Title - 'Viva: 2CD Expanded Edition'
Artist - Bananarama
For those not in the know, Bananarama are an English female pop music vocal group formed in London in 1981 by friends Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward.
Their success on both pop and dance charts has earned them a listing in the Guinness World Records as the all-female group with the most chart entries in the world. Between 1982 and 2009, they had 28 singles reach the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart.
The group's 10 UK Top 10 hits include "It Ain't What You Do..." (1982), "Really Saying Something" (1982), "Shy Boy" (1982), "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (1983), "Cruel Summer" (1983), "Robert De Niro's Waiting..." (1984), "Venus" (1986) and "Love in the First Degree" (1987).
In 1986, they had a U.S. number one with another of their UK Top 10 hits, a cover of "Venus". In total, they had 11 singles reach the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (1983–88), including two more in the Top 10, with "Cruel Summer" (1984) and "I Heard a Rumour" (1987).
They are associated with the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US, and featured on the 1984 Band Aid single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?". They topped the Australian ARIA albums chart in June 1988 with Wow! (1987), and earned Brit Award nominations for Best British Single for "Love in the First Degree", and Best Music Video for their 1988 hit cover of The Supremes single "Nathan Jones".
Fahey left the group in 1988 and formed Shakespears Sister, best known for the UK number one "Stay" (1992). She was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan. This line-up had UK top five hits with "I Want You Back" (1988) and The Beatles track "Help!" (1989), recorded with comedy duo French and Saunders for the charity Comic Relief. In 1989 they embarked on their first world tour.
After O'Sullivan's 1991 departure, Dallin and Woodward continued Bananarama as a duo, with hits including "Movin' On" (1992), "More, More, More" (1993) and "Move in My Direction" (2005).
Fahey rejoined Bananarama in 2017 and they toured the UK in November/December 2017 and North America in February 2018. They performed their final dates as a trio in August 2018.
CD 1: Viva - The Original Album, Bonus Tracks & Edits
1. 'Love Comes'
2. 'Love Don't Live Here'
6. 'Tell Me Tomorrow'
7. 'The Runner'
9. 'Dum Dum Boy'
10. 'S-S-S-Single Bed'
11. 'We've Got the Night'
12. 'The Sound of Silence'
13. 'Run to You'
14. 'Love Comes (Radio Edit)'
15. 'Love Don't Live Here (Radio Mix)'
16. 'Love Comes (Riff & Rhys Radio Mix)'
17. 'The Runner (Buzz Junkies 7" Mix)'
18. 'Love Comes (Wideboys Club Edit)'
19. 'Love Comes (Wideboys A-Mix)'
CD 2: Viva - The Extended Dance Remixes & Original Singles' Bonus Tracks
1. 'Love Comes (Ian Masterson's Extended Mix)'
2. 'Love Don't Live Here (Ian Masterson's Extended Mix)'
3. 'Love Comes (Wideboys Club Mix)'
4. 'The Runner (Buzz Junkies 12" Mix)'
5. 'Love Comes (Riff & Rhys Club Mix)'
6. 'Here Comes the Rain'
8. 'Tokyo Joe'
9. 'Cruel Summer '09'
10. 'Every Shade of Blue '10'
11. 'Love Comes (Wideboys Dub)'
Bananarama’s tenth studio album, 2009’s Viva, remains their most electro sounding collection to date. It was a collaboration with celebrated producer, composer, songwriter and remixer Ian Masterson, whose credits include work with Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue and the Pet Shop Boys.
His instinctive grasp of Bananarama’s sound, spirit and energy resulted in some monumental feel-good pop-dance music. Amongst the album’s many highlights is "Seventeen", which unfolds as an undulating, low-slung electro number with the vocals recalling the all-consuming thrill of first time love.
There’s also the seductive vibe of the track "Extraordinary" and the unforgettable lead single "Love Comes", an out and out celebratory dancefloor smash!
The album is a veritable masterclass in melodic, upbeat pop. It was also the album on which Sara and Keren both started to play bass guitar again after a 17 year break!
Indeed, Viva originated as a discofied cover versions album, but Sara and Keren changed their mind on this approach half way through recording, in response to their, then, record company actively preferring their original compositions to the array of disco styled cover versions.
Just three of these originally chosen cover versions made it through to the final track listing of Viva. "Rapture" had been originally recorded by trance act iiO in 2001 and had been both a dance floor and chart smash hit throughout Europe and the United States.
The second cover version included was Bananarama’s inventive take on the 1978 disco classic "The Runner" by The Three Degrees and an earlier pop track "S-S-S-Single Bed" from 1976 was the last cover version selected. This had originally been recorded by Fox.
Four additional cover version rarities, originally made available as either bonus download only album tracks or as B-sides on the related singles, have also been included in this soon-to-be released deluxe Expanded Edition via Cherry Red Records.
These were "Voyage, Voyage", the 1986 worldwide, anthemic, Europop hit by French singer Desireless; Bryan Adams’ pop/rock classic "Run To You" from 1984; the Simon and Garfunkel folk-pop songbook standard "The Sound Of Silence", first released by them in 1965, and Bryan Ferry’s 1977 single and solo album track "Tokyo Joe".
All of these tracks can be found on this comprehensive 30 track 2 disc Expanded Edition of Viva along with all the commercially available remixes, and edits thereof, that were released across the various formats of both of the album’s two singles; "Love Comes" and "Love Don’t Live Here".
Also included is the promotional Buzz Junkies dance remix and edit of the album cut, the girl’s deftly executed re-work of The Three Degrees track "The Runner" - as originally co-written by Sheila Ferguson and the legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder.
As for the original album, Viva well, in truth, Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward found a perfect foil in Ian Masterson; a producer whose credits range from Pet Shop Boys to Girls Aloud and whose instinctive grasp of the Bananarama spirit resulted in some extraordinarily good music on this album.
"Seventeen" is an undulating, low-slung electro number which pleads "kiss me like you do in my dreams, make me feel like I was seventeen", then there's the seductive, ice-cold "Extraordinary" and the single "Love Comes" - a dancefloor belter with no strings attached.
I mean, come on now, at no point do Bananarama EVER disappoint! Viva is definitely the girls at their dancefloor best and clearly affirmed (at the time and now) their status as one of the best girl groups ... ever!
Oh, and this lovely new release also comes with a richly illustrated 20 page booklet including an introductory message from Sara and Keren.
2CD Purchase Link