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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Ripe: Expanded Edition [2CD]
Artist - Banderas

For those unaware, Banderas were an English female music duo of the early 1990s who were signed to London Records. The band was an offshoot of Jimmy Somerville’s band The Communards and featured two of his female backing musicians: Sally Herbert and shaven-headed singer Caroline Buckley.

The duo are mostly remembered for their hit single This Is Your Life, which peaked at #16 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1991. The track was co-written with songwriter Roger Swallow and contains samples of the song Crack Attack by Grace Jones from her 1989 album Bulletproof Heart. The duo also appeared on BBC One’s Top of The Pops weekly chart show on March 21st, 1991, performing the song.

The duo’s album, Ripe, peaked at #40 in the UK Albums Chart and featured further singles She Sells (#41) and May This Be Your Last Sorrow (which did not chart).

The album features Johnny Marr (The Smiths) on guitar and Bernard Sumner (New Order) guitar and backing vocals, as well as backing vocals on This is Your Life by Jimmy Somerville (Bronski Beat, Communards).

This 2CD deluxe edition - a new release on Cherry Red’s dedicated ‘90s imprint 90/9 (and releasing January 21st, 2022) - features the original ten album tracks and a comprehensive collection of bonus material from the period.

CD 1: RIPE
1. THIS IS YOUR LIFE
2. THE COMFORT OF FAITH
3. MAY THIS BE YOUR LAST SORROW
4. FIRST HAND
5. WHY AREN’T YOU IN LOVE WITH ME?
6. SHE SELLS
7. TOO GOOD
8. DON’T LET THAT MAN
9. IT’S WRITTEN ALL OVER MY FACE
10. NEVER TOO LATE
11. BIDE YOUR TIME [Bonus Track]
12. NICE TO KNOW [Bonus Track]
13. SHE SELLS (7”) [Bonus Track]
14. MAY THIS BE YOUR LAST SORROW (7”) [Bonus Track]
15. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (SLIGHTLY WACKY MIX) * [Bonus Track]

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time

CD1 features the album, accompanied by five bonus tracks: the B-sides Bide Your Time and Nice To Know, 7” single versions of She Sells and May This Be Your Last Sorrow plus the extended Slightly Wacky Mix of This Is Your Life.

Admittedly, this 1991 debut release - ok, well, only release - from Banderas had a rather misleading cover image when it was originally released, where two oddly-dressed women sporting Sinéad O’Connor-style crew cuts adorned the cover with the band’s Spanish-sounding name sprawled across the top!

Thus, perhaps Ripe’s failure was due to consumer confusion, such as Is Banderas a Spanish-language punk band or perhaps even a bizarre Sinéad side project?

One listen to the album, however, reveals neither is true. Banderas was actually an ace pop band and its one and only album is addictive ear candy of the highest order, trust me!

The two members (vocalist Buckley and violinist/keyboardist Herbert) receive ample assistance from producer extraordinaire Stephen Hague, but the album’s real star is Buckley, who sings with confidence and clarity.

Her voice soars on the funky, beautifully produced album opener This Is Your Life and the eerie May This Be Your Last Sorrow and whilst Ripe’s remanding eight tunes don’t quite scale the same heights, Buckley’s extraordinary pipes save the material from sinking into mediocrity.

A few lackluster songs drag down the album, but this was a promising debut, and Banderas boasted an incredible vocalist in the aforementioned Buckley, but even with guest appearances from some of the biggest names in British pop (including Jimmy Somerville, guitarist Johnny Marr, and New Order’s Bernard Sumner), the album didn’t perform well in Europe and sank like a stone in the States; and they subsequently never released a sophomore album.

In conclusion, Ripe will almost certainly never be widely heard, and Banderas is forever shunned into pop obscurity, which is a great shame, as this talented act never saw the success it truly deserved.

That all said, perhaps now via those mighty fine people over there at Cherry Red Records (UK) and the new release of this album via a wondrous 2CD Expanded Edition, Ripe will not gain some much deserved public traction (albeit all, perhaps a wee bit too late for them).

CD 2: RIPE (REMIXED]
1. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (LESS STRESS MIX)
2. SHE SELLS (ALTERNATIVE 7” MIX)
3. MAY THIS BE YOUR LAST SORROW (LESS STRESS 12”)
4. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (RED BOOK MIX)
5. SHE SELLS (APOLLO 440 MIX)
6. MAY THIS BE YOUR LAST SORROW (SMITH & MIGHTY – THE ORIGINAL PLAN MIX)
7. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (EASY LIFE MIX) *
8. SHE SELLS (DIGITAL HARDCORE MIX) *
9. MAY THIS BE YOUR LAST SORROW (SMITH & MIGHTY – THE JIMMY PHENSIC MIX) * +
10. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (REMIX BY JOE T. VANNELLI) *
11. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (REMIX BY S. CARBONI – R. CORINALDESI – M. VIOLANTE) *
12. THIS IS YOUR LIFE (REMIX BY MASSIMINO & FABIO B.) *

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time
+ denotes only previously available on a promotional release

CD2 is crammed full of remixes including six versions of their top 20 hit single This Is Your Life remixed by Heller & Farley and Less Stress, plus three 12” only Italian remixes from Joe T Vannelli and others.

Two Apollo 440 remixes of the band’s second single, She Sells feature, together with an alternative 7” version and Less Stress and Smith & Mighty remixes of May This Be Your Last Sorrow.

The fold-out four-panel digipack expands and reworks the striking original album artwork and includes a booklet with track commentaries written by Sally and Caroline plus an interview conducted by Jimmy Somerville, an old friend of the duo.

This is the definitive collection of the band’s output and celebrates their lasting legacy 30 years on.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

www.cherryred.co.uk





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