The Myth Factory: Myth 3 – Bananarama Hated The First Cut of ‘Venus’

The myths just keep coming and today’s features the recently reformed Bananarama and their supposed hatred of the first cut of Venus…

 

It was Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey who suggested approaching Stock Aitken Waterman in an attempt to inject some fresh creative energy into Bananarama’s by-then flagging chart fortunes. She had loved You Spin Me Round, and in 1986 the producers still had the maverick credibility she instinctively craved for the group.

Venus, written at the tail-end of the 60s by Shocking Blue guitarist Robbie Van Leeuwen, was a song the trio had routinely performed when they were starting out on London’s club circuit, but Pete’s immediate response was that they should steer clear from such a well-loved song. Still, the band was a big commission for SAW at the time, and agreement was reached to give it a go.

Mike recorded the song with the band on his own in just two hours at Deptford’s The Chocolate Factory studios in south-east London. “They had already done the routine on the vocals but, when I said it was done, they couldn’t believe it as they said it takes them three days to record with [former producers] Jolley& Swain,” he recalls.

The story that Siobhan popped back from the pub, heard a soft, pop/soul-oriented take on the 60s classic, expressed disappointment that it didn’t sound anything like the Dead Or Alive chart-topper and ordered an immediate rethink isn’t based in reality, confirms Mike. “The idea was always to emulate the You Spin Me Round sound.”

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