Today’s Schlager Sunday proudly presents Barbie Girl. This song is truly one of its kind. The trashy song has been written by the band members and was the biggest economic success of Aqua. Barbie Girl was released in 1997 on the debut album Aquarium. The Eurodance song hit the charts worldwide and made it to number one in many countries, including the UK, Italy and Australia. The song sold so well that it got a diamond record in France and numerous platinum records, including 4 x platinum in Belgium.
From Canada to New Zealand Barbie Girl was certainly a hit. The song divided with the honest lyrics about your everyday Barbie usage, the high-pitched delivery, and the kitschy video. Søren Nystrøm Rasted was indeed inspired to write Barbie Girl after visiting an exhibition about kitsch culture in Denmark. This song got the honor of performing during the interval at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001, in a best-of medley of Aqua (whatever that may mean). The song scored number 4 in the poll of VH1 Best Number One of All Time and is way up amongst the best-selling singles in the UK of all time.
It has also been a part of the (in)famous lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records. To cut it short, Aqua got away on grounds of satire and the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Supreme Court was not gonna deal with any of this. Aqua’s defamation lawsuit on the other hand was dismissed by Judge Alex Kozinski who ruled, “The parties are advised to chill”.
Now, after all this glory, Barbie Girl is also featured in many worst songs of all times lists, including a striking number 1 on Rolling Stone’s “Worst Songs of the Nineties”.
What do you think – art or kitsch?