Sunday, January 03, 2010

Bananarama: Cheers Then

I have memories of hearing this on a pub jukebox on the way home from a county chess game, which probably places it somewhere in the late 1980s. This track is not on the Bananarama's greatest hits CD, so I suppose I can claim it as a rarity.

The video is poor quality and the fashion irredeemably eighties, but I am intrigued by the echoes of The Sound of Music.

Later. Allmusic is complimentary about this song:

Bananarama's fourth single, released in November 1982, was less of a chart success in the U.K. than their previous hits "Shy Boy" and "Really Sayin' Something," but time has been kind to it.

The trio's first self-composed song, "Cheers Then" is an unexpectedly wistful lost love song with a simple but effective minor-key melody played on a bank of synthesizers with their "vaguely Eno-like whooshes" and "chilly atmospheric overtones" switches turned to 11. The trio sing in their trademark unison style (unlike most vocal groups, Bananarama didn't sing harmonies, instead having all three sing the same notes at once), with a wordless hum taking the place of a more traditional chorus in between verses addressing a former love.

Unlike a lot of songs on this well-worn topic, "Cheers Then" is about the difficulty of building and maintaining a friendship with an ex-lover, an interesting and under-explored real-world slant on an otherwise clich├ęd situation. Although the all-synth production now sounds somewhat dated, "Cheers Then" is a lovely song that adds depth and variety to an otherwise largely upbeat and cheerful album.

1 comment:

Mark Reckons said...

I heart Siobhan Fahey.

That is all.