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Foreign language Number One songs – rare indeed

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Foreign language Number One songs – rare indeed | The Thaiger

The lack of non-English music is a constant in the US, and most other English-speaking markets. The world music industry has been a tightly controlled clique for decades with record labels having the power to determine which artists ever make it onto the charts.

The selection of foreign music Number One hits in the American charts, for example, is tiny. Understandable, mostly because, well, the lyrics are in a foreign language. The situation isn’t much different in the other big English-speaking charts around the world.

Since 1958, when the Billboard Hot 100 started being compiled, there have been more than a thousand Number 1 songs. Only seven haven’t been in English. For the ones that aren’t in English, three of the others have been in Spanish, the second most spoken language in the US with 41 million citizens describing Spanish as their native language.

This small club is likely to get a lot more members now that the power is being taken out of the hands of the larger music companies and their chosen producer, and now being put fairly and squarely in the hands of the listeners and fans. To say the music ‘business’ is going through a sea-change is an understatement. The power of fans to download, share and discuss their musical tastes is a powerful new business model for the dissemination of music.

And if you don’t have a kick-arse video to accompany your music these days, forget about it.

Whilst the larger music companies still play a part, their grip on the tastes of millions is dwindling rapidly.

But with all these changes, a democratization of world music, comes the challenges of finding a new, workable, fair business models that will reward the writers, producers and performers. There is still a long way to go as we settle into the new paradigm.

But kudos to this small club, who could probably hold their meetings in a large phone booth, who reached the Number One position in an industry that was hostile towards languages other than English.

1958: “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” by Domenico Modugno

You know it as ‘Volare’. Despite the lack of non-English songs on the Billboard Hot 100, this Italian song was the number-one song of the year the very first year the Billboard list was made. The song won the Sanremo Music Festival and was Italy’s 1958 entry into Eurovision, a massively popular music contest in Europe (and Australia… go figure). While the song didn’t win Eurovision, it was incredibly successful all around the world, and was on the top of the charts for a total of five weeks. It even won the first-ever Grammy for “Song of the Year.”

1963: “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto

Not only non-English, but also non-European language. The first and only Asian-language song to hit Number One spot (not even Psy’s mega hit ‘Gangnam Style’ reached the Number One spot). “Sukiyaki” is somewhat of an unexpected success. The song was wildly popular in Japan with the title “Ue o Muite Arukō,” which directly translates to “I Look Up As I Walk.” The name “Sukiyaki” was chosen for the English version for some reason, even though Sukiyaki is the name of a Japanese beef dish that has nothing to do with the song. 

1963: “Dominique” by The Singing Nun

Achieving success shortly after “Sukiyaki,” this song is also a surprise hit, especially when compared to the songs that would reach the number-one spot in the coming years of the British invasion. Sung by Jeannine Deckers, a French-speaking nun from Belgium, the song is about Saint Dominic, who founded the Dominican Order she was a member of. Some say this song may have become a hit on the radio because DJs were desperate for pleasant music to play in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The song was number one for four weeks in December 1963.

Then a LONG gap, until…

1986: “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco

After a 23 year hiatus with no foreign-language number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, “Rock Me Amadeus” showed up to reign for three weeks in the spring of 1986. The song is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Falco, born Johann Hölzel, was a classically trained musician who rejected his upbringing to play rock music. The song is in German (except for the “Rock Me” part), but the words didn’t really matter. The driving beat and repetitive “Amadeus, Amadeus” chorus were enough to make this song a staple of the 1980s.

1987: “La Bamba” by Los Lobos

The history of “La Bamba” goes back further than the 1987 version by Los Lobos. It was originally a Mexican folk song, with the earliest known recording being from 1938. In 1958, it was turned into a rock-and-roll hit by Ritchie Valens, who was only 17 years old at the time. The song was the first time that Mexican music had a big impact on the US music industry. At the time, it only reached number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100, however. It wasn’t until 1987 that the song reached number one and held that position for three weeks.

1996: “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio

Los Del Rio is perhaps the most famous example of a one-hit wonder, thanks to “Macarena,” which stayed on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks. You’ll notice, however, that this is the Bayside Boys Mix version of the song, which happens to include the English verses instead of the Spanish ones. The original version of this song, which has only Spanish lyrics, also ranked on the Billboard list, but it was not as successful as the English one. And if you’re over 30-ish you’ll, sadly, remember the dance.

