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The Very Best of Bananarama

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Album Review

Released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the trio's first single, 1981's "Aie a Mwana," The Very Best of Bananarama is by some distance the most comprehensive collection available. Actually, it's 1988's Greatest Hits Collection in toto (including the early album track "Rough Justice" and the then-new single, a terrible version of the Beatles' "Help!") plus all the singles from 1991's Pop Life and 1994's Please Yourself and a new megamix of three previous hits by their former producer, Pete Waterman, which is just as tacky and embarrassing as it seems it would be. The singles are a handy précis of the two post-Siobhan Fahey albums (neither of which are particularly memorable additions to the canon), and their inclusion, combined with the far superior 1981-1984 singles and the worldwide smash hits from the trio's Stock-Aitken-Waterman era, make this the perfect purchase for the casual Bananarama listener. That said, there are some notable exclusions that make this a frustrating purchase for fans, most notably the original trio's frothy 1998 reunion single, a good-humored and campy cover of ABBA's "Waterloo," and the excellent 1984 single "The Wild Life" (theme from the Cameron Crowe film of the same name), which mysteriously has been missing from nearly every one of the many Bananarama compilations since then. But for those with only room for one Bananarama album in their lives, this is the one.

Biography

Formed: 1981 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most successful British girl group in pop history, Bananarama formed in London in late 1981. Drawing equal inspiration for their name from the children's television program The Banana Splits and the Roxy Music song "Pyjamarama," the trio was comprised of lifelong friends Keren Woodward and Sarah Dallin along with Siobhan Fahey, whom Dallin befriended at the London College of Fashion. After getting their start singing at friends' parties and at nightclubs (where they performed accompanied by backing...
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The Very Best of Bananarama, Bananarama
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