Bananarama: Venus Japanese CD3 
- White Train
With their world-conquering “Venus” hi-NRG cover, Bananarama crossed the line in the sand from the one marked “charm” to the one marked “crass.” Their third album would still sport Swain & Jolley still in the producer’s chairs but the writing was on the wall when this single as produced by the still on the rise Stock, Aitken, Waterman triumvirate hit the decks and proceeded to become a number one hit in seven markets, while taking a top ten position in many more. Word has it that the ladies liked SAW’s production of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round [like a record]” and talked the trio into taking the song into dance pop territory.
This Japanese snap pack CD3 is actually the LP version of the song, which is about 30 seconds longer than the 7″ edit. The song wore out its welcome to me long ago. It is a machine for dancing. It is the sound of a thousand gyms leading a high-energy aerobics class. It is the sound of Russian tanks crushing the Czechoslovakian uprising with utter indifference. It is the sound of inevitability.
The reason why, back in the day, I opted to buy this single was to have the song’s non-LP B-side on CD in the only place at that time where this was possible. As produced by Eurythmics keyboardist Patrick Seymour and Phil Bishop, the track at least sounds as though human beings were involved with its creation. The thin rhythm guitar that winds through the track conjures up a sufficient train-like vibe that contrasts with the prominent synth bass employed throughout. The congas are a nice touch here in possibly the last time that an actual percussive instrument is used on a Bananarama record. It’s a demure song of the type that would have no more room in the Bananarama canon moving forward. 27 Years later, I am astounded that I once casually had the sort of pocket change to buy a disc like this to have a B-side on CD. Japanese CD3s cost from $12-18 in stores at the time. Ouch!
– 30 –