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Bananarama - Robert De Niro's Waiting (1984)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.56
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"Robert De Niro's Waiting..." is a song written by Bananarama, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, and recorded by English girl ...

"Robert De Niro's Waiting..." is a song written by Bananarama, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, and recorded by English girl group Bananarama. Produced by Jolley & Swain, it is the second single released from their self-titled second album in 1984. It namechecks American actor Robert De Niro.

The single is one of the group's strongest performing releases, peaking at number three in the UK singles chart. (The single to date stands in a three-way tie with "Love in the First Degree" (1987) and "Help!" (1989) as Bananarama's highest-charting UK hit.) It made a brief appearance on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 95.

An extended version of the song was available on the 12" single. The B-side of both 7" and 12" singles was a song called "Push!". The version of "Push!" on the 12" single was not extended, but preceded by an (unlisted) alternate version of the brief track that would be called "Link" at the end of side one of the Bananarama album.

Bananarama have re-recorded "Robert De Niro's Waiting..." twice, in 2000 for the G-A-Y compilation and the next year another new re-recording was included on their album Exotica.

Original group member Siobhan Fahey said the song is "about date rape" in Bananarama's 2017 reunion interview with The Guardian. This echoed similar statements in the group's contemporaneous interviews. However, in a 2019 interview with The Telegraph, bandmate Sara Dallin offered a different explanation of the song's meaning: "It was just about hero worship. It wasn't about rape. I don't know where that came from. It's absolute rubbish."

Billboard named the song #74 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.

Music video

The music video for "Robert De Niro's Waiting..." was directed by Duncan Gibbins and shows Bananarama walking around dark streets, possibly followed by mafia-style clothed men. When it gets to the bridge part of the song, Bananarama member Sara Dallin is shown running along, looking behind her as if being followed. As the video winds down, Sarah and the other two members of Bananarama, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward, are back in their apartment, when the door bell rings. Keren answers the door, only to be confronted by the man who might have been chasing them, armed with a Mafia-style violin case. As she looks nervously at him, the case falls open to reveal a sign saying "Pizza Delivery", along with three pizzas. Both the man and Keren start laughing, and the video ends with Bananarama in their apartment eating the pizza and laughing.

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