Cruel Summer

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Cruel Summer’

The song “Cruel Summer” was originally recorded by Bananarama.

“Cruel Summer” was written and recorded by British girl trio Bananarama in 1983 with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain. The song was the first taster of their second, self-titled studio album, released the following year. It peaked at No.8 in the UK, becoming their fifth top ten hit there as well as charting all over Europe. After its inclusion on the film ‘The Karate Kid’, the song gave the girls their first US top ten hit, when it reached No.9 in 1984.

Bananarama re-recorded the song in 1989, now devoid of Siobhan Fahey but with new girl Jacqui O’Sullivan making the numbers up. “Cruel Summer ’89” was given a ‘new jack swing’ makeover following the enormous success of their 1988 “Greatest Hits Collection” album and again found chart success, this time peaking at No.19 in the UK, No.24 in Germany and No.2 in Finland.

The Swedish group Ace Of Base recorded “Cruel Summer” for their 1998 album “Flowers” and released it as the second single. This version was a huge hit all over the world, making the top ten in America, where it sold over half a million copies, as well as virtually every country in Europe. In the UK, the song equaled Bananarama’s original, peaking at No.8, fifteen years on from Sara, Keren and Siobhan’s first outing with it!

But which is the best? BANANARAMA’s original, their own remake or ACE OF BASE’s cover?

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!