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4.7 out of 5 stars18
4.7 out of 5 stars
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2007
Bananarama's self-titled second studio album was all about consolidation. After successfully making a name for themselves away from Fun Boy Three, the group needed to cement their place in the pop echelon. As such, "Bananarama" must surely be considered a soaring success.

Notable for spawning two of their biggest ever hits ("Cruel Summer" and "Robert De Niro's Waiting") as well as two of their most criminally overlooked ("Rough Justice" and the glorious "Hotline To Heaven"), this album has so much more to offer, and holds up magnificently in this remastered form with pertinent bonus tracks.

A graduate of that 80s school of thought which stated that an album was better off being concise and to the point; the original studio album accommodated a mere 9 tracks, but each of them has a place - "all killer; no filler", if you will.

Surprisingly poignant in places and flowing seamlessly throughout, this second long player is supremely assured, confident and brimming with determined musical intent. And there we were thinking they were just out for a laugh!

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2011
Bananaramas second album saw the trio of Sarah Dallin,Keren Woodward and Siobhan Fahey develop their sound and image down a more mature path.Stylistically the approach was still pop with a new wave /post punk/post disco feel but lyrically the girls were starting to get serious and political.The albums opening number and lead of single is the classic Cruel Summer a song written about the claustraphobic intensity of summer heat and lonliness,a state of mind song which everyone interpreted as love or anti love song.The follow up release Robert de Niros Waiting another smash hit self penned classic with an uplifting feel that disguises the dark menacing nature of the lyrical content.The song was actually about a date rape victim emmersing herself in a fantasy world were Robert de Niro was her ideal man but of course everyone assumes the song is a lyrical tribute to the actor.Meenwhile the rest of the album has a somewhat overt darker feel then the debut,State Im In sounds like a brash motown homage with an infectious chorus and angst ridden lyrics this would have made a more obvious follow up to the established smash hits Cruel Summer and Robert de Niros Waiting.Though the critically accliamed Rough Justice was a moderate hit and is still a highlight today this was the third release from the album and the first of three consecutive non top twenties for the group,an indication that the music buying public prefered a more lighter fun loving trio as opposed to a socially concious one.Still the simple,emotive and rather innocent song is amongst one of their best and is included here in 2007 re release in both album and single versions.King Of The Jungle a song written about the political situation in Ireland has a captivating production which sounds very jungle inspired and an intense vocal from the trio contrasting their girl group "ooooohs" with a darker baseline that would be one of the records most spine tingling moments.Dream Baby the only track on the album not to be written by the band is a dark motown inspired number whilst Hot Line To Heaven is a new wave style pop song about drug abuse and the high powered life which emerged as a minor hit from the album,Through A Childs Eyes is a soft sentimental ballad which closes the set and is a firm indication that the trio can write and perform ballads with a slightly serious yet accesible feel.The 2007 re release comes with single versios of Rough Justice and Hot Line To Heaven and b sides Cairo,Push and Live Now which fit in with the tone and feel of the album and what the group where about at the time.A less fun but still infectious and more edgier offering from the quintessential girl band,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2010
Definitely their finest hour, in my opinion, and quite a progression from 'Deep Sea Skiving'. It's just a great mixture of fun, pop stuff like 'Dream Baby', 'Cruel Summer' and 'Robert De Niro's Waiting' along with harder-edged material like 'Hotline To Heaven' and 'Rough Justice' However, it all sounds great and this edition has been superbly remastered, and padded out with a good number of bonus tracks including their US hit, 'The Wild Life'.

The next 2 albums, the heavier 'True Confessions' and the poptastic 'Wow!' are excellent too, but 'Bananarama' will always be my personal favourite.

Remember the fold-out poster with lyrics from the 1984 vinyl LP? Those were the days, eh?!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 October 2013
Like all of Edsel's reissues this is a beautifully produced album and full of goodies. Cased in a hardback book and reusing much of the original artwork and fonts, even the girls' little handwriten bits are here which were missing from the 2007 Rhino release.

