Bananarama – The Greatest Hits Collection (1988)

Herb Ritts was to 80s photography what Norman Seeff was to the 70s.

Does anyone else have a soft spot for the pure 80s pop of Bananarama? Is that soft spot in the head?

While the record police would no doubt haul me down to the station for questioning upon finding such cheerful inanity in my collection, I maintain this largely unison-sung Bananarama best-of is well-built, unpretentious good fun–a worthwhile aural equivalent to a girls’ night out.

It’s not all about the Modern Jazz Quartet, you know.

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Published in: on January 19, 2012 at 9:17 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. … perhaps in this case the soft spot in question is the sludge that you find in the inside of an over-ripe banana…

    the most incredible and mystifying thing about this lot is that despite their lack of any noticeable talent and one-trick pony routine they far outlasted many of their peers, but then again, as you suggest perhaps the key to their longevity (and continuing success) is that they make music for bimbos, be they of the female or gay variety – as has apparently happened to them, once you become accepted and idolised as a gay icon a la kylie then you’re never likely to be short of work…

    that reminds me of a few years ago when sheena easton (who on paper had all the attributes) tried to muscle in on the gay market (probably because of kylie’s success), but because she chose it rather it choosing her, her efforts were as welcomed as a fart in a space suit!

  2. further to the above, i’ve remembered a couple of more things about bananarama that may be of interest:

    1 – when i was studying popular music at uni i was set an assignment on “manufactured pop”, so i decided to investigate the kings of such puppet-mastery stock aitken and waterman… in their early days when they were up-and-coming they worked with the above established trio, but despite some success they pulled the plug because (as pete waterman said in one book i read) “they interfered too much with the recording process”…

    2 – when they were at the peak of their success i remember hearing a rumour that the blonde one was a transexual!

  3. i have that soft spot. in fact i thrifted their debut elpee ‘deep sea skiving’ a couple years back but never got around to bloggin it. downend connection too! top banana

  4. That’s right. The good looking one (i.e. not the trannie or the one who cut her own hair) was a local girl (if you’re in the Fishponds area). In an amazing 80s nexus way, she’s now partnered to A. Ridgely of not-contributing-anything-but-a-pretty-face-to-Wham! fame.

    In the course of writing this article, I watch some B’rama vids including some live performances of recent vintage. I’m sure they don’t care, but it did look kinda sad in a way described by W’force.

    Still like this record, though, especially “Venus”.

  5. one more recollection comes to mind regarding this lot: not being overly familiar with gaelic names, for several years i thought one of them was called “sy-o-ban”, and only much later did i discover it was actually pronounced “shiv-orn”!

    i did know that the dark-haired one got married (or as near as) to the king of the air-guitar – if one was to conduct a poll to ascertain which of that pair had the most (or rather least) musical talent, i’m sure it would be a close call…

  6. I’m beginning to think you protest too much, W!

  7. yes, i seem to know an awful lot about them considering i never had a high opinion!

    the reason is that (probably due to the lack of serious female competition at the time – only kim wilde comes to mind as a rival) they were always featured in the bright and shiny UK pop mags of the day such as “smash hits” and “number one”, that i used to devour each week like a starving man…

    such constant exposure despite the limited nature of their act no doubt helped them to become chart perrenials with regular TOTP appearances… so if you had an interest in british 80’s pop there was no getting away from them!

  8. […] Herb Ritts action on the inner […]


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