10 Fantastic Fads of the 1990s


The Macarena

If tattoos and piercings challenged social norms, the Macarena was a fad with little long-term impact, aside from an intensely annoying tune that stuck in your head for days. Like "The Twist" from several decades earlier, "Macarena" was a simple song with a silly eponymous dance that exploded in popularity in the mysterious way that fads do.

A catchy tune from Spanish group Los del Rio, "Macarena" became a worldwide phenomenon in 1996, smashing records by staying at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for an astonishing 14 weeks [source: Billboard]. The jovial, bouncy song (that repeats itself over and over and over again) had its own dance, making it two fads in one.

The Macarena had a convoluted journey to pop success. First written in 1992, its popularity spread gradually through Spanish-speaking countries. A remix with English vocals by the Bayside Boys is the version that became a worldwide sensation. The dance is easy for anyone to learn, requiring a few simple arm movements and a jubilant jump.

Los del Rio remains popular in its home country, but the Macarena had played itself out by 1997, rendering the song and the two men behind it only a distant memory in America.