Whether bobbing your head to a tune in the car or tapping your feet in time to the beat while sitting down, you have just succeeded in performing a series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music otherwise known as DANCE!!!
Music and Dance have always been inseparable. Where there’s music, there’s dance and vice versa.
Dance is extremely deep rooted into the African culture. It’s like genetically imprinted into our DNAs. Each of us can be placed into one of the following categories:
- Loves to Dance
- Hates to Dance
- Only Dances when Drunk or Alone
- Fist Pumps
And surely where there’s dancing, there’s surely gonna follow a dance craze. Dance Crazes may have a bad rep globally cos when we think of crews doing synchronized dance moves together it immediately takes us back to horrible times when Ricky Martin & Britney Spears were still king and queen of the dance floor (eeew!); but the truth is though – dance crazes are large and in charge of dance floors all over the world.
Quite recently the Azonto became the dance craze not only in Ghana or Nigeria but Internationally. I didn’t know it was as popular as it is until I saw Azonto youtube videos with millions of views
It was special, heck even BBC News picked up on it.
Anyway, it got me thinking about all the music released that had some sort of dance especially designed for it. Might sound crazy, but that’s the purpose of this post. To share with you my 50 hit songs (in no particular order) – old and new that started off as dance moves – and next thing – became hit songs.
Why should you care so much about them? It’s because all (well most of us) have tried one of the many dance moves on this list or, at the very least, know about their existence.
In fact in Jamaica, the dancers are just as much a part of the dancehall culture that once the latest ‘riddims’ are dropped from the top producers, you can bet your pants that dance crews will spend days creating new moves to show off at the clubs the following week in a process they call ‘dance building’ – a lot of these dance moves become so successful that artists write songs about these new dance moves – same thing is happening all over Africa, America and Europe
It’s part of a grand tradition of songs that set off dance crazes. The Twist, the Jerk, the Mashed Potato were all great songs with great dances and I’m glad that our generation will have some dances to look back on as well to mark the time other than that darn Macarena.
I’m going to try to list my 50 biggest songs that sparked dance crazes from as far back as possible. Now, I’m sure I’ll miss a few of the dances around so don’t take it personal if I don’t mention your favourite song or dance. Simply list it in the comment box below. Alright, here they are (in no particular order) with the video and/or an mp3:
1. Fuse ODG ft Itz Tiffany & Donae’o – Azonto
Let’s get it started with the dance movement that made me write this article in the 1st place.
Azonto is an original Ghanaian expressive dance and music form which incorporates complex co-ordinated body movement and non-verbal communication in a rhythmic fashion in very few one-two timed steps.
Although many songs have offered the Azonto craze a home in their songs, the video of Fuse ODG’s Azonto (featuring Tiffany and Donae’o) best captures the creativity & rich sense of humour (that accompanying smile with each dance move) of the dance.
Watch me do Azonto!
2. Chubby Checker – The Twist
Come on baby let’s do the twist / Take me by my little hand and go like this
The original Twist is a blues song written and originally released in 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters.
The song, and the dance the Twist, was popularized in 1960 when the song was covered and redone by Chubby Checker. His single became a hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 19, 1960 and is still one of the greatest Dance crazes globally; heck my mum still does the twist every now and then.
3. Olu Maintain – Yahooze
In 2006, “Yahooze” was a mega hit and so was the dance movement that followed it.
Heck, even Ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2008 came up on stage to bust a move with Olu Maintain during the Africa Rising Festival in London.
All we can say is that whether the song is about internet fraudsters (yahoo yahoo boys) and 419, or it is about the perceived lifestyle lived by most Nigerians – Olu Maintain has maintained (no pun) that the song is about pleasure after pain. Working from Monday to Friday and enjoying from Friday to Sunday. In an interview with BBC, Olu said the song is a satire (???), deriding “yahoo-yahoo” culture, not glorifying it. ”The message of the song is that if you want the lifestyle of drink cars and women you have to work hard, hustle means work, not cheat“. The song is an exceptionally catchy track that will make you groove with the dance fad it created.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Boys dey hustle/Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Gbogbo aye/Champagne, Hennessy, Moet for everybody/ Ewo awon omoge, dem dey shake their body
4. Artquake – Alanta
2 legs up… the 1st dance ever to defy gravity!