2017: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Feat. Justin Bieber

It took another 21 years for another non-English song to top the charts, and that brings us to 2017’s “Despacito.” The song was on the top of the charts for 16 weeks in 2017, tying “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men for longest reign. The song is one of the most successful Latin songs in history. Surely Justin Bieber’s star power at the time had something to do with this, though Daddy Yankee has had success with two other songs — “Gasolina” and “Rompe” — on the charts.

It likely won’t take another two decades for more foreign-language music to climb the charts in the US. Just keep the band ‘BTS’ – K-Pop’s cross-over sensation – on your radar. Their latest collaboration with EDM-supremo Steve Aoki, just released, is likely to hit the Number One position in the US charts. The twist here is that the song is entirely in English, a first for the South Korean band, currently re-writing records around the world for sell-out concerts and social-media popularity. Fans from around the world scream out the lyrics, in Korean! Things have changed forever. UPDATE: On the first day of its release the song “Waste It On Me” topped the iTunes download list.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Food Scene

Phuket’s Top 10 Brunches

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Top 10 Brunches | The Thaiger

Brunch has become a weekend staple on the island and its seems everyone has their own take on this beloved mix of two meals… a chance to slow down, enjoy some amazing food and try a little bit of everything.

Whether you want something casual or prefer taking a boat to a private island, Phuket gives you the options to do it your way. 

Here are Phuket’s Top 10 Brunches on the island, with options for everyone. You don’t have to max out your card to indulge in a good brunch, just bring an empty stomach.

TWINPALMS SUNDAY BRUNCH

Offering a fabulous array of cuisine in a stylish setting and one of the first brunches to launch on Phuket and has a steadfast reputation of being the place to be seen.

Begin with a Bloody Mary and enjoy the freshest lobster, king crab, prawns, oysters, mussels and sushi and sashimi, all offered in abundance.

Light salads are dotted around to complement the food and for those who crave something a little heavier the roasted meats and hot dishes will not disappoint. Cheese lovers will be delighted to find that the selection is varied and suitably stinky and may be all washed down with a rich glass of port.

Of course, desserts are truly scrumptious, and the signature chocolate fountain is a devilishly delicious pot of sweetness for fresh berries to be dunked into.

Guests may choose whether to enjoy half a bottle of wine or to opt for a free flow of champagne, prices vary according to taste.

Every Sunday 12pm until 3pm.

THB 1,690++ including 1/2 bottle of wine (red/white/sparkling) per person

THB 7,380++ per couple, including a bottle of Champagne

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Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

The Naka Island : Sunday brunch on the island

Every first Sunday of the month, escape from the busy city life and enjoy the beauty of nature with the “Sunday Brunch on the Island” at Naka Yai, which is only a 10-minute boat ride from Ao Por Grand Marina. Enjoy the most exquisite culinary pleasures with fresh seafood, authentic Thai food, pastas, Live BBQ stations, variety of desserts, and much more. After the brunch, enrich your mind by lounging on the tropical beaches, splashing in the pool or exploring our Naka Yai Island by joining the destination discovery program.

Situated within lush coconut groves and stunning beaches with unobstructed views of the emerald green Andaman Sea and Phang Nga Bay, The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket invites discerning travelers to stay in elegant villas, savor gourmet dining experience at the restaurants, and enrich their life with memorable experiences and spa retreats, all enhanced by personalized service.  

THB 2,600++ Water and soft drink included 

THB 3,200++ Half bottle per person from selected wines 

THB 3,900++ Half bottle per person of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne

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Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

Banyan Tree

The Banyan Tree Brunch experience returns with a generous selection of live fresh, local and imported seafood with exceptional Lobster dishes, Japanese starters, mouth-watering meats, Asian wok and Western grill treats. Gourmet cuisine, exceptional service, Live Jazz and tranquil surroundings, Our brunch has something for everyone!

