Kaoma – “Lambada” – (1989)

We’ve talked about this song previously – in 2010 and 2011 it began to be sampled right and left, first prominently by Jennifer Lopez and then much more successfully by Don Omar. However, this song itself samples earlier songs. Well start with the 1981 song “Llorando se fue” by Los Kjarkas. It’s a Bolivian folk song and the source of the hypnotically tropic melody that is the core of this song and everything this song has been sampled into. More specifically, this song is a cover mix of two songs that both were versions of that 1981 tune: “Lloradno se fue” by Cuarteto Continental, a Peruvian group that turned the folk songs into an upbeat song that uses the accordion; and “Chorando se fiu” – a vocal track in Portuguese by Marcia Ferreira. The history of all these things is more complicated (lawsuits, other performers, etc.) but what remains is that “Lambada” is a timeless track from a French pop group that used a Brazilian vocalist for the Portuguese vocals. The music video was shot in Bahia, Brazil (one of the world’s most beautiful places) and stars Chico and Roberta – a then-child dance duo who have a tribute to them in the music video for Don Omar’s song we feature a week or two ago. This song was a #1 hit in 11 European countries plus a #1 on the European chart as a whole. It was a top 15 track in Japan, New Zealand, Ireland and Australia. Only the cold United States barely let it into the top 50, with frigid Canada shutting it out to #78. Summer songs barely get better than this.

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