The 80s Forum Star of Today...Bananarama
Bananarama are an English girl group who found worldwide fame with their melodic pop and new wave songs. They have placed ten singles in the top-ten of the UK singles chart to date, as well as three U.S. top-ten hits, one of which hit number one. Some of their biggest international hits include "Cruel Summer", "Venus", and "I Heard a Rumour".
They are known for their unique vocal style which features all members singing the same notes in unison (rather than three-part harmonies). Lead vocals and background vocals were recorded in this way, and much of Bananarama's early material was recorded with all three members at the same microphone at the same time.
The group was founded in London in September 1979 by friends Siobhan Fahey, Sara Dallin, and Keren Woodward. Dallin and Woodward had been friends since the age of 4.
In 1981, Bananarama's members were living above the rehearsal room which was used by former Sex Pistols members Steve Jones and Paul Cook. With their help, Bananarama recorded their first demo "Aie a Mwana" (a cover of a song by Black Blood, sung in Swahili). The demo was heard at Demon Records, who offered the girls their first deal.
The song was an underground hit and the girls were subsequently signed by Decca (later London Records). They remained on this label until 1993. Bananarama's previous experience in a recording studio was as background vocalists on the Department S b-side "Solid Gold Easy Action", a T. Rex cover in early 1981.
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