THB 2,800 Net – Food buffet

THB 3,400 Net – Includes free flow beer, select cocktails and soft drinks

THB 4,000 Net –  Includes free slow select wines and bubbly

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

Xana Beach Club Sunday Fun Brunch

XANA’s Sunday Fun Brunch is an ideal weekend escape for the whole family, with a special discount for children aged 6-12, and complimentary dining for all kids under 6 years old. What’s more, a ‘Kids Corner’ will be set up for children to help make this dining experience a fun family activity for all. 

THB 1,450++ Sunday Fun Buffet Brunch

THB 2,250++ with free flow of house wine, sparkling wine, beer and signature cocktails

PHOTO: Hotels.com

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

The Nai Harn Phuket 

Guest can savor delectable creations prepared by culinary maestro, Executive Chef Mark Jones, while enjoying spectacular views over Naiharn Bay and listening to the sounds of Resident DJ Sun. For the first three Sundays in January Savoy London American Bar Legend Salim Khoury will stir and shake your martinis.

THB 2,200 NET – per child aged from 6 to 18 (with free flow juices and soft drinks)

THB 5,500 NET – per adult (with free flow Metodo Classico and Martini Bar)

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

Trisara 

A mid-morning repast on our sunwashed decks with live jazz and the melody of waves tumbling onto shore. A curated menu of exotic and familiar fare, delivered in small plates, the very best seafood and open Barbeque leaves plenty of room for tasting and conversation. Phuket’s must-do Sunday dining experience.

THB 2,600++ Food only

THB 3,200++ Food with a bottle of wine for 2

THB 3,900++ Food with a bottle of Champagne for 2

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

Hilton Phuket Arcadia 

The recently refreshed Sunday family brunch at Hilton Phuket Arcadia offers great culinary options for locals and foreigners with an international menu containing a wide variety of Thai and western dishes. Live music performers and a great family atmosphere complement the fantastic food selection, making this Sunday Brunch a must for families and friends staying around Karon beach.    

THB 999++ Food only 

THB 750 ++ Drink package including house wine, sparkling wine, beer 7 cocktails

Photo: A day to chill

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

The Boathouse 

Happening every last Sunday of the month, enjoy a full gastronomic delicacies ranging from Oyster Selection, Maine Lobster, Foie Gras, Charcutiere Platter, Prime Beef, Great French Cheeses and more.

THB 1,990++ including free flow soft drinks

THB 2,990++ including free flow wines

THB 3,990++ including free flow Piper Heidseick Brut

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

The Slate 

A proud tradition of what is often considered as Phuket’s most renowned Sunday brunch, we continue to hold strong with an exeptional landscape of gastronomy presented at the dreamscapes ‘River’ restaurant and poolside at Underground Cafe. 

THB 2,450++ including free flow soft drinks

THB 3,450++ Including free flow wine, sparkling, local larger and craft beer 

THB 4,050++ Veuve for 2 –  A bottle of Veuve Clicquot (75cl) to share

THB 6,200++ Including free flow Veuve Clicquot

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

Novotel Surin

The delightful brunch features both international and Thai dishes, every Sunday from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. International cuisine includes the live sushi bar, Greek salad, bread corner, pizza and pasta selection. Thai dishes include Roasted chicken, Green curry with fish ball, stir-fried chicken with mushroom and cashew nuts, Tom Yam Goong, Banana Roti live station and more!

THB 599++ Including water and juices

Phuket's Top 10 Brunches | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Rai

‘The Cave’ due out mid year – First cave rescue film to reach cinemas

The Thaiger & The Nation

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‘The Cave’ due out mid year – First cave rescue film to reach cinemas | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai-born director Tom Waller on location during the filming of “The Cave” in central Thailand – AFP

A Thai-born director, Tom Waller,  who reportedly took only a few weeks to shoot the first film about the dramatic Tham Luang cave rescue of the Mu Pa football team in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district, says his focus was on authenticity and the mission’s “unsung” heroes.

AFP reports that book publishers and Hollywood studios are still  jostling to make their versions of the saga that unfolded in the middle of last year.

Tom Waller says “The Cave”, which is aiming for Thai release for the July anniversary of the operation, will be a “genuine” retelling of the gripping mission to extract the 12 boys and their coach from the waterlogged Tham Luang cave.

