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"Agadoo" is a novelty song recorded by the band Black Lace in 1984. "Agadoo" peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart,[1] and spent 30 weeks in the top 75.[2] It went on to become the eighth best-selling single of 1984 in the UK,[3] (and over one million copies worldwide) despite not being included on the playlist for BBC Radio 1 because it "was not credible".[4]

"Agadoo"/"Fiddling" Single
Single by Black Lace
from the album Party Party
Released1984, 2009
Format7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded1984, 2009
GenreBubblegum pop, calypso, novelty
Songwriter(s)Mya Symille, Michael Delancray, Gilles Péram, English lyrics Günther Behrle
Black Lace singles chronology
"Hey You"
"Do the Conga"
Audio sample

In a survey for dotmusic in 2000, respondents voted "Agadoo" as the fourth most annoying song of all time.[5] In a poll for Q magazine in 2003, a panel of music writers voted "Agadoo" as the worst song of all time, saying: "It sounded like the school disco you were forced to attend, your middle-aged relatives forming a conga at a wedding party, a travelling DJ act based in Wolverhampton, every party cliche you ever heard."[2] The panel also described it as "magnificently dreadful".[6]


Origins and recordingEdit

The song's origins date back to 1971, when Michel Delancray and Mya Symille recorded it as "Agadou" in French.[7] It had been written based on a tune that had apparently come from Morocco.[2] Club Med used it as their theme song from 1974.[2][7] It was covered by several artists and groups, including Patrick Zabé in 1975 and the Saragossa Band (a German group) in 1981; their version was the first in English, and Black Lace’s lyrics are based on the lyrics of the Saragossa Band version but with minor tweaks. [7][8] Dutch carnival singer Arie Ribbens recorded a version in his native language in 1983, called "Akketdoe".[9]

The Black Lace group was made up during its heyday by the duo of performers Colin Gibb and Alan Barton.[4] One of the early versions of the song became popular in a Derby nightclub called Gossips, with the bar staff making a novelty dance; when Black Lace performed at the club in 1981, they learnt the dance and recorded their own version, which was mistakenly reported as being the first version in English[2] by BBC Radio Derby in 2006.[10]

Black Lace's version of the song was produced by Neil Ferguson and Black Lace at Woodlands studio under the direction of John Wagstaff and arranged by Barry Whitfield and Black Lace. Whitfield also played keyboards on the track.

Formats and track listingsEdit

UK 1984 7" single
  1. "Agadoo" 3:07
  2. "Fiddling" 2:14
UK 1984 12" single
  1. "Agadoo" (Extended Version) 4:49
  2. "Superman" (X Rated Version) 3:44
  3. "Fiddling" 2:14
UK 2007 CD single
  1. "Agadoo 206 Mix"


Chart performanceEdit

Despite being banned on BBC Radio 1 because it "was not credible", the track proved to be a commercial hit.[4] In the UK Singles Chart, "Agadoo" debuted at number 86 on 20 May 1984.[11] The song didn't enter the top 40 until the end of July, then peaking at number 38. In its fourth week in the top 40, "Agadoo" reached number 2, with George Michael's "Careless Whisper" holding it off the top spot. By early November, the song was still in the top 40, but it fell out after the first week in that month.[11] By 13 January 1985, its last appearance in the chart, "Agadoo" had spent 35 weeks in the top 100.[11] It was revealed to be the eighth best-selling single of 1984 around that time. Fourteen years after its original release, the song was remixed and re-released. It re-entered the top 100 at number 64 on 16 August 1998, but only stayed in the chart for two weeks.[11]

The song has found success in other countries as well, such as Ireland, New Zealand and France. In the Irish Singles Chart, the song peaked at number 5, but only spent 5 weeks in the charts overall.[12] "Agadoo" spent a longer 11 weeks in the New Zealand Singles Chart, debuting at number 37 on 21 October 1984 and hitting a peak of number 9 in its sixth week.[13] The song fell out the chart quite abruptly, falling 25 places to number 44 in its final appearance in the chart before falling out completely.[13] In the French Singles Chart, the song peaked at number 48 in its first and only week on 17 November 1984.[14]

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1984–85)
Australia (Kent Music Report)[15] 16
France (SNEP)[14] 48
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 9
South Africa[16] 3
UK (CIN)[11] 2

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1984)
UK Singles Chart 8
Australia (Kent Music Report)[17] 88


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone

Parodies and derivative versionsEdit

Black Lace themselves recorded an X-rated version of the song entitled "Have a Screw", which was written by Black Lace members Alan Barton and Colin Gibb and released on the B-side of the 12-inch vinyl "Gang Bang".[19] The track was re recorded some years later by Colin Gibb and Dean Michael, which was featured on the 'Blue Album' ( Which was aimed at the 'Adult' Market.

