Five of the Best: Vengaboys

From the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, the Vengaboys were one of the hottest musical acts on the planet. The Dutch Eurodance group was known for its high-energy, heavy bass dance/pop tracks and boy did New Zealand soak them up!

The Vengaboys had five consecutive top 10 hits in New Zealand, including three tracks that topped the local charts. That is more than the group enjoyed in their native Netherlands, which demonstrates just how popular the Vengaboys were in NZ.

So you can imagine the excitement when it was announced the Vengaboys are set to perform a show at the Bruce Mason Centre in October. Click here for ticket information and to purchase.

To celebrate the impending arrival of the Vengaboys, we have selected the group as our focus for this edition of Five of the Best. We hope you enjoy this step down memory lane with one of the hottest dance/pop groups of the late ‘90s!

We’re Going to Ibiza

Amazingly, We’re Going to Ibiza was the sixth single off the hugely successful Vengaboys record, The Party Album. The song is famous for its mispronunciation of Ibiza, but the way it is sung in We’re Going to Ibiza (with an emphasis on the ‘Z’ sound) is very common in the Netherlands. The track is based on the 1975 hit Barbados, but the lyrics are modified. The song was hugely popular throughout the world, making the top 10 in 14 countries, including number 1 in the UK, Scotland, Poland and the Netherlands. The song was number 6 on the NZ charts, which was modest given the chart-topping success the Vengaboys enjoyed there.

Vengaboys - We're Going to Ibiza!

We Like To Party! (The Vengabus)

While Up & Down was the first track to chart locally (it reached number 27 in NZ), it was the 1998 hit, We Like to Party (The Vengabus) that really cemented the Vengaboys as a major player in the 1990s scene. The song reached number 9 on the charts in New Zealand and was a top 10 hit in at least 10 more countries. The track is very high-tempo and was a guaranteed dance floor filler in its day.

Vengaboys - We like to Party! (The Vengabus)

Kiss (When the Sun Don’t Shine)

Kiss (When the Sun Don’t Shine) was a number 1 hit on the charts in New Zealand despite not taking the top spot in any other country’s charts (it was a top 10 hit in many other countries). The Vengaboys enjoyed a great deal of success and popularity in NZ and this is a perfect example of how the locals embraced the European group and its music. Kiss was released in 1999 and was the first single off The Platinum Album. The film clip for Kiss was shot in Japan and features all four members – Kim, Denise, Robin and Donny – in trademark over-the-top outfits such as cowboy hats and sailor uniform. Check it out.

Vengaboys - Kiss (When The Sun Don't Shine)

Shalala lala

The turn of the millennium did nothing to abate New Zealand’s love for the Vengaboys. In 2000, the group released Shalala Lala, which was a cover of a 1973 hit released by Danish glam rockers Walkers. The cover version mixes the original track with the classic synth and drum beats we had all come to expect from Vengaboys songs. The song is slower and closer to a ballad than any of the other Vengaboys tracks in our Five of the Best, but the people of New Zealand embraced the change of tempo, seeing this track hit number 1 on the local charts. The film clip is a lot of fun – so fun in fact, it was banned by the BBC. The dance off between the male members of the Vengaboys is a highlight; have a look below.

Vengaboys - Shalala lala

Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!

The 1998 track, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom was the biggest worldwide hit for the Vengaboys with the upbeat dance track hitting the top of the charts in New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and the UK. The first verse of the track interpolates ABBA’s Lay All Your Love on Me, giving Benny and Bjorn a writing credit for Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom. There is no doubt Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom is the quintessential Vengaboys hit; the track is full of the synth beats that are now the signature of the Vengaboys. Listen to the song below and re-live the magic of the late 1990s Eurodance era.

Vengaboys - Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!

The Vengaboys will perform at the Bruce Mason Centre on Saturday October 29. General public tickets for the event go on sale from 9am on April 7. My Ticketmaster members have access to buy tickets from 9am on April 5. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.