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Tracks from the past: Lou Bega

BY RYAN FOSMARK | JUNE 25, 2009 7:21 AM

Lou Bega
A Little Bit of Mambo
1999

Ten years ago, Lou Bega dominated the international charts with his hit single “Mambo No. 5.” The track set an unprecedented — and as of yet unbeaten — record in France, topping the charts for 20 weeks. With Bega’s flashy style and catchy tunes, the man brought womanizing lyrics and loud trumpets to the forefront of popular music.

A Little Bit of Mambo was hot with all groups. Bega had that suave, old-time charm that older crowds found irresistible, and, should the lyrics to his songs prove truthful, he was the king of wooing the ladies. He had girls everywhere, or so he attested to in the tune “I Got A Girl.” He had a girl in Paris, a girl in Rome, he even had a girl in the Vatican Dome. Unfortunately, it seemed as though all of his songs were an attempt at the same basic plan — to let people know Bega likes women a lot, over a catchy jingle.

Bega’s music videos were always the flashiest of flashy — a mix between modern-day Ying Yang Twins videos mixed with Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Bega’s tasteful suits and sparkling smile in the video for “Tricky, Tricky,” the album’s fifth track, complemented all the twirling, seductive women and managed to cover up the lack of good dance moves. But dancing aside, Bega’s über-catchy songs and lady’s man attitude earned his single “Mambo No. 5” a slot in the bank of songs that listeners everywhere still love — except when it gets stuck in their heads.


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