Alanta, an original Nigerian dance went colossal in 2008 when the Nigerian musical duo Artquake came out with a musical video “Alanta“.
Like most African dances, it requires vigorous hand, hips and leg movements. The dance style is done by moving your hands all over your body in a patterned movement to make it look like you’re fanning away flames around you while raising one leg up. The dance looks better with facial trance-like or painful expressions.
The lyrics to the song explain the movement sequence. “E be like fire, dey burn my body. Je kin fera, oru n mu mi”
5. Fela – Open and Close
In 1971, the almost 15-minute-long Open and Close song was released by Fela along with its vivacious horns, intoxicating beats and tantric, feel-good lyrics.
The song teaches its listeners how to move to the Open & Close dance choreography with a lot of African vitality. My uncle says this dance fad went viral in clubs across the nation in the 70s.
Unfortunately, I can’t lay my hands on any video clip of Fela performing Open and Close but please make do of the audio extract that has instructions on how to Open and Close. Also included Glo Naija Sings Winner Christian’s stage performance of Open and Close
Christian’s stage performance of Open and Close on Glo Naija Sings Season 3
6. Soulja Boy – Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)
With its release in April, 2007, Soulja Boy’s Crank Dat dance craze took over the globe and it became cemented in popular culture as the term Bling, to the point where your great-aunt Murufat knows how to ‘superman that ho’.
It spent seven weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 2007.
Contrary to popular belief by many top MCs (Re: Ice T & Nas), Hip Hop didn’t die that year, it just got busy having fun to care about dying.
7. Mad Cobra – Flex (Time To Have Sex)
Okay so if there’s any country that knows how to jumpstart a dance craze then it’s Jamaica, of course Gerald ‘Bogle’ Levy (RIP) is the man that took things to the next level in the 90s.
In 1992, Mad Cobra unleashed on us one of the prettiest videos to come out of Jamaica along with a dance movement that had us testing the elastic limits of our backs. Flex song was a smash hit, topping the US Rap Singles chart, hitting #7 on the R&B chart, and peaking at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
8. Kris Kross – Jump/ House of Pain – Jump Around
2 songs that made the exercise jumping a beautiful and fun dance movement …
1992 saw the party starter and club banger Jump Around by Hip-hop Group House of Pain create a dance fad of people jumping around at parties very energetically. It is listed at number 66 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.
That same year saw “Jump” sang by Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith (13 and 12 years old respectively), and written & produced by Jermaine Dupri, become the fastest selling single in fifteen years, staying on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks.
9. 69 boyz – Tootsee Roll
69 Boyz – the American Miami bass and hip hop group originating from Florida where majority of the members were born in 1969, hence the group name dropped the 1994 Tootsee Roll song and dance craze on the unsuspecting public.
In the United States, the song was certified Platinum and reached a peak of number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early January, 1995.
10. Bob & Earl/The Rolling Stones – Harlem Shuffle
You move it to the left and you go for yourself/ You move it to the right yeah if it takes all night/ Now take it kinda slow with a whole lot of soul.
“Harlem Shuffle” is an R&B song written and originally recorded by the duo Bob & Earl in 1963, co-arranged by Barry White and Gene Page, which peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #36 on the Cash Box chart.
The Rolling Stones’ cover version, with Bobby Womack on backing vocals, appeared on their 1986 album Dirty Work, and went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #13 in the UK. It became the first cover song the Stones had released as an opening single off a new studio album since 1964.
11. DJ Webstar & Young B – Chicken Noodle Soup
The Chicken Noodle Soup dance, originally from Harlem, inspired this song and it became 2006’s summer hit.
You can say what you want about the track, but you can’t get down on a dance craze that involves exaggerated shuffling and arms swinging like a chicken on crack.
So let it rain then clear it out! Here’s a bonus soda on the side.
12. Audio Push – Teach Me How To Jerk/ New Boyz – You’re A Jerk
2009 unleashed the jerk movement
The dudes from Audio Push and New Boyz weren’t talking about masturbation but a dance craze that involves a move called “the reject”.
13. Cali Swag District – Teach Me How to Dougie
The 2010 Teach Me How To Dougie picked up from where “Jerk” left off.
The Dougie is a hip-hop dance generally performed by moving one’s body in a shimmy style and passing a hand through or near the hair on one’s own head.
