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Norway duo’s smash hit irks Ibiza officials

A song about taking drugs in Ibiza has become a smash hit in Europe and the United States, annoying the Spanish holiday island, which is desperate to ditch its reputation for debauchery.

Norway duo’s smash hit irks Ibiza officials
Photo: Beglen/Flickr
The remix by Norwegian duo Seeb of US singer Michael Posner's “I took a Pill in Ibiza” was top of Britain's singles chart this week and also among the top 10 in the Billboard singles chart in the US.
 
The video for the remix has been viewed over 60 million times on YouTube.
 
 
The lyrics, which include the line “you don't want to be high like me”, describe Posner's comedown after taking drugs at a party on the Mediterranean island, whose turquoise waters and packed nightclubs have made it one of Europe's top beach destinations.
 
The video for the remix shows a young man whose head morphs into a giant cardboard mask after he swallows a pill at a nightclub. He is then seen surrounded by revellers who dance, take drugs, throw up and have sex in the bathroom of the nightclub.
 
“We have invited the author of this song to discover Ibiza because we have much more to offer besides the nightlife which is known worldwide,” the island's tourism director, Vicent Ferrer, told AFP.
 
“We have museums, beaches, culture, gastronomy, we have a wide offer but unfortunately we have been typecast this way. Unfortunately someone who wants to consume pills or alcohol can be found in any tourist destination, the fact that it is only us who are pigeonholed does not seem fair.”
 
A former haven for hippies, Ibiza has become an electronic music mecca which is home to several sprawling nightclubs like Privilege and Amnesia that draw top DJs from around the world. It is often listed in guides as a “party capital”.
 
Last year, US television station MTV dropped plans to film a reality TV show, which would follow the booze-fuelled exploits of a group of young people who share a house on the island after the project ran into fierce opposition from local officials.
 
Ibiza authorities were so worried about the negative impact the show might have on tourism they called for businesses on the island to boycott production of the show.
 
Just over 2.5 million people – a third of them British – visited Ibiza and the neighbouring island of Formentera last year, according to regional government figures.

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YOUTUBE

‘Take On Me’ tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?

It’s arguably the biggest success in the history of Norwegian pop, and A-ha’s 1984 pop classic ‘Take On Me’ this week reached a new milestone.

'Take On Me' tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?
A-Ha performing in 2015. Photo: AFP

The song combines synthpop with acoustic guitars, keyboards and drums and is indisputably the band’s signature tune and one of the most evocative pop songs of the decade.

That is complemented by a memorable music video which combined live action sequences with black-and-white pencil sketch animated overlays, in what was then an innovative technique called rotoscoping. It won six awards at the 1986 MTV Music Video Awards.

Perhaps the combination of both music and visuals has driven Take On Me into the realms of YouTube royalty. The official video, originally released in 1985, was recently restored and upgraded to 4K resolution to improve visual quality, Warner Music Norway wrote in a press statement.

In any case, A-ha now join a small list of artists with music videos that have tipped the 10-figure mark for total views on the social media website.

While South Korean rapper Psy’s 2012 hit Gangnam Style and Despacito by Luis Fonsi (2017) have famously garnered monstrous numbers of YouTube views, it’s arguably harder for songs which pre-date widespread use of the Internet to rack up those kind of figures.

Take On Me joins two Guns N’ Roses songs (November Rain, Sweet Child o’ Mine), Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in an elite club of just five songs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with over a billion views.

Numb by Linkin Park was the first pre-YouTube video from the 2000s to reach a billion views.

“Obviously the video is unique and it has some features that stand up and stand the test of time,” he shared. “It’s hand drawn which makes it what it is,” A-ha guitarist Magne Furuholmen told Billboard last year.

“The song also seems to resonate with people across time. It’s just very fortunate to have such a big song in our catalogue,” Furuholmen said.

“We probably spent a few years talking it down, trying to get people to focus on new stuff we’re doing. At this point, certainly speaking for myself, I’m just surprised and proud that the song has done so well and still finds an audience,” he added.

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