80’s Mania Mondays: This Heat Has Got Right Out Of Hand

I don’t know where you live, but where I am, the title of this post is sure fitting. Now I know it doesn’t get quite as hot here as it might in the south, but it has been plenty hot here. While I wouldn’t necessarily use the title track of today’s featured song to describe the season we are in as a whole, the heat may make me reconsider.

If you couldn’t guess today’s song from the lyric in the post title, here’s another hint: girl group that sang just about all of their songs (including this one) in unison, as opposed to harmony or a single lead with backup. Too tough?

Today’s song is “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama.

Written by group members Keren Woodward, Siobhan Fahey and Sara Dallin, along with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, “Cruel Summer” would prove to be the trio’s first top ten pop hit, rising to #9 in the summer (duh!) of 1984. The group had been releasing singles in their native United Kingdom since 1981, and had already tasted success over there. The following year saw their first hits cross over to the United States, though nothing prior to today’s song ever made the pop top 40. They are often credited along with Duran Duran, Culture Club, Wham! and other groups from the U.K. for the “second British invasion,” made possible by MTV.

“Cruel Summer” was the first of three top ten pop hits by the group (the other two being “Venus” (a cover of the Shocking Blue hit which was a #1 song in 1986) and “I Heard A Rumour”(#4 in 1987)). Starting with their True Confessions album, production duties were switched from Jolley & Swain to dance pop producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman or (Stock Aitken Waterman as they were commonly known). The new producers were responsible for the last two top ten hits. Fahey left the group in 1988, and was replaced by Jacquie O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan left in 1991, and since that time Bananarama performed as a duo of Woodward and Dallin, which continues to the present day. Jolley and Swain also produced hits for R&B group Imagination (“Body Talk,” “Just An Illusion,” among others), and Spandau Ballet’s “True.”

So while it hasn’t exactly been a cruel summer, the heat may give one pause. Find yourself a cool place to enjoy today’s 80’s Mania Monday song. As always, thanks for reading and listening.

30 Replies to “80’s Mania Mondays: This Heat Has Got Right Out Of Hand”

  1. Perfect song! I was so sweet on Bananarama back in the day that my mom would tease my hair high and wrap it in a bandana just like Siobhan’s. I had the fashion right down to the baggie overalls. What a great listen to start another sweltering day.

    Fun Fact: Siobhan Fahey was briefly married to Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. They had two sons who are now (I’m sure you can guess) musicians.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bloggess! I was aware that Fahey and Stewart were married, but didn’t know about their kids. I believe they got married not long after she left the group.

      Even the song’s lyrics about the heat are fitting. Stay cool and I hope you have a great day!

      Like

  2. I HEARD A RUMOR….THEY SAID YOU HAD A BROKER HEART…I HEARD…”
    That was one of my jams back in 1987!
    But you mentioned something that I never really thought much about:

    “here’s another hint: girl group that sang just about all of their songs (including this one) in unison, as opposed to harmony or a single lead with backup. Too tough?”

    I noticed it but I never really thought about it until you said that today. Now you got me wondering why they took that approach.

    What say you?

    Great post as usual.
    And trust, it’s hot as hell down here 😓 CRUEL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good question as to why they took that approach. The cynic in me says they did it because neither one of them was strong enough of a singer to carry the lead on their own, or they just didn’t do harmony well. I would guess that with their earlier singles, that approach seemed to work so they stuck with it. But I have no real idea, though I did read in Wikipedia (yeah, I know) that Fahey did do a lead vocal for a song called “Riskin’ A Romance.” So there’s that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just wanted you to confirm what I already thought. LOL!
        Didn’t think about the harmony aspect per se.
        Chile ain’t nobody hating on you bout Wikipedia. This ain’t no academic setting! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joan! Yes the heat has got out of hand, but no matter how hot it gets, I’m not going to be one of those people who cries for winter. Fall or Spring, maybe, but not winter. Too much snow is just as bad as too much heat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, we can all agree that anything above 90 degrees reaches the “hot” threshold for pretty much anybody.
    But, I’ve seen days like what Lisa is talking about where we wished for a 95 degree day and 90 felt damn near like a crispy autumn eve.
    In other words:
    HOT AS HELL!
    Cruel!
    DEAD!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you T, for a lovely trip back to high school! I guess you could call the 115 degree heat index in Baltimore on Saturday kind of “cruel.” Kind of the like watching the O’s right now, but I’m not going there…Finally had a chance to catch up on your blog – the day job is sucking the life out of me. Always fun to be back – I really enjoy your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Maria. Yes, as you know I share your feelings about the O’s of late. I am on a break from work this week, so I have been taking it pretty easy so far. But I know as soon as I get back, the stress level will ramp up for sure.

      You’re welcome for the return to high school!

      Like

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