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Bananarama - Venus (1986)

  • Video Views 19,171,046
  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.76
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Venus" is a song by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, initially released as a single in the Netherlands in the summer of 1969. ...

"Venus" is a song by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, initially released as a single in the Netherlands in the summer of 1969.

Bananarama version

"Venus" had been a part of Bananarama's repertoire for several years before they actually recorded it. The group's three members, Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward, had the idea of turning the song into a dance tune, but they were met with resistance from their producers at the time, Steven Jolley and Tony Swain. The group brought the idea to the production trio of Stock Aitken Waterman, and it became Bananarama's first collaboration with them.

The group had nearly completed recording their third album, True Confessions, with Jolley & Swain. Stock, Aitken and Waterman also resisted the idea because they believed that "Venus" would not make a good dance record. After persistence by the group, SAW relented. Bananarama's "Venus" peaked at number one in the United States, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland and South Africa, while reaching number two in Germany and the top-ten in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (number eight on the UK Singles Chart, matching the same peak of Shocking Blue's version). It also topped the US Dance Club Songs chart for two weeks.

The collaboration on "Venus" led Bananarama and SAW to work together on the group's follow-up album, Wow!, the following year.

A new mix of the song appeared as the B-side to the 1989 limited release "Megarama '89" in Germany and France. Bananarama has since re-recorded "Venus" for their eighth album Exotica (2001), and it was later remixed by Marc Almond, with re-recorded vocals and included on their ninth album Drama (2005).

Music video

The accompanying music video, directed by Peter Care, with choreography by Bruno Tonioli, received extensive play on MTV and video channels across the world, and presented Dallin, Fahey and Woodward in various costumes, including a she-devil, a French temptress, a vampiress and several Greek goddesses. In one sequence of the video, Sandro Botticelli's painting The Birth of Venus is adapted as a tableau vivant. The video marked a pivotal shift towards a more glamorous and sexual image for the group that contrasted with the tomboyish style of their earlier work.

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