bananarama 1982

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Really Saying Something’

The song, “He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin'”, was originally recorded by The Velvelettes in 1964

“He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin'” was a song written by Norman Whitfield (1940-2008), William Stevenson (b.1937) and Eddie Holland (b.1939) and recorded by American all girl group, The Velvelettes. It was released as their third single in November 1964 and peaked at No.64 on the US singles chart and No.21 on the R&B chart.

Retitled “Really Saying Something”, the track was recorded in late 1981 by UK male trio Fun Boy Three and UK female trio Bananarama as the follow up to their top five hit “It Ain’t What You Do…”. The song was released in March 1982 and reached No.5 on the UK singles chart and No.16 on the US dance chart. “Really Saying Something” was later recorded by Nana Siobhan Fahey in her guise as Shakespear’s Sister and released as a single in 2011.

In 2000, Irish duo, Buffalo G (Naomi Lynch and Olive Tucker) recorded and released their retitled rap version of the song – “We’re Really Saying Something” – as their debut and, to date, their only single. This time it made No.13 on the Irish singles chart and No.17 on the UK top 40.

But which version is the best? THE VELVELETTES “He Was”, BANANARAMA’s “Really” or BUFFALO G’s “We’re”?