The dance first originated in 2007 in Dallas, Texas, USA where it took its name from similar moves performed by 1980s rapper Doug E. Fresh
14. Marvellous Benji – Swo (remix)
Benjamin Ukueje popularly known as Marvelous Benji dropped this monster dance track in Nigeria in 2003.
This is a Bran Nu Dance!!!
15. Oba Omega ft Tony Harmony – Etighi Dance / Iyanya – Kukere
Etighi is a popular dance style across Akwa Ibom and Cross River States that is fasting gaining popularity since the 2010 Calabar festival.
It is a unique dance style that involves a simple but smart coordination between the hands, the body, hips and bum of a dancer.
Iyanya‘s club-banging single “Kukere” has helped to spread the dance to the urban parts of Nigeria. We might just have a new dance craze on our hands
16. Daddy Showkey – Welcome (Galala)
Ajegunle or AJ City as it is famously referred to, has been home to a number of stars, most notably, John Odafe Asiemo, better known as Daddy Showkey. Not only was he about the most successful act to come out of AJ City, he helped set the pace for other acts to follow whilst putting his sprawling neighbourhood on the map. Of course the dance – Galala became a national dance craze.
In 1994, the Delta State indigene, dropped his solo debut effort titled “Welcome”. The album spawned many hits, brought him fame and wealth and also provided a ray of hope for a number of Ajegunle youth to pursue their musical dreams. The song and tune of his popular hit track “Welcome” announced his arrival and the beginning of the Galala dance movement.
17. Terror Squad ft Fat Joe & Remy Ma – Lean Back
Released in 2004 “Lean Back” fast became HUGE, and one of the few moves here that everybody can do, all you gotta do is lean back and rock away with some attitude.
It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks from August 21 and topped the R&B chart for more than three months.
18. Freak Nasty – Da Dip
I put my hand upon your hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip
You put your hand upon my hip, when you dip, I dip, we dip
I put my hand upon your hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip
You put yours, and I put mine, and we can dip down low and roll and grind!
This dance club favorite was the only Top-40 hit for Puerto Rican rapper Freak Nasty. However, in a very rare phenomenon, that single also went platinum! It sold over a million copies by June of ’97.
19. Huey – Pop, Lock & Drop It
Pop, Lock & Drop It is just another way to have girls shake their stuff, but cleverly disguised as a fun dance move. The dance is not that complicated, but it is hard on the thighs.
It was released in September 2006 and debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 98 in early March 2007. The single peaked at number 6.
20. Dem Franchize Boys – Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It
This group from Atlanta popularized The Snap Dance. I’m not sure this song counts as a dance fad song, since the Snap Dance came first, but it fast became so popular when the song first came out in 2005 that the move is now also known as the Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It.
The track peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Hot Rap Tracks.
21. DJ Unk – Walk It Out
DJ Unk’s lead single off his debut album Beat’n Down Yo Block! peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of the summer of 2006.
The Walk It Out steps are fairly simple; but once people add their personal touches it can become a pretty spectacular dance.
22. DJ Unk – 2 Step
Another Unk track? Yup! This is his second single from his debut album. It peaked at number 24 on Hot 100 and climbed to number 9 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number 4 on Hot Rap Tracks
23. Cupid – Cupid Shuffle
The Cupid Shuffle came out 2007 and it’s pretty easy to follow, just let your feet do what the lyrics tell you and you’re there.
It peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
24. Ciara ft Missy – 1 2 Step
The R&B/dance/hip hop joint 1, 2 Step (ft Missy Elliott) was released as Ciara’s second single off debut album Goodies on October 23, 2004.
The song is heavily-inspired by 1980s electro music production. Throughout the lyrics, Ciara gives a description of how the song’s beat feels as she demands party-goers to dance to the music. 1, 2 Step was ranked 59th on Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of the Decade.
In the United States, the song failed to reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as the previous single Goodies, reached the second position of the chart, and holding it for seven straight weeks. The song is the biggest hit by Ciara in the United States and worldwide to date
25. GS Boyz – Stanky Legg
Probably the easiest of all the moves, “do da stanky legg” involves the movement of the dancer’s leg in a circular motion, then alternating to the opposite leg. It also involves the “Booty Dew” and the “Dougie”.
