Annoyingly Catchy Songs and Their History
By Cynthia Duke
We’ve all heard ‘em. Some of them we’ve liked in secret and some we were blatant about it. Those annoying songs that play endlessly on the radio over and over and over. Some of them you know all the lyrics. Some, you only know the chorus. Sometimes they make sense; sometimes they have nonsensical made up words. They come out of nowhere. Here are some fun facts about four of these little buggers.
Hanson - Mmmbop: In 1997 three very young brothers released this song and swept the world off its feet with its chorus. Off there debut album of the same name released the previous year, this infectious tune rose to #1 in 27 countries.
Most people don’t know the verses, just the chorus, “mmmbop”.
According to Zac Hanson, “What that song talks about is, you've got to hold on to the things that really matter. MMMBop represents a frame of time or the futility of life. Things are going to be gone, whether it's your age and your youth, or maybe the money you have, and all that's going to be left are the people you've nurtured and have really built to be your backbone and your support system"
Because Hanson wrote this song entirely, record companies desired young singers that could write their own songs.
Mmmbop was used in many TV shows including, House, Lizzie McGuire, Daria, Futurama, About a Boy, a skit with Hanson, Helen Hunt and Will Ferrell on SNL and live performances on shows such as Letterman and Leno. It was also used in the movie The Hangover Part III and more.
Because Hanson got older and voices changed they now sing the song in a lower key.
Kourtney Kardashian admitted it was a favorite song of hers.
While growing up Hanson listened to a lot of 50’s and 60’s music and credit the song to Doo-Wop vocal groups.
The song started out as a background part of another song but became it’s own over years of crafting it.
The song was originally a ballad but was reworked by hit producers, The Dust Brothers as an upbeat pop track.
Aqua – Barbie Girl: This song released in May of 1997, was Danish-Norwegian dance/pop group’s third single overall. It is off their, “Aquarium” album and was a #1 hit in the U.K. and Australia for three weeks. On the U.S. Billboard Top 100 it debuted and peaked at #7.
The video features Lene Nystrøm as Barbie and René Dif as Ken.
The song was voted the fourth, ‘Best Number One of All Time” on a VH-1 poll. Was #32 on VH-1’s, “Most Annoyingly Bad Songs…Ever” and was featured as #88 on, “VH-1’s Greatest One-Hit Wonders”.
Aqua was originally a small group of DJs and musicians formed under the name Joyspeed. They started over, after becoming disillusioned, with the name Aqua.
“Barbie Girl” has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
It is the U.K.’s 13th best-selling single.
The group saw an exhibit on, “Kitsch Culture” and wrote this song.
Mattel, the manufacturer of the “Barbie Doll” sued MCA Records, Aqua’s label, in May of 2000, claiming the song violated their trademark and turned her into a sex object. MCA counter-sued for defamation. Mattel’s suit was dismissed by lower courts. Mattel took an appeal to the Supreme Court and was rejected. A court of Appeals ruled it as protected by a parody under the trademark doctrine of nominative use and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Wham!
On a side note, Barbie was created and named after Ruth and Elliot Handler’s daughter, Barbara, whom they saw cutting out dolls from magazines and carefully picking out clothes and accessories for them.
They founded the toy company, Mattel, in 1945 with a close friend of theirs, Harold Mattson.
“Barbie Girl” was released in English, Polish, German, Japanese and more.
The piano hook, written by Lobina was playing when Jeffrey Jey was writing. Jey says he was thinking of a character he created, called, “Zoroti” and about the characters lifestyle and came up with a color of how he saw things. Lobina came up with the “da ba dee” hook and told Jey to write nonsensical lyrics.
The single, released October of 1998, was the leading single to their 1999 album, “Europop” and reached #1 in multiple countries.
The vocals were distorted using a device called a vocoder. A similar sound to Cher’s, “Believe” but the technique she used was with Auto-Tune.
It was thought by many that the songs lyrics in the chorus were, “I’m blue and I’m in need of a guy” when in actuality it’s, “I’m blue, da ba dee da ba di”.
Rolling Stone’s review was, "blends Cher-esque vocoder vocals, trance-like synth riffs, unabashed Eurodisco beats and a baby-babble chorus so infantile it makes the Teletubbies sound like Shakespeare".
The music video was released in 1999 and featured computer graphics with Ponte and Lobina trying to save Jey from the aliens Zoroti and Sayok6.
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe: This track is from a more recent time. Carly Rae Jepsen is a Canadian singer/songwriter who placed third in the fifth season of, “Canadian Idol”. The song, originally on her EP, “Curiosity” and on her international debut album, “Kiss” was originally written as a folk track but was popped-up following the production of Josh Ramsay.
Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez raved about it in their tweets which helped her to gain instant international attention.
This was the number one purchased song on iTunes in 2012.
Also in 2012 the song’s video was the most viewed clip on Vevo.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says that globally this was the best-selling single of 2012 with 12.5 million units sold that year.
It won song of the year in the 2013 Juno Awards.
This was the first Hot 100 #1 in over five years by a Canadian artist, the previous being Avril Lavigne.
In closing, when that next hit pops out of nowhere, enjoy it while you can because soon it will be overplayed and most annoying.
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com