If you identify yourself as a kid of the 90s, as I like to identify myself, then you definitely danced to Haddaway’s “What Is Love” at some point. The song, released in 1993 and part of The Album, reached the number one position in 11 countries in Europe and Asia (it peaked at number one for 6 weeks in the Eurochart Hot 100) and reached number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Eurodance artist Haddaway came out with a grand total of six albums in his career (his latest Pop Splits came out in 2005) and although the hit single was followed by more successes in Europe such as “Life”, most of us in the United Stated would categorize him as a one hit wonder. Well at least, it’s a damn good hit.
In the music video --which is odd and bordeline creepy as you would expect a 90s video to be -- Haddaway shows off his dance moves in a castle with vampire dancers. So I guess he was into vampires before “Twihards” were even born.
In the United States, the song enjoyed a renewed popularity thanks to the Saturday Night Live sketch “Roxbury Guys”, in which Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan and usually a third celebrity member (my favorite Jim Carrey!), dress up in their finest rayon suits and hit different clubs in New York City. Through the entire sketch, the guys are bobbing their heads in unison to Haddaway’s song, all the while getting rejected by every women they try their really bad game on.
If by some miracle you don’t know the original, the song was revived by many cover versions including The Gossip’s 2007 spoof version “When is Lunch?” In 2010, it was sampled in Eminem’s “No Love” featuring Lil Wayne, and was also recently covered by Paige Thomas, a contestant in this year’s X Factor.
An (adult) friend of mine once asked me “What is love?” and I have been making fun of him ever since (because he was being serious). But it’s actually an honest question, and according to Haddaway, love is hurt. At least we can dance to it!
Let's mix business and pleasure: