Thursday, January 7, 2016

"Shy Boy (Don't It Make You Feel Good)" by Bananarama

Song#:  1513
Date:  07/02/1983
Debut:  89
Peak:  83
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Dance, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Childhood friends Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward formed this British girl group in 1979 along with Siobhan Fahey. By 1981, the trio was taking residence above a rehearsal studio that was used by friend and former Sex Pistol member Paul Cook. He would end up co-producing their first recording, a remake of a 1975 Black Blood song sung in Swahili called "Aie a Mwana." It was meant to be a demo, but ended up getting released as a single that hit #76 on the UK chart. The attention led to them supporting another group, Fun Boy Three, on their single, the #4 "It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It). The trio got signed to London Records and eventually issued their debut album Deep Sea Skiving. This song was the third single released from the album and it hit #4 on the UK chart. It then got a little attention in the US where it reached #14 on the Dance chart and made a brief appearance at Pop.

ReduxReview:  Their girl group sound was a bit unusual due to them singing in unison most of the time instead of doing harmonies. But it gave them a unique sound that served them well over the years. I think most folks thought they were just an arranged group that kind of sang while everyone else did the work, however for the most part they co-wrote their material and they were in charge a good chunk of the time. I've always enjoyed them especially when they toss out fun singles like this one. Although written and produced by the Jolley & Swain team, it was a terrific link between old girl group songs and new wave. I'm not sure why this did not catch on more at Pop. It deserved to be a bigger hit.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) So - the group name. Apparently, it got started thanks to the tropical feel of their first song "Aie a Mwana." Banana seemed quite tropical and flowed with the Swahili that they phonetically learned in order to sing the tune. But "banana" just wasn't enough for a band name. They then added the "rama" to the end, which was inspired by the Roxy Music song "Pjamarama" (UK #10, 1973). There are stories that the "banana" part came from the children's TV show "The Banana Splits," but in a USA Today interview, the group confirmed that was not the case.  2) The video for this song was directed by two members of the British band Ultravox, Midge Ure and Chris Cross. Ultravox was riding high at the time with their album Quartet, which would spawn four Top 20 UK singles. One of those singles, "Reap the Wild Wind," became their first and only US Pop chart entry. It hit #71 in April of '83.


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