I love this quote from a Bananrama documentary that I found on YouTube: "Before the 80s, girl groups were groomed like a beautiful pony, but in 1982 a britsh group cam along that kicked down the stable door."
Yowsa! Saddle up, girls! I have never actually bought a Bananarama alblum, but I have always enjoyed their songs on the radio. I did buy the soundtrack to the film "Rainman" for a piece of incidental music, and that album had the Bananarama song "Nathan Jones"
on it. I found that I really enjoyed that song, as well as other Bananarama songs that I heard on the radio, like "Venus"
and "Cruel Summer".
When I started looking up Bananarama videos on you tube, I was struck by two things. First, they have an awful lot of songs that they have done that I've never heard of - and second, They performed a lot of songs that I had
heard of, but did not know it was Bananarama that did them. Songs, like "Shy Boy", "I Heard a Rumor"
and "Kiss Him Goodbye".
. I had no idea that these were bananarama songs.
Admittedly, some of these songs are pretty dreadful, like "Do Not Disturb"
, "More Than Physical"
, "I Love The Way"
and "More More More".
On the other hand, I found far more songs that I had never heard of before that I thought were great, like "Middle of Nowhere"
, "Robert De Niro's Waiting"
, Take Me To Your Heart
, I Want You Back
and Rough Justice
Watching the videos you can see why the group is so great. It's the freakin' motown dance moves!
Those sychronized girl-group dance moves that you saw in fifties. Most stars are too self-conscience to do these kind of moves, and are too busy posing as legimate "artistés" to have this much fun on stage. Check out their dance moves in I Want You Back
, and "Love in the First Degree"
There are really only two kinds of good music: Motown - and all the stuff that is not as good as Motown. I was not born during the golden age of Motown music, so I missed it. But it's sort of an unspoken bit of common knowledge that nothing will ever
begin to compare to the Motown sound.
One summer I listened to almost nothing but the same three Smokey Robinson and Miracles records. (I would occasionally take a break and listen to Otis Redding.) Things change. That was then, and this is now - But there is also Motown, and then there is everything else. Among some of the undisputed best girl groups ever
were Motown sound girl groups, groups like Diana Ross & Supremes
, The Ronettes
, and The Chiffons
Bananarama does not have a Motown sound, the are more like a quasi-bubblegum pop disco-zombie band. But it's not only their sound that makes Bananarama great, it's their wicked dance moves - and these are borrowed from the greats like the Supremes. It is from this great Motown fount that they draw their super girl-group mojo.
BTW, the music that I bought the soundtrack to the film "Rainman" for was a piece of background music done by Hans Zimmer. Here is a YouTube video
that uses that bit of music. On the album it is listed as "Leaving Wallbrook/On The Road". You can also listen to this and other short clips from the album here
. Another great song from the album was "The Iko Iko"
by the Belle Stars.