Monday, March 13, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 3/13/17 - Kaoma's "Lambada"...

"Lambada" - Kaoma
from the album Worldbeat (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the world music collective Kaoma, who were based in France but had members from all around the globe, including lead singer Loalwa Braz who hails from Brazil. From that country came the song they covered for their first and biggest single, "Lambada". It was a remake of a hit titled "Chorando se foi", which itself was a Portuguese-translated cover of a Bolivian song called "Llorando Se Fue" from 1981. The song, constructed from a traditional South American melody, was released by the duo Los Kjarkas. The new version of the record from Kaoma became the song of the summer in most of the world, not only ruling the club dancefloors, but even inspiring not one but two movies about the seductive moves, titled Lambada and The Forbidden Dance, the former featuring soap star J Eddie Peck and the latter with Miss USA Laura Harring...


While "Lambada" topped the Latin Songs chart in the U.S., the foreign language track just couldn't reach the pop top-40, peaking just under at #46 in April of 1990. The 12" remix climbed to #21 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single was huge, topping the charts in France and Italy (where it was the top song of the year), as well as Austria, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, while it peaked at #4 in the UK and #5 in Australia. Unfortunately, lawsuits against Kaoma from the guys in Los Kjarkas, who held the rights to the original rendering, caused the profits from songwriting to be given away.

The band's next single from Worldbeat, "Dançando Lambada", was a respectable international hit, reaching the top ten in a few countries and #3 on the American Latin chart. A year later, they released their second album Tribal-Pursuit, which returned them to the top ten in France, their base country, with "Dança Tago-Mago" (#3). Two more tracks from that set reached the French top-40, with "Moco do Dende" their most recent in 1992. Tragically, Braz was killed under bad circumstances in Brazil this past January, believed to be a robbery gone wrong. She was 63 years old.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


This is how the Bolivian original from Los Kjarkas, "Llorando Se Fue" sounded in 1981...


...as well as the version from Peruvian act Cuarteto Continental, which brought the accordion on and sounds totally like a prototype of Kaoma's version...


Márcia Ferreira from Brazil had the first Portuguese version in 1986, but she had paid her royalties already...


 Here's Loalwa performing "Lambada" for TV in 1989...


...and again live in concert...


In 2009, the song was remixed by Gregor Salto and became a top 20 hit again in Belgium (#8) and the Netherlands (#12)...


Two years later, Jennifer Lopez sampled the record for her #3 American pop hit "On The Floor"...


Finally, back to Kaoma's Braz performing the song in 2015...



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