TBT Crush by Jennifer Paige and Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega

By LJ Coleman

Hello lovelies! first off, sincere apologies for not doing a TBT the past few weeks! To make up for it, I shall give you two today!

For 1998, we are going to relive the song “Crush” by Jennifer Paige.

Unlike the previous bands mentioned, Jennifer Paige seems to be a one-hit-wonder and then just disappeared. Nevertheless, her hit song “Crush” quickly became a hit across six different countries and remained in the charts for a whopping 35 weeks.

This song quickly taught many of us that the love of our life- sorry, not the one we loved, the one we had “…just (just) a little crush (crush)” on- was the focal point of our entire existence! And the person we had this crush on was supposed to elicit responses such as fainting whenever they touched us. I was so disappointed when my first crush and I held hands and I didn’t immediately pass out….

Unrealistic expectations aside, with its repetitive backing vocals and “sha-la-la-la”s, this song makes for and excellent wind down to the ’90s.

Mambo No 5 by Lou Bega Album Art
It’s been so hard for me to pick which song to do for 1999! As a wee little six year old, my music taste was just starting to take on a life of its own! I was impressed with Britney’s “…Baby One More Time”, in awe of Christina’s vocals on “Genie in a Bottle”, obsessed with Ricky Martin (any of his songs worked for me), and fantasising to “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.


The song that takes the cake for the Hit of 1999 was definitely….Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5”.

Unbeknownst to me, this song first introduced me to what a player is, but hey! At least it’s catchy! This song is a cover of the original recorded in 1949 by Dámaso Pérez Prado which has a distinct mambo (duh) feel to it. The 1999 version doesn’t fall strictly into the cliche 1990s pop sound, but is more accurately described as a Latin pop song. The upbeat tempo paired with “relatable” lyrics made this song a hit which stayed in the top the charts for 8 weeks and became the best selling single in Australia in 1999.

To this day, I cannot remember the names of all the girls mentioned during the chorus (Erica, Jessica, Rita, Tina, and I’m out) but the lyrics aren’t the clincher of this song. The reason why this is cemented in our brains is undoubtedly the synth intro followed by that riff. If I ask anyone to sing Mambo No. 5, most of the time, they’ll start singing the bass line instead of the lyrics.

For me, this song was the 1999 equivalent of “Uptown Funk” and will forever be stuck in my head.


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