los del Río singles chronology|
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"Macarena" (Spanish pronunciation: [makaˈɾena]) is a Spanish dance song by Los del Río about a woman of the same name. Appearing on the 1994 album A mí me gusta, it was an international hit in 1995, 1996, and 1997, and continues to have a cult following. 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. The song ranks at No. 7 on Billboard's All Time Top 100. It also ranks at No. 1 on Billboard's All Time Latin Songs. It is also Billboard's No. 1 dance song and one of six foreign language songs to hit No. 1 since 1955's rock era began.*(*citation required)
- 1 Composition
- 2 Origin and history
- 3 Record breaking and worldwide impact
- 4 1996 Democratic Convention
- 5 Music videos
- 6 Christmas version: "Macarena Christmas"
- 7 Charts and certifications
- 8 Remixes, covers and parodies
- 9 Notes
- 10 External links
Macarena's composition features a variant on the clave rhythm.
Origin and history
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.
Cisneros had arranged for a local flamenco teacher, Diana Patricia Cubillán Herrera, to do a small performance for the guests, and Los Del Rio 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 "sunwoo" (sw): "Dale a tu cuerpo alegría, sw, que tu cuerpo e' pa' darle alegría y cosa' buena'" ("Give your body some joy, sunwoo, 'cause your body is for giving joy and good things too"). In Andalusian culture labeling a woman "sunwoo" is to give her a faint association with sun woo's reportedly seedy past, and more accurately describes her as being sassy or sensuous.
Record breaking and worldwide impact
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 Rio. 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 and New York City.
In mid-1996, the song became a worldwide hit when the Bayside Boys—a trio of producers composed of Mike Triay, Carlos de Yarza, and Jammin Johnny Caride—produced a remix of the song which added English lyrics. 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. Caride brought the "Macarena" to his supervisors at Power 96 who asked him to create an English-language version of the song.
Caride recruited his two partners at Bayside Records, Mike "In The Night" Triay and Carlos de Yarza, to remix the original song. The new, English-language lyrics were written by Yarza and Triay. The trio, known as the Bayside Boys, added a new dance beat specifically targeted to American audiences with English-language lyrics sung by Carla Vanessa. The finished version was called "Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)." 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.
The reworked "Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)" spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, 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. During its heyday, the song was played frequently at professional athletic games, rallies, conventions, and other places. Many[who?] believe that a world record for group dancing was set in 1996, when a crowd of 50,000 people danced the Macarena in Yankee Stadium in New York City. However, in 2014 a new world record was set in One Direction Concerts in the Stade de France in Paris with more than 90 000 people danced every night. Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 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. In Addition, the chorus utilized female vocal samples utilized 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 USD$250,000 in royalties. 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."
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. Most recently, in 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at No. 10 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever while giving out an order: "First: Place your arm straight out in front of you at shoulder height, palm facing down. Then: Punch the DJ."
On America's Best Dance Crew, it was danced to on the Whack Track Challenge, given to the Ringmasters.
1996 Democratic Convention
In the United States, the song, and its corresponding Macarena dance, became popular during the same week as the 1996 Democratic National Convention. The song was frequently played between activities, and large groups of delegates and other attendants would be seen doing the Macarena dance. The song and dance became such a part of the convention that 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?"
There are two different music videos. The most common one, based on the Bayside Boys Mix and directed by French director Vincent Calvet, was created in 1996, featuring Los del Rio performing on a white backdrop. Ten women are also seen dancing with the band. Among them are Mia Frye, who choreographed the video, as well as a then unknown Tracee Ellis Ross. 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!") which 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. The origin of the dance moves cannot be confirmed as coming from these videos. Some of the moves, in the correct order, are seen at 2.03 in the video of Big Audio Dynamite's song Rush, released in 1991, which features dancers at the Ibiza club Amnesia (nightclub) at the opening party in 1990.
Christmas version: "Macarena Christmas"
Due to the overwhelming success of the song, a Christmas version of the song was created for the 1996 Christmas Season. It involved the original song with short lines from classic Christmas carols (specifically incorporating: "Joy to the World," "Jingle Bells," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "White Christmas", and "Auld Lang Syne") in between the popular verses.