26. Xzibit – Get your walk on
The Get your walk on music video features various footage of Xzibit (both on stage and backstage) during live concerts and while he’s with his friends and fans.
Staying true with the name of the song, it also features various kids performing the C-Walk (as well as Xzibit himself).
Interestingly, there is a scene where two sets of kids are standing alongside two sides of a pyramid with one side red and the other side blue- referring to the peace treaty between the Bloods and the Crips.
27. Little Eva/Kylie – Locomotion
The husband and wife songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote this song. Little Eva was Eva Boyd, the babysitter – actually more of a nanny – being paid $35/week to watch their daughter Louise and clean the house.
They were all young: Eva was 17, King 19 and Goffin 22. One day King came up with a melody that Goffin thought sounded like a locomotive, and when he saw Eva dancing with their daughter to the tune, he got the idea to make the song about a brand new dance – The Loco-Motion.
He wrote the lyrics and they brought Eva to the studio and had her record the song as a demo – they were hoping Dee Dee Sharp would sing it. Their producer Don Kirshner thought Eva’s vocal was just fine, so they named her Little Eva and had her record the song.
The only downside for King and Goffin was losing their nanny: when the song became a million-seller, Eva was able to buy a place of her own.
Everyone’s favourite Aussie and ‘Neighbours’ girl next door – Kylie Minogue had this massive 1988 Pop dance cover of Little Eva’s Locomotion song
The song is a popular and enduring example of the dance-song genre: much of the lyrics are devoted to a description of the dance itself, usually done as a type of line dance.
28. Young Dro – Shoulder Lean
Young Dro’s single peaked at #1 on Hot Rap Tracks and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and was certified Double Platinum. The dance movement is yet another way to look cool while leaning and swaying.
29. Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It
Will Smith’s single “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It” off his debut solo album Big Willie Style was released in January 1998
The record spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart from March 14, 1998. The song also won a Grammy Award in 1999 for the Best Rap Solo Performance
30. Awilo Longomba – Coupe Bibamba
Makossa is a type of music that is most popular in urban areas in Cameroon. It is similar to soukous, except that it includes strong bass rhythm and a prominent horn section. Makossa, which means “dance” in Duala, originated from a type of Duala dance called kossa, with significant influences from jazz, ambasse bey, Ltin music, highlife and rumba.
Sax player Manu Dibango is largely credited with modernizing and popularizing makossa it to the world with his song “Soul Makossa”, which came out in the early 1970s.
The chant from the song, ‘mamako, mamasa, maka makossa’, was later used by Michael Jackson, in “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Awilo Longomba’s Coupe Bibamba in1998 made him known throughout Africa, Europe and America especially in Nigeria. He also made the dance craze makossa one of the biggest dance movements ever in Nigeria.
31. Gracious K – Migraine Skank
A dance movement from UK’s Gracious K which involves putting both hands behind your head like you’ve got a headache and flapping your elbows side to side.
32. KIG – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
K.I.G (also known as K.I.G Family) are a grime trio from East London who gained popularity with the song Head, Shoulders, Knees N Toes.
K.I.G released Head, Shoulders, Knees N Toes in 2008 with Mile Records, which gained popularity almost immediately.
33. MC Creu – Danca do Creu
This whole craze was just ridiculous – Baile Funk has been for the last few decades and still is to this day the soundtrack to the Rio favelas, and this whole craze saw girls of all ages from 6 year olds to grannies doing that mad hydraulic jack hammer ass thing which as you can imagine on both ends feels a bit wrong.
Anyways – this craze was ridiculous and they used to have competitions in massive arenas awarding rio’s greatest jack-hammer bubble butt girl. I’m sure MC Creu had a lot of sex during this period.
34. James Brown – Mother Popcorn
James Brown’s performances were legendary, and the man could dance. The Popcorn was the name of one of his dances, and he capitalized on it by creating songs he could do the dance to. Besides this track, Brown also recorded “The Popcorn,” “Low Down Popcorn,” and “Let a Man Come in and Do the Popcorn.”
Brown was a huge influence on Prince, and in Prince’s song “Gett Off,” he mentions Brown and sings some lyrics taken from this song: “I like ’em fat, I like ’em proud, you gotta have a mother for me.”
35. Quad City DJs – C’Mon ‘N Ride It (The Train)
“C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)” is a popular dance song recorded by the Quad City DJs in 1995, and released in 1996 as a single from the album Get on Up and Dance.