Its cast features more than a dozen of the real-life rescue heroes as well as extras such as the cooks who provided food round-the-clock food as officials and the world’s media massed at the cave entrance.

The Mu Pa “Wild Boars” spent more than a fortnight trapped in the dark before divers rescued them in an mission of unprecedented complexity — diving the boys out through twisting passageways while they were heavily sedated.

Waller, a Thai citizen with an Irish father and whose work includes “The Last Executioner”, said he did not immediately think he would take on the project despite its real-life dramatic arc.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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Bangkok

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb

The Thaiger

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Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | The Thaiger

Thailand is a hub of creativity; a country filled with artisanal culinary gems and art galleries that boasts creativity and innovation allowing cultural tradition to sit comfortably alongside the embrace of new ideas. Thailand never tires, and Bangkok remains popular, with Airbnb seeing an influx of guests during festivals and events such as Bangkok Design Week, which returns for its second year from January 26 – February 3.

The creative economy is thriving worldwide and in Thailand Airbnb have seen a clear synergy between the creative and sharing economies with recent Airbnb data showing there are 2,000 passionate Airbnb Hosts in Thailand who work in the creative industry.

Airbnb’s global digital platform helps creative entrepreneurs to support themselves, fund their passions and in many cases, showcase their creative work, in turn promoting local culture and authentic travel experiences to international and domestic travellers alike.

Held in the Bang Rak district of Bangkok – known for its creativity and centering around Charoen Kung Road, Bangkok’s oldest road – the second edition of Bangkok Design Week is held under the theme “Fusing Forward” and looks to build on its first year of success.
With almost 10,000 Airbnb travellers expected in Bangkok each day of design week, and almost a quarter of all creative Airbnb hosts in Thailand being based in Bangkok, we share some unique Homes across the city, ideal for those looking to enjoy Bangkok’s creative vibe.Between waking up from the comforts of a creatively designed home to attending hosted talks, travellers and locals alike are finding inspiration in this ever evolving golden city. Airbnb has also recently launched Airbnb Plus, which are a selection of homes intended for guests looking for one-of-a-kind, thoughtfully designed, beautiful homes with exceptional hosts.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger1) Anonymous Heritage Home

This rare and unique Thai house built at the turn of the 20th century, is made from golden teak wood and features antique objects, artworks, and high ceilings. Located in Silom area, the creative district is a short stroll away and the river boat for the old town and temples are minutes away.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

2) Bā hào

A renovated 40-year old shophouse in the vibrant China Town area of Bangkok, Bā hào offers  Thai-contemporary inspired accommodation on the third and fourth floors with a shared living space on the second and an eclectic Oriental-style bar on the first floor.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

3) Retro Chic Retreat

Minimalist and zen-like, this townhouse is located in the heart of the city yet offers a laid back feel away from the hustle. With five bedrooms, it’s ideal for a group looking to explore the city’s creative nooks and crannies.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

4) Design house near Chatuchak Market and Ari

This architect-designed house is in a lovely neighborhood with many local street foods nearby, and easy access to Bangkok’s most popular creative hotspot Chatuchak Market, tourist spots and shopping malls.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

5) J. No 14

This family-owned, antique design B&B is located between the old city and the new, and offers a truly unique accommodation experience located just 300m from the nearest BTS station and 600m from the nearest Chao Phraya River pier.

Airbnb is also supporting a new wave of creative entrepreneurs, where we see more creatives becoming Airbnb hosts. Meet local artists and spend the afternoon with them through Airbnb Experiences.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

6) Lai Rod Num: Thai crafts gold workshop

Lai Rod Num is an ancient Thai craft using gold leaf and black lacquer painting which is often used in the decoration of temples or palaces pillars, window and door panels, ceremonial bowls, jewelry boxes, and much more. You will learn more about the craft and in the workshop using an adapted modern technique have the chance to create your own craft piece which you can take home.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

7) 1970’s photo shooting with blogger

Blogger and photographer Tommy will show three completely different faces of Bangkok, in three different neighborhoods, highlighting Bangkok’s diversity and the most beautiful points of the city. Guests will experience classic Bangkok architecture as well as the ‘hipster’ side of Bangkok with its hidden graffiti, street art and how local people live, and amazing Bangkok views.

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