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Music / Bananarama

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"It's a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own
It's a cruel, cruel summer
Now you're gone"
Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

Bananarama are an all-female British pop vocal group from The '80s. They were among the progenitors of the modern Girl Group concept on both sides of the pond and led the way for groups like the Spice Girls, the Pussycat Dolls and Sugababes. Their best known hits include "Cruel Summer", forever associated with The Karate Kid, and their Cover Version of the Shocking Blue's "Venus". The group started as a trio of friends Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward and Sarah Dallin. Siobhan left in 1988 to form Shakespear's Sister with Marcella Detroit, and was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan until 1991. Fahey returned in April 2017 and left in August 2018. Many of their biggest hits were produced by Stock Aitken Waterman.


  • Deep Sea Skiving (1983)
  • Bananarama (1984)
  • True Confessions (1986)
  • Wow! (1987)
  • Pop Life (1991)
  • Please Yourself (1993)
  • Ultra Violet (1995)
  • Exotica (2001)
  • Drama (2005)
  • Viva (2009)
  • In Stereo (2019)
  • Masquerade (2022)

Tropes associated with their works:

  • Boyish Short Hair:
    • Siobhan sported a short haircut during the mid eighties.
    • Both Keren and Sara had their hair short during the late eighties and early nineties.
  • Cover Version: Several, including Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," The Supremes' "Nathan Jones," the Sex Pistols' "No Feelings," the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running," and, of course, "Venus."
  • The Burlesque of Venus: The music video of the cover of "Venus", alongside the sequences of a she-devil, a French woman, a vampire, and several goddesses, comes an homage of Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus surrounded by dancers.
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Hot Line to Heaven" is a song sung about a drug addict who dies because of her addiction.
  • The '80s: This was the decade where Bananarama had their highest charting singles.
  • Girl Group: The band are successful enough to have the most chart entries in the world for an all-female group.
  • A Goddess Am I: "Venus," of course.
  • Greatest Hits Album: The Greatest Hits Collection
  • New Sound Album: 1991's Pop Life, which featured Reggae, acid house and flamenco guitar.
  • New Wave Music: Their first two albums were new wave before the group switched to a dance-pop sound.
  • Rape as Drama: Downplayed. This is the actual subject of "Robert De Niro's Waiting," but the band decided not to emphasize it to make it easier for listeners.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Venus" has been used in several different TV commercials.
  • Rule of Cool: With fire, a woman dressed as the devil, a woman with huge bat-like wings, a woman in a beret pushing a man from one table to another, the band dancing and singing, and all those different women being worshipped by men, and a woman in a wedding dress coming out of a casket, and with none of these different elements acknowledging each other, the video for "Venus" runs on this.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Siobhan left in 1988, following her marriage to the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, disillusionment with the band's musical direction, and feeling alienated from Keren and Sara, since they had been friends longer than they had been with her.
  • Silly Love Songs: "I Heard A Rumour," "Love in the First Degree," etc.
  • Tomboys: This was their early image, and why they turned down Malcolm McLaren's offer to manage them and take them in a Hotter and Sexier direction. Indeed in their earlier music videos the trio often wore checkered shirts, braces or dungarees.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "What Colour R The Skies Where U Live?"note