The song peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
36. Digital Undergound – Humpty Dance
“Humpty Hump” is a character created by Digital Underground’s leader, Shock G (Greg Jacobs). Digital Underground were disciples of Parliament/Funkadelic, with big Funk beats, lots of rotating members, and outrageous personalities with costumes to match. This song released in 1990 was their biggest hit.
The Humpty Hump character had a very large nose, funny hats, and wild, pimp-like costumes. He was clever, funny and sex-obsessed, and was proud of his nose.
37. Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
“Whip My Hair” is a song sung by American recording artist Willow Smith. The song is the debut single from her upc0ming debut album, Knees and Elbows.
This kid friendly dance song with a universal appeal is sure to give dancers a bit of blood rush to the brain.
38. Beenie Man – Row Like A Boat
Beanie’s man’s Row Like a Boat is so comical in every way because there’s nothing more hilarious than watching some seriously screw-faced bad dudes rowing an imaginary boat.
39. Fally Ipupa ft Krys – Sexy Dance
Fally Ipupa is a singer, songwriter and respected guitarist who was born and raised in Kingshasa, DRC. His sexy dance became a movement across Africa
40. Constuleta – Tchiriri
This was the biggest track in Angola a few years back in their own local dance style of ‘Kuduro’ which literally translates to ‘Hard Ass’ – the track is awesome and was always more awesome that Constuleta in the original video really shows just how well a dude with one leg can party
41. Tony Matterhorn – Dutty Whine
Tony Matterhorn’s song is all about Dutty Wine as a head dance.
The dance involves the rotating movement of the neck. You can also move your legs like a bird, whilst simultaneously rotating your wrists and neck and posterior. Sometimes more advanced dancers will also include the splits in their Dutty Wine.
The dance experienced a surge of popularity around the world, especially in Jamaican communities in parts of the United Kingdom and North America. Some even have gone so far as to label it as “the dance craze” of 2006.
42. Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine – Conga
A Conga is a human Cuban drum or sometimes refers to a kind of dance or a Cuban carnival.
Gloria Estefan: “If I had to take everything into consideration, the truly essential song would have to be ‘Conga.’ First, because I don’t think I can get away with not performing that song in some shape or form. Second, because it started the possibility of Mi Tierra (Estefan’s top-selling Spanish album) happening. Not only did it talk about a specific rhythm of my homeland (Cuba), it talked about being Latino, and the celebratory nature of dance.
It was very musically forward in that it mixed a Funk bassline and a 2/4 beat on the drums and the Latin percussion. It was something that really put us on the map. And even though it’s a frivolous and fun song, it talks about who we are as immigrants in this land.”
(quote from Reuters, November 17, 2006)
This was the first ever record to get into the US Pop, Dance, Black and Latin charts.
At weddings and other such gatherings, Conga lines became very popular after this song was released. In 1988 an estimated 119,000 people congaed their way into the Guinness Book of Records to the beat of this song
43. Patra – Dip & Fall Back
That dance year belonged to my queen of Dancehall – Patra …From Butterfly to Dip & Fall Back; Need I say More?
44. Marcia Griffiths – Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)
Marcia Llyneth Griffiths from Kingston, Jamaica, is a successful female singer, also called the “Queen of Reggae”.
Griffiths started her career in 1964. From 1970 to 1974 she worked together with Bob Andy in the group Bob and Marcia, on the Harry J label. Between 1974 and 1981 she was a member of the I Threes, a background group, which supported Bob Marley & the Wailers.
Her song “Electric Boogie”, released in 1976 and re-released in 1989, made the Electric Slide, a line dance, an international dance craze. It reached number 51 on the US Billboard Hot 100 making it her most successful single and remains the highest-selling single by a female Reggae singer of all time
45. R Kelly – Step In The Name of Love
Taken from the 2003 album Chocolate Factory, the song became the tenth single from Kelly (and the final one to date) to reach #1 on the R&B chart, particularly on the strength of the song’s remix.
It also peaked at number nine on the pop charts on December 2, 2003.
The original “Step In The Name Of Love”, which is on the unreleased 2002 album “Loveland” as well as the Chocolate Factory album, described a dance style initially created in Chicago called “stepping”.
