on 29 October 2013
This is part of Edsel's range of reissued Bananarama albums. There's simply so much here it's hard to know where to start.
The classic 11-track album sounds wonderful with the spit and polish given to it here. This is probably Bananarama's most interesting collection of songs, many with a rather melancholic, even downbeat edge. They explored soulful sounds here and of course famously tried out Stock/Aitken/Waterman for size on two tracks, the start of something big.
CD1 brings us the classic album, the B-sides we'd expect, "Riskin' a Romance" from "The Secret of My Success" and of interest to fans two unreleased songs; "Vicious Circle" and "Too Much of a Good Thing". According to the extensive liner notes these were cut from the final edition of the album when the two Stock/Aitken/Waterman songs were included, never to see the light of day until now. They're weaker than the final album tracks, which is perhaps why Keren and Sara are unhappy with their release. They fit in with the rest of the album perfectly however and fans the world over will be delighted to hear these straight from the studio master. "Vicious Circle" is for me the better of the two, the melody in the verses recalling "Ready or Not" and "Promised Land", and like those being better than the chorus.
CD2 brings us so many remixes, some familiar, some less so. The highlight has to be the Shep Pettibone/Bruce Forrest remixes of "Ready or Not", betraying that song's status as a possible single. They don't match the nostalgic magic of the original, but are must haves for fans. They even include an early version of "Venus" which was infamously once released in error as an obscure B-side.
The DVD brings us the videos we'd expect, including the quite seminal "Venus", the stunning product of Bruno Tonioli's work with the girls. We have both version of "A Trick of the Night", - the rarely seen black and white "Number One" version alongside the colour Jolley & Swain version. As a bonus even the "In At The Deep End" programme is included - a wonderful example of using the BBC archive to everyone's benefit. This bit of classic 80s documentary sees TV presenter Paul Heiney directing the "Trick" video, and enduring Bananarama's unenthusiastic response. A couple of live performances including the essential "Wogan" complete the set.
The packaging of these Bananarama reissues is the best I've seen. Besides the extensive booklet and beautiful hardback binding, Edsel have retained most of the original album artwork, used the same fonts and even put in shots of the labels for the vinyl singles. Lots of lovely touches for fans.
My favourite Bananarama song "A Trick of the Night" is on here in two versions. It still epitomises everything I fell in love with all those years. Those slightly melancholic harmony vocals, intelligent lyrics and a cracking tune. Good stuff, a must have for fans and a beautiful product.
This is a really lovely set, and produced to a high standard. Keren and Sara might not be happy with the release, but I certainly am. For those comparing it to the Warner reissue form 2007, the only track on that not included here is the Stock/Aitken/Waterman 7" "Number One" mix of "A Trick of the Night", though the 12" (with Princess samples) is on this deluxe set.
A must have!
on 29 November 2013
This was always my favourite Banana album I always loved the Jolley/Swain tracks - and the two "new" tracks that were presumably dropped to accommodate Venus and More Than Physical don't disappoint. A 7" version of More Than Physical would have made this complete, but the extra tracks are all excellent. For me Ghost is perhaps one of their best songs, White Train, Scarlett are also excellent. Set On Your is classic early Stock Aitken Waterman almost a prototype - I loved this album back in 1986, I still do now
The DVD is excellent although the making of Trick Of The Night is very dated and doesn't show the group in the best light
on 29 January 2014
Though there are more than a few tracks missing to say this is "complete", it's the best issue yet released. We get previously unreleased tracks from the "vaults", loads of liner-notes and pictures in the booklet and it's a serious effort for the first time ever. Hoping for an extra Nanas collection with the missing goods. Four stars are because there was glue on a part of the DVD which proves careless packaging as opposed to this well-cared re-issue.