The Australian satirical TV series CNNNN ran a fake cross-promotion for Agadoo: The Musical.[citation needed]

In 1986, the song was parodied in "The Chicken Song" by the satirical television programme Spitting Image.[20] The track's composer Philip Pope had previously parodied the song as "Shagadoo" in Radio Active.

The song was also used as the basis of a chant by fans of Liverpool for defender Daniel Agger. It is similarly used by fans of Tottenham Hotspur for midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Anarchist band Chumbawamba recorded a version of "Agadoo" for the Peel Sessions. The producer of the Black Lace version, Neil Ferguson, was also Chumbawamba's regular producer at the time and later a full member of the band.

It was parodied in a Vanilla Mini Wheats commercial in 2006 and by The Maynards in 2013, who recorded a bluegrass version of the song.

In November 2009, Black Lace recorded a version called "Agadir" to promote a new air service by easyJet from Gatwick airport to Agadir.

2007 and 2009 re-releasesEdit

In August 2007, the "Agadoo 206 Mix" was released as the song was used in a TV ad to promote Peugeot's new 206 car. The song hit the UK charts. Black Lace members Colin Gibb and Rob Hopcraft then used the song for a special charity 'Agadoo Day'. On 20 March 2009, it was announced that the song was being released in a new version by Dene Michael from Black Lace's original lineup and new member Ian Robinson.[6] A video for the release, titled "Agadoo" (Mambo 2009 remix), was directed by Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby-Brown in television soap opera Coronation Street.[6] He also appears in the video, along with Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts in the same programme.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ - search for "Black Lace" as "Name of artist" and "Agadoo" as "Title of song"
  2. ^ a b c d e "Agadoo tops list of worst songs". BBC News. United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation. 2003-11-23. Archived from the original on June 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-17. Black Lace hit Agadoo has been named the worst song of all time by a panel of music writers... The song was originally written by French songwriters after they heard a friend humming a tune he had picked up on holiday in Morocco. The song became the hit of the French Club Med resorts in 1974 but was not picked up by British audiences until Black Lace released an English translation in 1984. The song remained in the UK Top 75 singles chart for 30 weeks.
  3. ^ "Bestselling Singles of the 80s". Pure80sPop. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  4. ^ a b c "Merseyside dad hopes for chart success with Black Lace hit Agadoo". Liverpool Echo. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Birdie Song tops hall of shame". United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News. 2000-07-24. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  6. ^ a b c "'Worst song' Agadoo re-released". BBC News. United Kingdom. 2009-03-30. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-05. Black Lace hit Agadoo, named the worst song of all time by a panel of music writers, is being re-released 25 years after it hit number two. ... The video for Agadoo (Mambo 2009 remix) was directed by Bruce Jones, who played Coronation Street's Les Battersby. ... Actor Jones also appears in the video along with fellow former Coronation Street actor Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts in the soap. Michael is joined on the record, released on Monday, by new member Ian Robinson. ... The Q magazine panel summed up the 1984 original as "magnificently dreadful".
  7. ^ a b c "Agadou Doudou". Belgium: The Originals Updates & Info Site. 2008. Archived from the original on May 12, 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ()
  8. ^ "Saragossa Band". Discogs. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  9. ^ - Arie Ribbens discography
  10. ^ "Your useless facts about Derbyshire!". BBC Derby. Derby, United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17. And did you know the annoying novelty tune 'Agadoo' was supposedly recorded by Black Lace after hearing the French original during a night out at 'Gossips', one of Derby's most popular nightclubs of the eighties.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Official Charts > Black Lace". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  12. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for 'Agadoo'". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  13. ^ a b c " > Black Lace – Agadoo (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  14. ^ a b " > Black Lace – Agadoo (chanson)" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  15. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 36. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid-1983 and 19 June 1988.
  16. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website – SA Charts, 1969-1989, Acts B". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  17. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 36. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid-1983 and 19 June 1988.
  18. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for 'Agadoo' (from". (original source published by British Phonographic Industry). Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  19. ^ "Black Lace - Gang Bang". Discogs. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  20. ^ "Black Lace - Action Party". United Kingdom: Zavvi. Archived from the original on 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2008-12-17. [Black Lace] were even immortalised by the TV show Spitting Image with the song The Chicken Song, a parody of Agadoo.