How Bananarama Revived the Dutch Venus in the ‘80s

Wow! They really got it! ‘Venus’ was the track that became the start of the collaboration with Stock Aitken Waterman. Original members Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward rocked the charts with the successful Shocking Blue cover back in May 1986.

Bananarama – Venus

Formed in The Hague back in 1967, Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock act. While they did have numerous hits such as ‘Love Buzz’ and ‘Inkpot,’ the Billboard Hot 100 ‘Venus’ was the biggest achievement. The group went on to sell more than 13.5 million records by 1973, when it decided to disband in 1974.

The group was founded in 1967 by Robbie van Leeuwen. it’s interesting to note that ‘Venus’ “only” peaked at No.3 in the Netherlands upon its release in 1969.

Shocking Blue – Venus

Yet, there were other covers of Shocking Blue songs. Nirvana released ‘Love Buzz’ as a debut single in 1988. And the same track was covered by The Prodigy in 2004 for the album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned under the name ‘Phoenix.’

The Bananarama Road to Success

Bananarama achieved a giant success in 1986 with its cover.

Read == > Do You Remember Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”?

‘Venus’ was actually part of Bananarama’s repertoire for several years before they finally decided to record it. While originally planning to record a disco version with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, they resisted the idea. Instead the idea came Stock Aitken Waterman’s way, becoming the first collaboration with the group.

Following the single ‘Do Not Disturb,’ ‘Venus’ was the second single off the album True Confessions. Two additional singles – ‘More Than Physical’ and ‘A Trick of the Night’ – was also released as singles. The album peaked at No.15 on the Billboard 200, while reaching No.46 on the UK albums chart.

Finally released, the success was immediate. ‘Venus’ reached No.1 in the US, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Switzerland, Mexico and South Africa. It peaked at No.8 in their home country UK.

This was the start of a fruititious collaboration, as Bananarama continued to work on the Wow! album with Stock Aitken Waterman. in 1989, a limited release of ‘Megarama ‘89’ was released, where a remix of the track appeared. A re-recorded version appeared on the 2001 set Exotica and it was also remixed by Marc Almond on Drama (2005).

Bananarama – Venus (Marc Almond Hi NRG Showgirl Mix)

Happy Birthday, Soul Deep

This week in 1987, Roxette entered the Swedish Top 40 at No.18 with ‘Soul Deep.’ The single had ‘Peals of Passion’ as the B-side. It only spent three weeks on the chart, remaining at No.18.

Roxette – Soul Deep

The song was included on the album Pearls of Passion which was released in November 1986. A remix of the song was later included on the remix album Dance Passion. The album peaked at No.19 in April 1987.

Third Single off Pearls of Passion

It was the third single off Pearls of Passion. It followed ‘Neverending Love’ and ‘Goodbye to You.’ The single was released in Canada and select European countries. It only charted in Sweden, unfortunately. Originally it was called ‘Dansar nerför ditt stup I rekordfart,’ i.e. in Swedish.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love

In 1991, the track was remixed for inclusion on the Joyride album. The ‘Pearls of Passion’ track was not only a B-side on ‘Soul Deep.’ It returned as a flip side to ‘Queen of Rain’ (1992). Jackie Day’s 1967 hit ‘Before It’s Too Late’ is used as a reference to the song.

Roxette Today

Last year, Roxette releasedthe tenth album. Good Karma was released on June 3rd via Parlophone. It was the first set to be released under a new contract with Warner Music. The first single was ‘It Just Happens.’ The duo was set to tour from June last year, but due to Marie Fredriksson’s illness it was canceled.

Roxette – It Just Happens

Follow for further updates on Roxette.

The Top 5 Sinitta Singles

Being a fan of Sinitta, there’s always hard to rank songs in order. Let last.FM be the judge, these are the most played tracks over the last 6-months-period (information obtained 31/5-2015). What are your favorite?

5. GTO (1987)

Taken off the album Sinitta!, ‘GTO’ was issued in November 1987. It peaked at No.15 in the UK, managing to climb to the runner-up spot in Spain. The 12 inch single included the extended Modina’s Red Roaring Mix.


4. Right Back Where We Started From (1989)

Originally a 1975 hit from Maxine Nightingale, ‘Right Back Where We Started From’ peaked at No.4 in the UK in 1989. The track samples Nosmo King’s ‘Goodbye, Nothing to Say’ from 1974.

3. Cross My Broken Heart (1988)

This was the sixth and final single off the eponymous debut set, following ‘GTO.’ The track was a No.6 hit in the UK and was certified silver by BPI.


2. So Macho (1985)

Released in July 1985, ‘So Macho’ was Sinitta’s second single. She was Fanfare records and Simon Cowell’s second artist to sign and came on the heels of debut single ‘Cruising.’ It peaked at No.2 and even made the Swedish singles chart, finally reaching No.13.

1. Toy Boy (1987)

‘Toy Boy’ stayed on the charts for 14 weeks. It was the fourth single off the Sinitta! album and which spawned no less than six hits.


20 years since The Connells reached the top with ’74-’75



This week, 20 years have passed since The Connells peaked at No.1 with ‘’74-’75’ on the Swedish singles chart. Despite being an American band (hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina), ‘’74-’75’ never broke in the US upon its release in 1993. Not really sure how it became a hit in Europe two years later – it topped the charts in Sweden and in Norway.

A music video was shot by Mark Pellington at the Needham B. Broughton High School in the group’s home town. The track was issued twice in the UK, peaking at No.14 in 1995 and No.21 in 1996.

The Connells – ’74-’75

In Sweden, The Connells succeeded La Bouche’s ‘Be My Lover’ while Take That’s ‘Back for Good’ preceded in Norway. The latter country totally fell in love with the single, allowing to top the charts for no less than 9 weeks! In Sweden, Jan Johansen’s Eurovision Song Contest entry ‘Se på mig’ knocked it off the spot after only one week.

The Connells toured Europe with Def Leppard upon this newfound success. ‘’74-’75’ was also featured in the James Mangold-directed movie Heavy from 1995, starring Liv Tyler and Deborah Harry.

 Heavy (1995)

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