Throwback Thursday ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua (1997)
Can you believe I haven't done this song for Throwback Thursday before?
"Barbie Girl" by Aqua was the third single off of the band's debut album, Aquarium.
Aqua was a dance pop group made up of Danish and Norwegian members René Dif, Lene Nystrøm, Søren Rasted, and Claus Norreen.
According to Wikipedia, "'Barbie Girl' has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide. It went on to become a huge hit on several continents, remaining the most successful song by the band. It reached number-one in more than 10 countries."
In the US, "Barbie Girl" peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
"Barbie Girl" was commercially successful but had a fair amount of controversy and backlash.
Mattel, the makers of Barbie, sued Aqua's record label, MCA Records. I don't want to mess up the legal jargon, so according to Wikipedia, "In December 2000, Mattel, the manufacturer of the Barbie doll, sued MCA Records, Aqua's record label. Mattel claimed that "Barbie Girl" violated their trademark and turned her into a sex object, referring to her as a "Blonde Bimbo". It alleged that the song infringed its copyrights and trademarks on the Barbie doll and that the song's lyrics had ruined the longtime popularity and reputation of their trademark and impinged on their marketing plan. Aqua and MCA Records claimed that Mattel injected their own meanings into the song's lyrics. They contested Mattel's claims and countersued for defamation after Mattel had likened MCA to a bank robber. The lawsuit filed by Mattel was dismissed by the lower courts, and this dismissal was upheld, though Mattel took their case up to the Supreme Court of the United States, that appeal was later rejected. In 2002, a Court of Appeals ruled the song was protected as a parody under the trademark doctrine of nominative use and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; the judge Alex Kozinski also threw out the defamation lawsuit that Aqua's record company filed against Mattel, concluding his ruling: "The parties are advised to chill." The case was dismissed."
But get this, in 2009, Mattel actually used "Barbie Girl" with modified lyrics in their marketing. Go figure.
For me, this song just instantly takes me back to roller-skating at Rollerama. *sigh* Memories!
James J Hill House