is a 1978 disco
song, sung by Barry Manilow
, and written by Jack Feldman
, Barry Manilow, and Bruce Sussman
. It is also known as At the Copa
after the first few words of the refrain. It debuted on Billboard
magazine's Top 40 chart on July 7
, and peaked at #8. It peaked at #42 in the UK the same year 1978
. A remixed version of the song peaked at #22 in 1993
. The record earned for Manilow his first (and only, to date) Grammy Award
in February 1979.
The song's title refers to the famous New York City night club, the Copacabana night club. As per the lyrics "... at the Copa, Copacabana, hottest spot north of Havana ...", and tells the story of Lola, a showgirl, and her lover Tony, a bartender at the club.
The recording was used as incidental music in the 1978 movie Foul Play, which starred Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, and has been featured in over a dozen other films. The single version clocks in at 4:08, the Extended Disco version is titled "Copacabana (At the Copa)(Disco)" and is 5:46. As opposed to a commercial 12" single, the extended version was on the B-side of the 45 and can also be found on Manilow's first Greatest Hits double album.
A Spanish language version of the song exists as well. Recorded as "Copacabana (En el Copa)".
A home demo recording, albeit truncated, is available on the 4 CD/1 DVD box set collection, The Complete Collection and Then Some...
In 1985, Manilow and his collaborators Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman expanded the song into a full length, made-for-television film musical, writing many additional songs and expanding the plot suggested by the song. This was the first original musical written for television since Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1957. This film version was then further expanded by Manilow, Feldman, and Sussman into a full-length, two-act stage musical that ran at the Prince of Wales Theatre on London's West End for two years prior to a lengthy tour of the UK. An American production was later mounted that toured the US for over a year. Over 200 productions of the show have since been mounted worldwide.
In Popular Culture
- A parody cover version by the name of Star Wars Cantina was performed by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine.
- A parody cover version by the name of His Name Is Lancelot was performed in the 2005 musical Spamalot.
- Philadelphia DJ/Comedian Big Daddy Graham recorded the parody cover version Senile Casino.
- Liza Minnelli performed and danced to the song on The Muppet Show.
- Sang by Jennifer Aniston, as Rachel Green on NBC's hit show "Friends," at the wedding of Rachel's ex-fiance Barry to her former bridesmaid Mindy, from Season 2 Episode 24, "The One With Barry and Mindy's Wedding".
- A Jamaican steel drum band that only knew how to play Copacabana made a number of appearances on The Super Dave Osborne Show, always replacing the never seen "Super Dave Band", who were always at a bar mitzvah on their scheduled day to appear on the show.
- Shirley Bassey also covered the song in 1979, on the double A-side single "This Is My Life".
- In 1980 Rex Gildo covered the song in German.
- John Pinette makes a brief appearance in the movie Duets in order to sing a cover of this song as part of a karaoke competition.
- French singer Amanda Lear recorded an English-French language cover version of the song in 2005.
- A parody cover version by the name of Kopa koopavond was performed by Annie de Rooy a fictional female character portrayed by male Dutch comedian Paul de Leeuw. Koopavond means "late night shopping" in Dutch.
- In 1999 the German DJ Hell released remixes by Ian Pooley, Abe Duque, Phats & Small, and himself.
- A cover was used in the video game Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore.
- Kylie Minogue performs the song on her KYLIEX2008 Tour.
- Colt Cabana used this song as his entrance music in Ring of Honor. He later used a remix of the song by Kid Russel.
- Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos named their daughter Lola after the showgirl in the song.
- Barry Manilow's Copacabana is referenced in the song Squeeze Me Macaroni by Mr. Bungle from their self-titled album. Part of the song Squeeze Me Macaroni goes; "Bananarama or ramabanana, F*&%in' Barry Manilow on the Copa Cabana"
- Comedian Denis Leary references the song on his No Cure For Cancer album in a song called Voices in My Head.
- On WWE, The Rock wanted Jonathan Coachman to sing Copacabana if the crowd cheers. After cheering, Coachman briefly sings it but The Rock ends up criticizing him. (Before his criticism, The Rock accidentally unplugged the microphone after using excessive force.)