Aquarium Album is by Aqua, the Danish-Norwegian pop band. Their debut album was released on the 26th of March 1997 under the record label Universal.
The eleven track bubblegum pop album was written by band members along with Jan Langhoff and Peter Hartman. It was produced by Per Adebratt, Delgado, Tommy Ekman, Peter Hartman, Johnny Jam, Jan Langhoff, Claus Norreen and Søren Rasted.
The Aquarium album became a hugely successful first release for Aqua. Worldwide sales have passed sixteen million since 1997.
In the United States, the album has sold over three million units and has been certified 3x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ).
In Canada, the album has been awarded Diamond certification for sales of over one million. In Australia it has been certified 6x Platinum, 5x Platinum in Sweden and 4x Platinum in Norway.
In Finland and Hong Kong is has gained 2x Platinum. In the United Kingdom, the British Phonographic Industry ( BPI ) has certified the album Platinum for sales of over half a million.
The Aquarium album generally received positive reviews from the music press. AllMusic‘s Stephen Thomas Erlewine awarded the album just short of the top marks of five stars. He wrote it had “plenty of infectious filler that keeps the album moving along at a nice pace. “
In a review for Sputnikmusic, ReturnToRock gave it an average rating and wrote that “for all its flaws, Aqua actually seem like they’re trying with their debut effort “.
The most popular single, “Barbie Girl “, was released on the 14th of May 1997.
The third single from the album, it caused Mattel, the Barbie doll’s manufacturer, to sue MCA Records, the band’s record label, for alleged violation of their copyrights and trademarks for the toy and that the song’s lyrics had hurt the company’s reputation.
The case was later dismissed by a judge, with Mattel then using the controversy to their advantage.
“Barbie Girl” peaked at number seven on the 6th of September 1997 and spent sixteen weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Other Billboard Chart positions were twenty-one on the Hot Dance Club Play and fifteen on the Mainstream Top 40 and twenty-four on the Radio Songs Chart.
In the United Kingdom, the single entered the UK Singles Chart on the 25th of October 1997 and topped the chart for four weeks. It spent twelve weeks in the Top Ten and twenty-seven weeks in the Top 100.
“Barbie Girl” also peaked at Number One in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium ( Wallonia/Flanders ), Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Scotland.
The Aquarium album became commercially successful for Aqua. In the United States, it peaked at number seven on the 18th of October 1997 and spent fifty weeks on the Billboard 200.
In the United Kingdom, the album entered the UK Albums Chart on the 15th of November 1997 and peaked at number six. It spent five weeks in the Top Ten and forty-eight weeks in the Top 100.
Aqua also found success with the album topping the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Italy.
In Germany, The Aquarium album reached number six and eleven in France.
Aqua is a Danish-Norwegian pop music group. Formed in 1989, they were known initially as Joyspeed. The band consists of Lene Nystrøm, René Dif, Søren Rasted and Claus Norreen.
In 1994, they signed with a Swedish record label and released their first single “Itzy Bitzy Spider” in the country. The single failed to make an impact, spending one week on the singles chart there. It was also released in Germany and Denmark but failed to chart.
The band members cancelled their contract with the record label and signed with a new manager. Without a record deal, the group had to start again, this time developing the bubblegum pop they would become known for.
They started to write and produce catchy Euro-pop songs, which attracted the attention of Universal Music Denmark.
The four members then changed their name to Aqua, a name they had seen on a poster for an aquarium, and signed with Universal Music Denmark in 1996.
Although Aqua had success with previous singles, they really came to the public’s attention with the release of their third single “Barbie Girl” in May of 1997.
The catchy single and video, mixed with lyrics that contain sexual overtones, helped the single become a worldwide hit.
Further successful singles followed and after their second album, Aquarius, the band went on a hiatus. They reformed in 2008 to perform concerts throughout Denmark.
On the 20th of September 2016, the members announced that Claus Norreen would not be returning. He gave the reason that his musical tastes had changed.
To date, Aqua’s Album releases are three studio, two Compilations and three Remix albums. They have also released eighteen singles and twenty-one music videos.
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, Aqua has won many awards including twelve Danish Music, two World Music and two TMF ( Netherlands music channel ).
Aquarium Album Track Listing:
1. Happy Boys & Girls
2. My Oh My
3. Barbie Girl
4. Good Morning Sunshine
5. Doctor Jones
6. Heat of the Night
7. Be a Man
8. Lollipop ( Candyman )
9. Roses Are Red
10. Turn Back Time
11. Calling You