Song Title: Venus
Date of release: 19th of May 1986
Description: ” Venus ” is by Bananarama, the 80s British female vocal group from London, England. The group’s original line-up consisted of Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward.
The successful all-female group enjoyed chart success between 1982 and 2009 with twenty-eight singles charting in the Top Fifty in the United Kingdom. In 1988, Bananarama entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the best selling all-female group ever in the United Kingdom, a record that has now been broken.
” Venus ” was written by Dutch musician, Robbie van Leeuwen in 1969. Robbie played guitar, sitar and provided backing vocals for Dutch bands The Motions, Shocking Blue and Galaxy-Lin. He was also the group’s main songwriter. Shocking Blue took this song to Number One in nine countries in 1970; it was to be their biggest hit.
Bananarama’s cover version of ” Venus ” was produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman. The producers, also known as SAW, is a British songwriting and record producing trio. They had a string of hits in the mid-80s and early part of the 90s for artists like Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Donna Summer and Rick Astley. The production trio is considered to be one of the most successful songwriting and producing teams ever. During their career, they have had up 100 UK top 40 hit singles, with sales over forty million records.
The song was released on the 19th of May 1986 by record label London ( Universal Music Group ) and taken as the group’s lead single from their third Album, True Confessions. The Album, released in 1986, enjoyed more success in the United States than the United Kingdom, in the US it reached the Top Twenty on the Billboard 200 Chart.
” Venus ” had been a part of the group’s repertoire for many years before they went ahead and recorded it. The idea to turn the song into a dance music tune was met with resistance from Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, the group’s producers at the time.
Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward took the idea for recording the song as a more dance orientated track to Stock, Aitken and Waterman. They agreed to produce the song after they also believed the song wasn’t good as a dance record. However they relented, and so it became Bananarama’s first collaboration with the production trio.
The accompanying music video was directed by Peter Care, the English director of music videos, commercials and film. He has worked with the likes of R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison, Depeche Mode and New Order. In 2005, the MVPA ( The Music Video Production Association ) awarded Peter a Lifetime Achievement Award for his music videos.
The video had an extensive play on video channels across the world, including MTV and shows how Bananarama moved away from their previous tomboy look to a more glamorous and sexual style.
” Venus ” was a commercial success for Bananarama. In the United States, the song reached Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, a position it held for one week. The song spent nineteen weeks on the chart there. It also reached number twenty-nine on the Adult Contemporary Chart and Number One ( as a remix ) on the Dance Club Songs Chart.
In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 31st of May 1986 and reached a peak of number eight. It spent four weeks in the Top Ten and a total of thirteen weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 1
UK Highest Chart Position: 8
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 1, Austrian singles chart 7, Belgian singles chart 3, Canadian singles chart 4, Denmark singles chart 14, Dutch singles chart 4, Finland singles chart 5, French singles chart 4, German singles chart 2, Irish singles chart 12, Italian singles chart 4, Japan singles chart 43, New Zealand singles chart 1, Norway singles chart 4, South African singles chart 1, Spanish singles chart 7, Swedish singles chart 9, Swiss singles chart 1
Official Website: Bananarama.co.uk
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/TheBananarama
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/Bananarama