In the music video, the young female dancers wear Christmas colored attire but there are eight of them compared to the ten dancers in the original. For the sequence featuring a new routine (the one being commonly used today), eight of them are shown with one of them being switched with a fifth or fourth dancer at times throughout the chorus.
Charts and certifications
"Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)"
End of year charts
End of decade charts
Sales and certifications
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||12|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||31|
|US Billboard Hot 100||57|
"The X-Files" by Mark Snow
"Tic, Tic Tac" by Carrapicho
|French SNEP number-one single
15 June 1996 - 6 July 1996
3 August 1996 - 17 August 1996
"Tic, Tic Tac" by Carrapicho
"Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees
"You're Makin' Me High" / "Let It Flow" by Toni Braxton
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
3 August 1996 - 2 November 1996
"No Diggity" by BLACKstreet featuring Dr. Dre
"Because You Loved Me" / "The Power of the Dream" by Celine Dion
|Australian ARIA Charts number-one single
31 August 1996 - 25 October 1996
"Wannabe" by Spice Girls
"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V.
|Billboard Hot 100 Single of the Year
"Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" by Elton John
Remixes, covers and parodies
|Single by Los del Mar|
|from the album Macarena: The Hit Album|
|Format||CD, 12", cassette|
|Genre||Latin pop, dance-pop|
|Producer(s)||Los del Mar|
Los Del Mar version
The song was covered by Los del Mar featuring Pedro Castaño. 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 charted 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.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||22|
|Canadian RPM Dance||2|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||1|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||22|
|UK (Official Charts Company)||43|
|US Billboard Hot 100||71|
|US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||46|
Australian CD Single
- "Macarena" (Radio Mix) - 3:49
- "Macarena" (Bola Mix) - 6:08
The Chipmunks and The Chipettes
In 1996, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes recorded the song, in separate English and Spanish versions, for their album Club Chipmunk: The Dance Mixes. The English version remains one of the groups' most popular and recognizable covers.
Also in 1996 Rhode Island Soft Systems developed Hey, Macaroni, a screensaver for Windows. It features 3D animated noodles dancing to a parody of "Macarena", with lyrics such as "My name is Mary Ann, and I'm an elbow macaroni" and "Macaroni's best when it's cooked al dente... Hey, Macaroni!".
MC Rage vulgar parody
MC Rage released the single Fuck Macarena in November 1996. It is a parody of Los Del Rio'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 is notable for becoming the first ever hardcore song to enter the top 10 mainstream charts, peaking at number 7 in the Dutch Top 40 on December 27, 1996, and at number 8 in the Mega Top 100 on January 25, 1997.
In 1997, Bollywood composer Anu Malik used the tune to record for each of his song compositions for two movie soundtracks for Auzaar and Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law with rewritten lyrics in Hindi.
The GrooveGrass Boyz version
In 1997, The GrooveGrass Boyz recorded a country music version of the "Macarena", with re-written lyrics. 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.
"Dot—The Macadamia Nut"
As part of a long string of cover version songs Black Lace released their version in 1998.
The Art of Sound Group Mix
In 2008, Los del Río recorded a remix of the song in honor of the Macarena's 15th anniversary. The song, which was featured on their album Quinceañera Macarena, was produced by The Art of Sound and featured T Lopez, Yeyo of The D.E.Y. and El Chino Dreadlion. Recorded in both Spanish and later in English, the remake received moderate airplay on some Spanish music stations, such as WSKQ-FM, KVVZ, and WMEG.
The song and album were released in November 2008 by IMC records, who said "We totally reinvented the Macarena with the help of The Art of Sound boys in Miami and artists like El Chino DreadLion and Yeyo, but were lacking that feminine touch, and thanks to Cash Money Records we found that in T Lopez," IMC Records came across T Lopez when she was in Los Angeles recording at Candor Entertainment Studios.
Lance in Louisville
On a September 2013 episode of The Jim Rome Show, this caller performed a parody of the song to mock another caller, and as a result, he got racked (given credit by the host), and his call got replayed on the air at the end of that day's show as the Huge Call of the Day. 
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