Here’s the third and final part of the Bananarama story…
In November 1988 their cover of “Nathan Jones” was released which reached no. 15. They appeared on various shows including CBBC’s Going Live!, The Satellite Show, BBC1’s The Royal Variety Performance, Wogan, and Top Of The Pops. They also performed this live on BBC1 at the Smash Hits Poll Winners’ Party at the Royal Albert Hall. My sister went to this one so she has seen them live! Also around this time they appeared on the cover of Lookin and NME for the third and final time.
In February 1989 their cover of “Help!” was released which reached no. 3, and it was also their tenth and final UK Top Ten hit. In December 1988 French And Saunders along with Kathy Burke did a parody of Bananarama in their comedy show as Lananeeneenoonoo. They then teamed up with the real ladies for this single for Comic Relief, and also performed it on the live BBC1 show, and both trios appeared on the cover of Number One. In March 1989 Bananarama began their World Tour, playing their hits to big crowds in various countries.
In June 1989 “Cruel Summer ’89” was released which was a remixed version of their 1983 hit which reached no. 19. There was no new video as such, just a compilation of old ones. In December 1989 they contributed to Band Aid II for the second version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” which again topped the chart, and Keren and Sara were the only people to perform on the first and second versions.
In July 1990 “Only Your Love” was released which reached no. 27. This one is rather funky and is among my favourite singles of theirs. I don’t know how many of their videos where shown exclusively on The ITV Chart Show but this one was! They performed this on BBC1’s Wogan, they were interviewed on CITV’s Ghost Train, and they also appeared on the cover of Sounds and Smash Hits for the third and final time.
In January 1991 “Preacher Man” was released which reached no. 20. This led to their 20th Top Of The Pops appearance, and they also performed this on CITV’s Motormouth, The Disney Club, ITV’s This Morning, and The Ronn Lucas Show. Oh now I remember watching Ronn Lucas’s show on ITV in the early-90s, he was a ventriloquist, whatever happened to him?
In April 1991 their cover of “Long Train Running” was released which reached no. 30. They performed this on BBC1’s Little And Large, Going Live, and they were also interviewed by Michael Aspel on ITV’s Aspel And Company. In May 1991 their fifth album “Pop Life” was released which reached no. 42.
In August 1991 “Tripping On Your Love” was released which reached no. 76, making it their first single to miss the Top 75 in the UK since their debut “Aie A Mwana” almost a decade earlier. Also around this time, Jacquie announced her departure from Bananarama after just over three years. She went off to form a new group but she had no further hits, and it seems that she has now long since left the music business.
Keren and Sara decided to carry on as a duo and in August 1992 “Movin’ On” was released which reached no. 24. They performed this on the first edition of CITV’s What’s Up Doc?, and they also made their 21st Top Of The Pops appearance, their last one until 2005.
In November 1992 “Last Thing On My Mind” was released which reached a rather disappointing no. 71. However, it had a second lease of life when it was covered by Steps to finally become a Top Ten hit in 1998. They performed this on BBC1’s Pebble Mill and Children In Need. To give some kind of an idea of the different musical directions that they had gone in, also in this month Siobhan’s post-Bananarama project Shakespear’s Sister released the downbeat “Hello (Turn Your Radio On)”, it’s somewhat unlikely that Steps will be releasing a disco cover of that one soon.
In March 1993 their cover of the disco classic “More More More” was released which reached no. 24. They wouldn’t have another hit single in the UK for 12 years. They appeared again on The Disney Club and they were also interviewed live on GMTV. In April 1993 their sixth album “Please Yourself” was released which reached no. 46.
The story doesn’t really end here of course, so to briefly go over what happened post-1993. Keren and Sara have continued to work together, and in 2005 “Move In My Direction” became their first UK Top 20 hit single since 1991 and got them back on Top Of The Pops for the first time since 1992. They have also released four more albums, 1995’s “Exotica”, 2001’s “Ultra Violet”, 2005’s “Drama”, and 2009’s “Viva”, along with more best-of compilations, and when they aren’t having a party near where I live they have continued to tour and appear on TV around the world, and over 35 years on from their first hit single they remain very popular.