Baccara – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

13th September 2023 · 1970s, 1977, Disco, Music

There was no escaping this song in the summer of ’77, though I was far more interested in the Pistols and the Clash than chart-topping disco tunes.

It got a second life in 2020 when the Scotland football team were filmed singing it in their dressing room to celebrate qualifying for the Euros – and now it’s become their anthem. You could hear the fans sing it in their game against England last night.

So who were Baccara?

It turns out they were a pair of Spanish flamenco artists called Mayte Mateus and Maria Mendiolo, who were performing for tourists in the Canaries when a record exec saw them on his holiday.

He teamed them up with songwriter Rolf Soja, and christened them Baccara and the next thing they had sold 16 million copies of their debut single.

At the time it was the best-selling single of all time by a female group, as well as making them the first female duo to top the charts, and first Spaniards until Julio Iglesias four years later.

Their follow-up, Sorry, I’m A Lady, was another Top Ten hit and they represented Luxembourg in the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest but soon split up to pursue solo careers, before forming separate duos – Baccara (Mendiola) and New Baccara (Mateos) – to trade on their past.

So what was the secret to their global success? The Independent nailed it by describing their “mind-bending Common Market melding of foreign accents, bad diction, bizarre arrangements and lightweight production, usually top-heavy with strings.”