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Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

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Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Old 09-28-12, 10:55 PM
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Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Not many, that I'm aware of. I know the obvious ones, like "99 Luftballoons" by Nena in 1984 - it was first released in the German-language, and that's the version that went to No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Later, Nena re-sang the lyrics in English, but many people who grew up on the have the German-version on their iPods. Maybe they have both, like I do. But I like how Americans embraced a song in a language where they could have been saying literally anything, and you wouldn't know it. You just sit there and bob your head to the song. Kids.

And "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto in 1963, which became a U.S. No.1 hit. A japanese-language hit in America, imagine that. Those crazy kids in '63 - so much turmoil, they were so messed up that they bought 13 million copies of "Sukiyaki."

Imagine if Liverpool was not an English-speaking land. Imagine the Beatles spoke and sang in a foreign language - do you think Americans would have been as "gaa-gaa" over them in '64 if they spoke Swahili?

I'm sure there are many many many foreign-language songs that could have been hits over here, but if they're not exposed to us, we're not gonna know, right?

So, are these the only two foreign-langage songs that became "big hits" in America?
Old 09-28-12, 11:00 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

La Bamba
Macarena
Feliz Navidad
Der Kommissar (in the same sense as 99 Luftballoons)
Rico Suave
Du Hast (pretty big in that genre)
Old 09-28-12, 11:12 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Dur Dur d'etre Bebbe...
Old 09-28-12, 11:19 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Volare was Billboard's #1 song for 1958
Old 09-28-12, 11:35 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Also I'm pretty sure Sussudio isn't an english word.
Old 09-28-12, 11:48 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

voulez-vous coucher avec moi ... ce soir.
Old 09-29-12, 02:02 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

I was told by my folks that "The nun song" was a pretty big hit here.

(Can't get embed to work)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j67CRvHEVvs
Old 09-29-12, 09:09 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ClxJITJOcGQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gChOifUJZMc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ixbzAbLWOAU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Last edited by arminius; 09-29-12 at 09:16 AM.
Old 09-29-12, 02:19 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by arminius View Post
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ClxJITJOcGQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Damn. What movie did I hear this in?
Old 09-29-12, 02:26 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4F9DxYhqmKw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 09-29-12, 02:50 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Rock Me Amadeus, although there was also an english version also
Old 09-29-12, 06:31 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
Damn. What movie did I hear this in?
National Lampoon's European Vacation... and then used again in Eurotrip.
Old 09-29-12, 09:04 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by arminius View Post
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ClxJITJOcGQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gChOifUJZMc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ixbzAbLWOAU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
All of these songs were popular on stations like KROQ in LA but none of them were actally hits as far as I know.
Old 09-30-12, 01:46 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1s3BIX0duKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Peaked at #9.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 09-30-12 at 01:53 PM.
Old 10-01-12, 02:12 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Technically, I guess you could say that "Tequila" by The Champs was in Spanish.
Old 10-01-12, 07:55 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
Dur Dur d'etre Bebbe...
It's time to take the Jordy poster down. It's creepy.
Old 10-01-12, 07:56 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!



Old 10-20-12, 10:26 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

OhOhOh my goodness...I'm glad I'm an old fart and listen to my own dated music from 20 years ago...if kids today are rockin' out to new shit like "Gangnam Style." Can somebody tell me if this is the new Marcerena? LOL (kids today are getting the short end).

It's No.2 now on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart, so it's obviously "the rage" with the kids, but who's kids?! Chinatown's?
Old 10-20-12, 11:52 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
Imagine if Liverpool was not an English-speaking land. Imagine the Beatles spoke and sang in a foreign language - do you think Americans would have been as "gaa-gaa" over them in '64 if they spoke Swahili?
It's easier to imagine: what if the Beatles sang in German?

<iframe width="250" height="188" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UT6xiYUtlT4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <iframe width="250" height="188" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HrZQk03uKsQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you're wondering... yes, this is the real Beatles singing German versions of a couple of their songs.
Now imagine if all of their songs were in German.
Old 10-21-12, 01:38 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
I was told by my folks that "The nun song" was a pretty big hit here.

(Can't get embed to work)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j67CRvHEVvs
I guess American Horror Story suddenly made this one popular again.
Old 10-21-12, 09:22 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
OhOhOh my goodness...I'm glad I'm an old fart and listen to my own dated music from 20 years ago...if kids today are rockin' out to new shit like "Gangnam Style." Can somebody tell me if this is the new Marcerena? LOL (kids today are getting the short end).

It's No.2 now on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart, so it's obviously "the rage" with the kids, but who's kids?! Chinatown's?
There's no way Macarena was any kind of long stick.

More like Little Korea than Chinatown.
Old 10-21-12, 11:41 AM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

"Bei Mir Bist du Schoen" by the Andrews Sisters, back in the '40s.

Nat King Cole:
"Darling, je vous aime beaucoup
Je ne sais pas, what to do"

I'm still waiting for one of my Japanese pop hits to make it in the U.S. But K-pop has overtaken J-pop. And all my karaoke renditions of "Ai Araba, It's All Right," "Dakishimete Dakishimete," and "Anata no Kokoro ni" haven't helped a bit.
Old 10-21-12, 04:10 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
OhOhOh my goodness...I'm glad I'm an old fart and listen to my own dated music from 20 years ago...if kids today are rockin' out to new shit like "Gangnam Style." Can somebody tell me if this is the new Marcerena? LOL (kids today are getting the short end).

It's No.2 now on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart, so it's obviously "the rage" with the kids, but who's kids?! Chinatown's?
I saw an ep of SNL that had a skit based around that shit and I wanted to put my fist through the TV. That and this dubstep shit drive me nuts. Kids today are musically retarded.
Old 10-21-12, 05:22 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hdDvYA6upfE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Only a minor hit here. Was #58 on the Billboard chart. Nice catchy tune.
Old 10-21-12, 06:30 PM
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Re: Foreign Language songs that became HUGE American hits!

Yodeling count? Hocus Pocus by Focus.

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