My #4 Album

in 2012


in 2009 on Fascination Records

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    It was sometime in 2012, and I was listening to my Bananarama records from the 1980s, enjoying them so much, that I decided it was time to go back and fill some holes in my collection and have even more Bananarama to enjoy!  To my knowledge, they had only released albums in the 1980s, so I was expecting to pick up some of those that I had missed.  But as I began my web search, to my surprise, Bananarama is still making albums!

    Somehow, I ran across a foreign website that was selling illegal copies of Bananarama songs (I assume, based on the ridiculously cheap price), and it was on this site that I first discovered the existence of the album Viva.  I played the opening song from the album, “Love Comes,” and immediately was blown away by the incredible energy and passion of the song!  The music was awesome, the recording made it feel like I was right in it, and the song itself was amazing.  Forget the 80s stuff -- I had to find this one!

    Apparently the album was never released in the USA, and it was not easy to find.  Of course I wanted a CD, but I wanted the album so badly that I’d be willing to accept a download-only version from iTunes, but even they don’t have the album.  Even Amazon didn’t offer it for sale at the time. Discogs had a copy of the CD, but it was more than $30.  Unable to find it anywhere else, I paid the $32.59 to get the used CD.  I do not regret it at all -- as you see, Viva, Bananarama’s 10th studio album, is #4 of my favorite albums of 2012.

    The way I feel about this album...I haven’t felt this way about an album since 2003 when I got t.A.T.u.’s album 200 Km/h In The Wrong Lane.  While Viva didn’t make me shiver with delight the first time I heard like the t.A.T.u. album did, Viva has ignited my soul with its passion for a much longer period of months than the t.A.T.u. album did.

    Musically, this album is high energy pop music with a primarily electronic instrumentation.  The songs would easily lend themselves to dance remixes. (In fact, I’ve seen an image on the web of a remixed Viva album, but I can’t find the album itself anywhere!  Boo!)  With the exception of “Dum Dum Boy,” however, in their album form, they are not particularly dance music, though they have the energy and electronic feel of dance music.  Some songs remind me of the electronic sound on t.A.T.u.’s third album, Happy Smiles, but Bananarama’s songs are more passionate and have better melodies.  (One of the songs, “The Runner,” sounds very much like ABBA, providing a nice tribute to the sound.)  I don’t know how to describe how much I like the music on this album...the music of every song is fabulous!

    I have recently purchased some current music from other bands that started in the late 1970s: The B-52’s and Blondie.  The album by The B-52’s, 2008’s Funplex, is what I would expect from a band that’s been around for 30 years -- it’s still their sound, but it feels stale.  I got Blondie’s two most recent albums -- The Curse Of Blondie (2003) and The Panic Of Girls (2011).  Those were better -- they showed that Blondie still has life and creativity, though they still didn’t do for me what the albums from 30 years ago did.  Bananrama’s Viva, however, is another story entirely.  It has far MORE energy than their earlier music did, and feels so much more alive and passionate!  Well, their song “Venus” is right up there with the stuff here, but with Viva they did a whole album of such energetic and passionate music, not just one single.  I am amazed that they can turn out such a fabulous album 30 years after their inception.

    Now it’s time for some lyrical tidbits.  The music is amazing, the passion in their singing is palpable, but what they are singing about is the icing on the cake.  Below are some lyrical tidbits representative of the content of this album.

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This page was created on February 23, 2014

It was published on March 30, 2014


Bananarama formed in 1979 in London; two of the three members had been friends since they were 4 years old (those two are the remaining members -- Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin).  They have released 10 full-length albums between 1983 and 2009, and hold the Guinness Book of World Records slot for the all-female group with the most music chart entries, and they have sold 30 million records.  The third original member, Siobhan Fahey, left the group in 1988, after the album Wow! was out.  Jacquie O’Sullivan joined as a replacement and recorded one album with them.  Since then, Bananarama has consisted of Woodward & Dallin only.


My heart misses a beat when you’re so close...

Caught a rainbow, a ray of light

With your kisses and caresses

Pure delight

And then love comes! 

Love comes!

Oh oh, oh oh!

from “RAPTURE”

My love I want you so...

I’m mesmerized in every way

You keep me in a state of daze

Your kisses make my skin feel weak


You know you got me hypnotized

When your body’s close to me

You know you leave me breathless...

Tastes so sweet, like honey...

Keep it coming...


It comes upon me slow

And through my body flows...

You wrap around my heart...

Only you excite, you ignite my soul


Hey baby won’t you take a ride with me

To the other side

I got a feeling you might be right for me

I need someone extraordinary in this ordinary life


Sun shining on a rainy day

You changed my world

You took my breath away

Love comes in mysterious ways

Love me now

Baby I want you


It’s so electric with you, when I’m with you

Kiss me like you do in my dreams

Make me feel like I was seventeen

Don’t stop it now ‘cuz I like it

Kiss me now don’t let me go

Make me feel like Marilyn Monroe

Don’t stop now ‘cuz I like it

Your kiss is sweeter than honey

All over my body

Come on baby, kiss me!

Come on baby, kiss me!

    The above lyrical highlights are prime examples of the passion found in this album, and why I am so crazy about it.

    While there is not a song on the album that I dislike musically, there are a couple that don’t do anything for me lyrically.  Right after the incredibly passionate opener, “Love Comes,” the next song completely switches gears with “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” where the singer says she’s leaving.  I don’t like songs like that.  The song “S-S-S-Single Bed” I just don’t get.  And in “Dum Dum Boy,” the boy is accused of being dumb, but it’s more like he was a deceptive jerk and the girl was the dumb one for falling for it.  So, this is a bitter song, but the music is so fantastic on it, I listen to it anyway (it has the best dance beat of any song on the album).

    Another thing...collectively, the lyrics on the album seem...well, how shall I say this?  In an interview with Mirror magazine, they state, “Age doesn’t bother us; we’re not trying to be teenagers.”  Indeed, the lyrics do not have the kind of passion you hear in songs from today’s teenagers or songs geared toward teenagers.  On the other hand, they’re in their 50s and so many of their songs still talk about falling in love.  Have they gone this long and never found permanent love?  Judging by other things said in the interview, that seems to be the case.  So that feels a little weird to me.  But mostly I ignore those parts of the lyrics and focus on the parts that could be true for someone in a permanent relationship...words like “Your kisses and caresses [are] pure delight,” or “Only you excite, ignite my soul!”

No other album in 2012 made me feel so alive, so excited, so mesmerized as Bananarama’s Viva.  It may be one of those albums so fantastic that not even they can recreate such energy.  Their subsequent release, a 3-song (+1 extended version) EP from 2012, Now Or Never, released on iTunes and as a download from Amazon, has a beautiful sound that I truly enjoy, but none of the songs have the incredible energy found on Viva.

Here’s the music video of the fabulous song “Love Comes”!


^ Click the Play button to hear “Seventeen”

The cover photo from their Facebook page

The cover from their 2012 EP.  The songs are pretty, but not energetic as on Viva.  Still, they’re better than the songs on the albums just before Viva.

I would LOVE to find this album, but can’t find it ANYWHERE.  I have found a couple remixed songs from Bananarama, but only on the iTunes UK store, which Americans are prohibited from buying from.

The radio mix of “Love Comes” was released on two different 7” picture discs in the UK.  These are available on Amazon and Discogs, though they may be pricey.