That dance, and the music associated with it, was heavily featured on disc one of his 2004 double album, “Happy People/U Saved Me”.
The song became an impromptu “anthem” for steppers and the dance.
46. Los del Rio – Macarena
Los Del Rio (Antonio Romeo Monge and Rafael Ruiz) are a Spanish flamenco-pop duo. They were inspired to record this on a trip to Venezuela when they spotted a beautiful flamenco dancer named Diana Patricia. When the song became a hit, she became known in Venezuela as “Macarena.”
This was originally released on a local label in Spain in 1993, where it did fairly well. The next year, the American label BMG bought the Spanish label and set out to make “Macarena” a hit in America. They marketed an English language version to dance clubs and cruise ships, then released it as a single in 1995. It was a minor hit until the summer of 1996, when the Macarena dance craze hit America. The song went to #1 in July and stayed there for 14 weeks.
47. Lou Bega – Mambo No 5
“Mambo No. 5” is a mambo and jive dance song originally recorded and composed by Cuban Pérez Prado in 1949.
The song’s popularity was renewed by Lou Bega‘s sampling of the original, released under the same name on Bega’s 1999 debut album A Little Bit of Mambo.
Bega’s cover was a hit in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, and 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 the year.
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). The song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US on November 2, 1999, giving Bega his only Top 40 hit in the US.
48. Kaoma – Lambada
Do you remember the Lambada dance craze of the late 1980s? For those of you too young to recall it, the Lambada is a Brazilian dance for couples, which is generally danced with arched legs, with the steps being from side to side or turning, with a pronounced movement of the hips. At the time when the dance became popular, short skirts for women were in fashion and the dance became associated with the skirts swirling up when the female spins around.
The song that launched the Lambada dance craze was this 1989 worldwide hit recorded by the French pop group Kaoma with lead vocals by Paris-based Brazilian Loalwa Braz. It sold over 5 million copies in 1989, reached #1 on eleven different charts and was the best selling single in Europe that year. In France, where it topped the chart for 12 weeks and sold almost 2 million copies, the single was the #1 on the year-end list. Due to its huge success outside Brazil, “Lambada” was also recorded by Kaoma in English and Spanish.
49. Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song
The group is made up of Pilar, Lola, and Lucia Munoz – 3 sisters from the Andalusia region of Spain. They took their name in honor of their father, a flamenco guitarist known as “El Tomate.”
This was a huge international hit. It was #1 in several countries, but took a while to break in America, where it was first played on New York City dance station WKTU. Within 24 hours, it became the most requested song on the station.
The lyrics are based on snippets of the 1979 Sugar Hill Gang song “Rapper’s Delight.”
The lyrics are in Spanish, but it is Spanish gibberish based on “Rapper’s Delight.” The version released in the US has some English gibberish mixed in.
The song is about a gypsy named Diego who is very concerned about how he is dressed and loves “Rapper’s Delight.” Since Diego doesn’t understand the English lyrics, he makes up his own raps, which translates into the gibberish in the song.
50. The Isley Brothers – Shout!
The Isleys wrote this on the spur of the moment at a Washington, DC, concert in mid-1959. As they performed Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops,” Ronald Isley ad-libbed, “WELLLLLLLLLLL… you know you make me want to SHOUT” and Rudy and O’Kelly joined in on the improvisation. The audience went wild and afterwards, RCA executive Howard Bloom suggested putting it out as their first RCA single. (thanks, Brad Wind – Miami, FL)
This evolved out of the call-and-response style The Isleys grew up singing in church. The organist from their church, Professor Herman Stephens, played on the song.
The Isley Brothers did not consider this a song at first. It was just a “thing” they would do onstage and the crowd would go nuts. They knew they were onto something when Jackie Wilson, who they were opening for, started using the stop-and-go style in his show.
This song has its own dance. When The Isleys sing the “little bit softer now” part, you go a little lower, then gradually rise up for the “little bit louder now part.” For the rest of the song, you just jump around and go crazy. It’s an easy dance, which makes it popular at weddings, proms, and other events where many rhythmically-challenged people end up on the dance floor.
P.S: This is not in any particular order!!!
2 HALL OF FAME DANCE VIDEO MENTIONS EVEN IF THERE AREN’T DANCE SONG VIDEOS
Sources: Wikipedia.com, songfacts.com