Single Of The Week 07/02/97

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.


The centrepiece of French & Saunders' 1988 Christmas special was a parody of Bananarama, who were then riding high in the charts on the The Greatest Hits Collection album and their then recently-announced Guiness Book Of Records status as Britain's most successful girl group ever. (The Spice Girls are now challenging for this title and already have more UK #1s -- the Nanas never had any -- but they've still got a long way to go in terms of number of singles.) Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders teamed up with Kathy Burke (now perhaps best known as Magda from Ab Fab) to form Lananeeneenoonoo and give us such fabulous songs as a Pete Waterman-produced cover of 'Jimmy Mack' and 'Just Got To Let You Know I Think That You're The Boy For Me', complete with cod-'Robert De Niro's Waiting' videoclip. It was funny, but it was undeniably vicious.

Many bands would have chucked a Mike Moore-style hissyfit, but not Bananarama, who displayed the sense of humour that was apparent even back in their Aussie breakthrough video for 'Shy Boy' way back in 1982. Instead, the girls (in their second incarnation of Keren, Sara and Jacquie) teamed up with F&S and recorded 'Help', the 1989 single for the annual UK Comic Relief charity bash.

The video included a sendup of the Beatles film from which the song comes, as well as loads of totally crap dancing and out-of-tune singing by the Lanas. Despite this (well, let's face it, because of it), it did very nicely for Comic Relief, thank you. The single was, in fact, the last Top 10 hit to date for the Nanas (but we live in hope).

I've heard more than one Beatles fan complain that this doesn't measure up to the original. Come on guys, get a clue. This is funny, it's got that SAW beat pounding under it, and it raises money for the starving. What more do you want from a record?

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