This CD is perhaps my favourite by Bananarama. Keeping the superbly produced pop perfection with a slight melancholic edge of "Deep Sea Skiving" but more serious in tone, this CD still sounds great today. CD1 features the original 8 track album (9 tracks now the "Link" at the end of side 1 is given its own track number) along with the B-sides and the fabulous soundtrack song "The Wild Life".

Unreleased gems come in a 12" mix and instrumental of "The Wild Life", which give a whole new dimension to this favourite. This song had limited release anyway and hearing these for the first time is great. We're also treated to an unreleased 12" of the pop-with-a-consience classic "Rough Justice" and unsegued versions of "Dream Baby" and "King of the Jungle", the latter two for completists. The instrumental of "State I'm In" is begging for the listener to get up and do karaoke in the style of the video to this song (as found on disc 3)

The 1989 remix of "Cruel Summer" is tagged on, jarringly rather awkwardly with the timeless pop elsewhere. Strangely "Venus" and "I Heard a Rumour" were remixed at the same time as these but these have not been included on their respective album reissues. Perhaps just as well, they don't come close to the original perfection.

Moving onto the DVD, all the original videos are here of course. There's a marked progression from "Cruel Summer", where the girls are a little unstyled (see "Deep Sea Skiving), but by "Rough Justice" are fantastically glamourous. This video has always been a fave as the girls take over a TV studio in memorable style. These are complemented by some classic retro TV appearances, and a performance of "Michael, Row The Boat Ashore", not something I thought I'd add to my Banana collection.

Fabulous stuff - a must have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2013
After the fun and we don't care attitude of their debut album this was the bananas attempt at being serious, getting a message across and being thoughtful - sadly 2 of the singles were virtually overlooked although Cruel Summer and Robert De Niro were monster hits.

This album has a classic mid 80s sound and is much more consistent that their other albums (apart from WOW). There are some great b sides and extra tracks - why wasn't the 7" of Hotl Line To Heaven a much bigger hit? It sounds excellent remastered. Rather jarring is the addition of Cruel Summer 89 remix - but where else would it go?
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on 7 December 2013
I agree with other reviewers, this is their best album by far. Much as I like SAW, the Jolley & Swain production suited them more. They were never part of the SAW production line of artists & I think the tracks they co-wrote with them prove that. Notably I Heard A Rumour & Love, Truth & Honesty. I put them in the same category as Dead Or Alive who seemed to have a clear identity & just used SAW for a commercial production sound. I would really like the True Confessions re-issue, just for the BBC documentary where, if I remember correctly, some poor guy made a video for A Trick Of The Night only to have it rejected. It wasn't a hit a big hit (why??), so maybe they should have stuck with his effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2015
I really loved this deluxe edition of what it is an eighties classic album.This is probably my favourite Bananarama album and I have a lot of wonderful memories related to this record. Absolutely fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2014
A lot of care has been taken for this result. All rarities are there, to satisfy the even the most difficult completist. Booklet and design are superb and mastering is (finally) decent. Don't hesitate.
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on 16 May 2014
I have been after this album on cd for ages. Now that I have got it, I was surprised it came with a bonus DVD, so yes I am pleased with this product.
The item on this product , which I am not sure of is the case itself, which is cardboard, unlike the normal plastic cases, other that that , excellent value.
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on 8 January 2014
I'm not one for writing reviews, but in this case with it being Bananarama I will.
To be honest I had only heard a hand full of songs from this album and I was pleasantly surprised that the remaining songs lived up to my expectations! And from 1984 which was a fantastic year for music!
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30 Years of Bananarama by Bananarama (Audio CD - 2012)

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Greatest Hits Collection by Bananarama (Audio CD - 2004)

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Wow! (Bonus DVD) by Bananarama (Audio CD - 2013)

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