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10 Fun Facts You Never Knew About Iconic Pop Band Bananarama!

10 Fun Facts You Never Knew About Iconic Pop Band Bananarama!

Bananarama is one of the biggest pop acts of all time!

The British troupe, formed back in 1980, notched a Guinness World Record for the world’s highest number of chart entries by an all-female group: between 1982 and 2009 alone, they had 30 singles reach the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart.

Glorious- The Ultimate Collection, the group’s upcoming compilation out on March 8, 2024, celebrates the many milestones of Bananarama members Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward‘s career, featuring personally curated career highlights and smashes like “Cruel Summer,” “Venus,” and “Love In The First Degree.”

Ahead of the release of their upcoming release, the duo is dropping two brand new remixes, out today (December 1).

Keep reading to find out more…

The Reflex supplies a French touch to the band’s 1984 Top 10 hit “Robert De Niro’s Waiting…,” and even sourced the original recording tapes for new elements, including bass and guitars.
Australian producer Luke Million takes on 2022′s “Velvet Lies,” providing an Italo-disco, electro-funk flair.

“We wanted this to be a unique collection, a celebration of all the twists and turns in our career. We compiled endless lists of songs, album tracks and hit singles and whittled it down to forty: our favorite tracks from the past four decades. Leafing through my early lyric books transported me back to that teenage girl writing poems and scribbles that would eventually be turned into songs. Each track … is a piece of the jigsaw and a connection to me. Together they create the bigger picture, the story of us as artists. It has been one almighty journey,” says Sara.

Keren adds: “At times we have maybe felt that we haven’t received the credit, respect, and recognition we deserve, certainly sometimes purely down to the fact we were born female. I feel the collection of songs we have amassed over the last four decades hopefully speak for themselves, so I don’t have to. Putting the music together for this project… made me realize how much we have achieved and how determined, tenacious, and hardworking we are.”

The group is set to perform at The London Palladium on April 3 and 4, 2024, as well as hitting the stage for London’s Mighty Hoopla Festival on June 1, 2024.

To celebrate the new remixes and upcoming compilation, we’re presenting 10 Fun Facts you might not know about the best-selling band.

1. Their first single was a cover of Black Blood’s “Aie A Mwana.” The song’s lyrics were in Swahili, and they had to spell out the words phonetically and sing it that way. One of the song’s writers, Daniel Vangarde, is the father of Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter.

2. Early collaborator Terry Hall (of The Specials and Fun Boy Three) invited them to record “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)” after spotting them in street style bible The Face. On seeing them he said they looked like “a band that didn’t look like a band, just scruffy.”

3. For their first TV appearance on Top of The Pops, they were given £50 each for wardrobe, which they spent at department store Peter Robinson on London’s Oxford Street on matching trousers rolled up to knee, tunic tops, worn on stage with bare feet!

4. Bananarama have written many of their own hits, but their very first self-penned single was “He’s Got Tact,” released only in Japan. It was the jingle they wrote for a Japanese Honda scooter commercial which not only starred Bananarama, but also actor Peter Fonda.

5. “He’s Got Tact” wasn’t the band’s only brush with Hollywood actors. Their hit “Robert De Niro’s Waiting..” saw the band meet Robert himself in a London pub (with their friends dotted around incognito on other tables around the room) after calling up the band at their council estate flat to ask them out. The chorus had been a toss-up between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino

6. Bananarama were one of only four women (!) (along with Jody Watley) to appear on the original version of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and the only act to appear on both the 1984 version and the Stock Aitken Waterman version of 1989, both of which reached #1 on the charts.

7. Their cover of the Doobie Brothers‘ 1973 hit “Long Train Running” leant into the dance pop crossover of the day, proving to be a Balearic hit with ravers in Ibiza. To capture an authentically flamenco feeling, the band had The Gypsy Kings provide vocals and guitars, under the pseudonym Alma De Noche.

8. George Michael loved their song, “Tripping on Your Love,” so much that he offered his remix services to the girls, creating The Metropolis Mix, one of the very few remixes George ever undertook.

9. One of their overlooked singles, 1992’s “Last Thing On My Mind,” written by the band with Mike Stock and Pete Waterman, would go on to find a second life when it was covered and released as a single by Steps in 1998, going Top 10 and selling over 400,000 copies in the UK alone.

10. Almost 40 years since it was first used for the soundtrack to the film The Karate Kid, their 1983 hit “Cruel Summer” has been used for a film once again, used for the trailer of the upcoming movie Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Watch it here!

Get to know even more pop bands with 10 Fun Facts!

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Photos: Mark Mattock
Posted to: 10 Fun Facts, Bananarama, Exclusive, Music