Mambo No. 5

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"Mambo No. 5"
Song by Pérez Prado
Released 1950
Genre Mambo, jive dance
Length 3:42
Songwriter(s) Dámaso Pérez Prado

"Mambo No. 5" is a mambo and jazz dance song originally recorded and composed by Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado in 1949.[1]

The song's popularity was renewed by German artist Lou Bega's sampling of the last 30 seconds of the original, released under the same name on Bega's 1999 debut album A Little Bit of Mambo.[2]

Lou Bega version[edit]

"Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)"
Mambo No. 5 (Lou Bega single - cover art).jpg
Single by Lou Bega
from the album A Little Bit of Mambo
Released 19 April 1999
Format CD, maxi and 7" 45 rpm single
Recorded 1998
Genre Latin pop, Jive[3]
Length 5:14 (extended version)
3:39 (radio edit)
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) Lou Bega, Dámaso Pérez Prado, Zippy Davids
Producer(s) Goar B, Frank Lio, Donald Fact, Peter Meisel
Lou Bega singles chronology
"Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)"
(1999)
"I Got a Girl"
(1999)

Lou Bega's cover was a hit in the United Kingdom[4] and in Australia, where it reached number-one in 1999. It stayed at number-one in Australia for eight weeks, ultimately becoming the best-selling single of 1999.[5] It also topped almost every chart in continental Europe, including Bega's home country, Germany, and set a record by staying at number-one in France for 20 weeks (longer than any stay at the top spot ever on the US or UK charts).[citation needed] The song reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US on 2 November 1999, giving Bega his only Top 40 hit in the US.[6]

With its worldwide success, the song became the subject of a seven-year copyright trial between Prado's estate, Peermusic, and Lou Bega's producers. Bega had only used riffs (which by German law cannot be registered for copyright) from Prado's original and written the entire lyrics, so Bega's producers went to court in order to gain access to all the song's proceedings from Peermusic representing Prado's estate. However, after seven years the Federal Court of Justice of Germany ruled in favor of Peermusic and Prado's estate in 2008, based upon the fact that Bega's producers had sought a royalty agreement with Peermusic prior to releasing the song. Because of Bega's significant contributions to his version, the court's final ruling declared it a new song co-written by Prado and Bega.[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Jorn Heitmann, features Lou Bega singing and dancing with flappers, possibly a homage to the music of the 1920s and 1930s. The video includes clips of old-style movies and newsreels showing trumpets, big bands and the like. The Disney version of the music video features Lou Bega performing against a white background with a live band, and the women's names are replaced with names of Disney characters. Footage of Mickey Mouse Works cartoons and clips of Lou Bega performing against a checkered background is intercut throughout the video.

Track listings[edit]

CD single

  1. "Mambo No. 5" (Radio Edit) – 3:39
  2. "Mambo No. 5" (Extended Mix) – 5:14
  3. "Mambo No. 5" (Enhanced CD-ROM Video) - 3:42

Maxi single

  1. "Mambo No. 5" (Radio Edit) – 3:39
  2. "Mambo No. 5" (Extended Mix) – 5:14
  3. "Mambo" (Havanna Club Mix) – 5:48
  4. "Mambo" (The Trumpet) – 6:01

7" 45 rpm single

  1. "Mambo No. 5" (Radio Edit) - 3:39
  2. "Beauty on the TV Screen" - 4:03[8]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Release date
Germany 19 April 1999 (1999-04-19)
Worldwide 17 August 1999 (1999-08-17)
Re-recorded 1 January 2009 (2009-01-01)

Bob the Builder version[edit]

"Mambo No. 5"
BobtheBuilderMamboNo5.jpg
Single by Bob the Builder
from the album Bob the Builder: The Album
Released 3 September 2001
Format CD single
Genre Pop, novelty[63]
Length 3:14
Label BBC
Producer(s) Grant Mitchell
Bob the Builder singles chronology
"Can We Fix It?"
(2000)
"Mambo No. 5"
(2001)

In 2001, BBC Records released a novelty version of the song sung by British actor Neil Morrissey, who provided the voice for the children's television show Bob the Builder. This cover made radical changes to the lyrics to fit the theme of the show, making numerous references to construction, repairs and roadway maintenance, as well as the shows' characters, who provide background vocals. The female names from Bega's version are also replaced with types of construction supplies and building tasks (e.g. timber, saw, waterproofing, tiling).

Upon release, the song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Bob the Builder's second number-one single there after "Can We Fix It?". The song experienced major success in Australia and Ireland. In the former country, the song debuted at number three on the ARIA Singles Chart on 4 November 2001 and reached number two on 18 November, held off the top spot by Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal". After staying at number two for another week, the song began to leave the chart, spending nine more weeks in the top 50. In Ireland, the song first appeared on the Irish Singles Chart at number 13 on 13 September and peaked at number four the following week, staying there for three weeks in total. It remained in the top 50 for the next 10 weeks. At the end of the year, the song came in at numbers 17 and 26 on the UK's and Australia's year-end charts, respectively.

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[64] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[65] 4
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[66] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[67] 1
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[68] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Position
Australia (ARIA)[69] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[70] 17

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[71] Platinum 70,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[72] Gold 400,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions[edit]

  • Masayoshi Takanaka covers the song for the compilation album, "All of Me". [73]
  • CKBE-FM David Tyler 1999.
  • A ninety-second cover version was created for the Korean rhythm dance game Pump It Up.
  • A cover of the original Perez Prado version appeared in Guinness's famous 1998 "Swimblack" advertisement.
  • Max Raabe backed by the Palast Orchester included a vintage arrangement version of the song on their 2001 Superhits album.[74]
  • Filipino jazz singer Richard Poon covered the song on the Filipino compilation album 90's Music Comes Alive in 2012.
  • Cover versions, with slightly different lyrics in each version, have been heard in Party City commercials.
  • Dutch children's TV character Ome Henk, took a parody of the song to #9 titled "Mambo Nr 6". The lyrics referred to a medicine prescribed to him, which causes hallucinations of the girls he mentions in the song. A parody of commercials for the fictional product is also heard.

Parodies[edit]

  • WHTZ DJ David Brody released a parody entitled "Bimbo No. 5"[75] featured on the 2000 four-disc set album, Z100 Morning Zoo Yard Sale: 15 Years Of Crap!,[76] referring to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, wherein DJ JR Nelson imitates the voice of Bill Clinton. The song is commonly mis-attributed to "Weird Al" Yankovic,[77] Paul Shanklin, and The Woody Show. He also released a parody version named "Matzah No. 5" which aired on radio stations throughout the country. Performed by "Louie Bagel", the parody takes on various Jewish stereotypes. Also released was "Combo No. 5"; the parody takes on ordering combo dinners from a Chinese take-away.
  • ApologetiX released "Micah No. 5", with lyrics concerning the Christmas story.
  • Mashup artist Neil Cicierega's album Mouth Moods contains the track named 'Revolution #5', which consists of the song edited and distorted in style of The Beatles' Revolution 9,
  • Following the release of the visual novel, Doki Doki Literature Club, remixes had been created on YouTube, which mostly involves changing all the girls' names to "Monica", in reference to one of the main characters, Monika.

Legacy[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]