by Alisha Jackson
Why is the “Macarena” considered the biggest one-hit wonder of all time? No, we’re asking you.
We’re not sure what the world was thinking at the time, but when Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” was released in 1996, everyone learned the dance. Not only did they learn the dance, but people who didn’t even speak Spanish learned how to sing the chorus. Why? Once again, we really don’t know. It just happened and we’ll never understand why.
If you owned the cassette like I did back in the day, then you’re familiar with both the English and Spanish versions of the song.
My sister was so passionate about the single, that she sang the Spanish version of the song on our poor parents’ answering machine.
Sorry, mom and dad.
So while we may never know why a Spanish song sung by two old dudes in suits became a hit, we have to accept that it happened. And though the world has since moved on from the one hit wonder, it’s still fun to look back on the phenomenon.
Here are some fun throwback tidbits you may not have known about the “Macarena”!
1. The song was originally recorded in 1992.
(Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)
The song was originally released in 1993 as a rumba, and it was the first of 6 versions of the song to be released.
2. You can thank cruise ships for putting “Macarena” on your radar.
(Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)
Okay, bear with us on this one. In 1993, Puerto Rico used “Macarena” as the unofficial campaign theme song for then-governor Pedro Rosselló, and since Puerto Rico was a big base for cruise ships, visitors from the U.S. were constantly being exposed to the song.
3. A radio personality suggested the English lyrics.
Isn’t radio great? In 1996, ‘Jammin’ Johnny Caride from Power 96 in Miami learned about the song when people requested him to play it at a club. When he brought the song to his supervisors at the radio station, they asked him to create an English-language version of the song and the rest is history!
4. “Macarena” took over the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for 14 weeks.
If you feel like the “Macarena” was played nonstop in 1996, it’s because it was. The song held the #1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for a staggering 14 weeks that year, until Blackstreet and Dr. Dre’s “No Diggity” took over. Although the song wasn’t #1 forever, it did stay on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for 60 weeks.
5. Where did the dance come from?
Many think that the dance came from the music video, however the same moves in the correct order can be seen in Big Audio Dynamite’s 1992 music video for “Rush” above.
Those are your Throwback Tidbits for the 1996 hit, “Macarena”! Check back next Thursday for a brand new #TBT!