A disco version of the song by Santa Esmeralda featuring Leroy Gomez, which took The Animals' arrangement and added some disco, flamenco, salsa, and other Latin rhythm and ornamentation elements to it, also became a hit in the 1970s. First released in summer 1977 as a 16-minute epic that took up an entire side of their Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood album, it was picked up for more worldwide distribution by the label of the time, Casablanca Records. A 12-inch club remix was extremely popular, hitting number one on the U.S. Billboard Club Play Singles chart and in some European countries as well. The single peaked at number four on the Hot Dance/Disco-Club Play chart. Released as a pop single late in the year, it did well as well, reaching number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 by early 1978. NBC Sports would use the song frequently in the years following its release, especially during their coverage of the World Series.
Santa Esmeralda's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was used as the opening theme of the 1980 pilot for the U.S. game show Bullseye, after which a sound-alike was used in regular episodes. Santa Esmeralda's rendition is featured in the 1992 film American Me. It became widely popular with a later generation after its inclusion in the 2003 film Kill Bill Vol. 1, where its instrumental passage plays over the Bride-O-Ren Ishii duel, and the accompanying Kill Bill Vol. 1 Original Soundtrack, where it is incorporated in a full vocal form that runs over 10 minutes. A rendition appears in the trailer for the 2005 film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as well as the 2008 Korean "western" film The Good, the Bad, the Weird, played in the chasing sequence in Manchurian desert.
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