Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday 80s Flashback for March 10, 2023

[Introducing Bananarama] -- Before "Cruel Summer" (1984) and a cover of "Venus" (1986) put them in the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100, Bananarama released a fully fleshed out pop debut. And by "fully fleshed out," I mean it wasn't just a record of filler songs sandwiched between singles. It did well in their native UK, earning them a top ten album (#7 on the UK Albums chart), as well as three top ten singles. "He Was Really Sayin' Somethin,'" "Shy Boy," and a cover of Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" all peaked within the top five of the UK Singles chart. They all fared less well in the US, barely breaking into the Billboard Hot 100, but this record still paved the way for Bananarama's later success. 

AllMusic Stewart Mason considers Deap Sea Skiving to be the trio's best record. He points to their being "hip enough for their first single to be produced by ex-Sex Pistol Paul Cook," their collaboration with mentors Fun Boy Three ("Shy Boy"), and their funky cover of Paul Weller's "Doctor Love" as evidence of his assessment. And he might be correct: At least, I agree that the four British chart hits still sound great 40 years later. In addition to the singles, my favorite track is "Boy Trouble" -- The production and instrumentation, particularly the percussion, are just top notch. I also feel the entire album has a subtle, yet strong, fun factor at its core, and that sense of pop fun helps give this collection of songs an undeniable danceability. 

Give this under-appreciated gem a spin. 

FlashbackDeep Sea Skiving (March 7, 1983)

That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

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