Ooops Up

Album: World Power (1990)
Charted: 5 35

Songfacts®:

  • "Ooops Up" is based on a 1979 song by The Gap Band called "I Don't Believe You Want to Get up and Dance (Oops!)," which is commonly known by its refrain "Oops Upside Your Head." Penny Ford, who was the original female vocalist in Snap! and rejoined the group in 2006, sang on this track and came up with many of the lyrics. Penny sang backup with the Gap Band earlier in her career, but she wasn't the one who picked this song.

    Snap! was the German producers Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti, who in 1989 recruited the American singer Penny Ford to add vocals to the beats they had assembled. Penny spent 3 days working with the producers, and she described the experience to us: "It was more or less them picking me up by the scruff of my neck like a pit bull and throwing me in the booth with a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of champagne and turning the mike on. That's how it happened. (laughing) And I'd just create. I just sang the first thing that came off the top of my head, because I didn't understand that music, and I didn't think I'd ever have to hear it again."

    Penny was improvising the words as she went along. When it came to "Ooops Up," she told us: "on "They had the 'Oops upside your head' sample, which was ironic, because I started out with the Gap Band, so I know a little something about that. But I'd just ask them through the booth, I was like, Hey, how do you say 'oops' in German? And they said, 'Opala.' And so I said, 'Everybody say oops up side your head, say oops upside your head, somebody say opala.' And it's a big frickin' hit."
  • At the end of this song, Penny Ford does a dirty nursery rhyme taken from an Andrew Dice Clay bit. Here's how she told us it happened: "I used to do this thing where I would curse into the mike because as a musician, many times the producers will use the worst vocal. So I started doing this stupid thing when I was really young: if I sang something that I hated, I would cuss in the track, that way they would have to erase it. Now we have digital, so they can just erase the cuss and keep the crap. It's not like back in the day when they would have to tape this whole thing back together. But I did one of those notes at the end of 'Ooops Up' and I wanted them to take the track back so I could re-do it. So I started singing that stupid Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey, along came a spider and sat down beside her and said, 'What's in the bowl, bitch?' I'm cracking up, and I'm like, no, no, I'm just kidding. Take the track back. And they were like, 'What? We love this! This is good!' So now, every single weekend thousands of people are singing that back to me."
  • Snap! had several hits in Europe, and continue to be very popular worldwide. Penny Ford left after their first album because of conflicts with the group's rapper, Turbo B, who she had to perform with. Not long after her departure, the German producers of Snap! asked Penny to take a creative role with the group and help them find her replacement, which she did. She recruited Thea Austin, who sang on the hit "Rhythm Is A Dancer," and later brought in Paula Brown and Niki Haris. Turbo B left around 1993, and in 2006 when Ford re-joined as a performer, the new rapper Benjamin "Stoli" Lowe joined the group. Get much more of the story in our interview with Penny Ford.

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