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Bananarama’s tenth studio album, 2009’s “Viva”, remains their most electro sounding collection to date. It was a collaboration with celebrated producer, composer, songwriter and remixer Ian Masterson, whose credits include work with Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue and the Pet Shop Boys.
His instinctive grasp of Bananarama’s sound, spirit and energy resulted in some monumental feel-good pop-dance music. Amongst the album’s many highlights is ‘Seventeen’, which unfolds as an undulating, low-slung electro number with the vocals recalling the all-consuming thrill of first time love. There’s also the seductive vibe of the track ‘Extraordinary’ and the unforgettable lead single ‘Love Comes’, an out and out celebratory dancefloor smash! The album is a veritable masterclass in melodic, upbeat pop. It was also the album on which Sara and Keren both started to play bass guitar again after a 17 year break!
“Viva” originated as a discofied cover versions album, but Sara and Keren changed their mind on this approach half way through recording, in response to their, then, record company actively preferring their original compositions to the array of disco styled cover versions. Just three of these originally chosen cover versions made it through to the final track listing of ‘Viva’. ‘Rapture’ had been originally recorded by trance act iiO in 2001 and had been both a dance floor and chart smash hit throughout Europe and the United States. The second cover version included was Bananarama’s inventive take on the 1978 disco classic ‘The Runner’ by The Three Degrees and an earlier pop track ‘S-S-S-Single Bed’ from 1976 was the last cover version selected. This had originally been recorded by Fox.
Four additional cover version rarities, originally made available as either bonus ‘download only’ album tracks or as B-sides on the related singles, have also been included in this deluxe expanded edition. These were ‘Voyage, Voyage’, the 1986 worldwide, anthemic, Europop hit by French singer Desireless; Bryan Adams’ pop/rock classic ‘Run To You’ from 1984; the Simon and Garfunkel folk-pop songbook standard ‘The Sound Of Silence’, first released by them in 1965 and Bryan Ferry’s 1977 single and solo album track ‘Tokyo Joe’. All of these tracks can be found on this comprehensive 30 track 2 disc expanded edition of “Viva” along with all the commercially available remixes, and edits thereof, that were released across the various formats of both of the album’s two singles; ‘Love Comes’ and ‘Love Don’t Live Here’. This release comes with a richly illustrated 20 page booklet including an introductory message from Sara and Keren.
Also included is the promotional Buzz Junkies dance remix and edit of the album cut, the girl’s deftly executed re-work of The Three Degrees track ‘The Runner’ as originally co-written by Sheila Ferguson and the legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder.
DISC ONE: ORIGINAL ALBUM, BONUS TRACKS & EDITS
1. LOVE COMES
2. LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE
6. TELL ME TOMORROW
7. THE RUNNER
9. DUM DUM BOY
10. S-S-S-SINGLE BED
11. WE’VE GOT THE NIGHT
12. THE SOUND OF SILENCE
13. RUN TO YOU
14. LOVE COMES (RADIO EDIT)
15. LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE (RADIO MIX)
16. LOVE COMES (RIFF & RHYS RADIO MIX)
17. THE RUNNER (BUZZ JUNKIES 7” MIX)
18. LOVE COMES (WIDEBOYS CLUB EDIT)
19. LOVE COMES (WIDEBOYS A-MIX)
DISC TWO – EXTENDED DANCE REMIXES & ORIGINAL SINGLES’ BONUS TRACKS
1. LOVE COMES (IAN MASTERSON’S EXTENDED MIX)
2. LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE (IAN MASTERSON’S EXTENDED MIX)
3. LOVE COMES (WIDEBOYS CLUB MIX)
4. THE RUNNER (BUZZ JUNKIES 12” MIX)
5. LOVE COMES (RIFF & RAYS CLUB MIX)
6. HERE COMES THE RAIN
7. VOYAGE VOYAGE
8. TOKYO JOE
9. CRUEL SUMMER ’09
10. EVERY SHADE OF BLUE ’10
11. LOVE COMES (WIDEBOYS DUB)