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Bananarama Featuring Fun Boy Three – Really Sayin’ Somethin’ (US 12″)

Posted by DjPaulT on 30th November 2011


“He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ is a soul song written by Motown Records songwriters Norman Whitfield, William “Mickey” Stevenson, and Edward Holland, Jr. in 1964. The song is notable in both a 1964 version by American Motown girl group the Velvelettes, and a 1982 hit version (with the title altered to “Really Saying Something”) by British girl group Bananarama.

In 1982, the British girl group Bananarama recorded a cover version of the song and released it as the first single from their debut album Deep Sea Skiving. Providing background vocals is Fun Boy Three, a male vocal trio who had a hit with Bananarama earlier in the year with another cover, “T’ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)”

The 1982 single became the second consecutive top-five hit for both Bananarama and Fun Boy Three, peaking at number five in the UK singles chart. It also received heavy play on the then-young MTV network in America. “Really Saying Something” was both groups’ second chart entry in Australia, peaking at number seventy-four.

In the US the 12″ contained “Aie A Mwana” as the b-side.

“Aie A Mwana” was the first single released by Bananarama. Group members originally recorded the track as a demo and ultimately it was the demo version that was pressed onto the record. Originally released as a stand-alone single, “Aie A Mwana” was eventually added to the group’s debut album Deep Sea Skiving two years later.

Bananarama’s previous experience in a recording studio was as background vocalists on the Department S b-side “Solid Gold Easy Action”, a T. Rex cover. Prompted by friend and early supporter Paul Cook (of Sex Pistols), Bananarama decided to release their own single. As they had been including several cover versions in their repertoire (including later hit “Venus”), they decided on the song which had been recorded by Black Blood, sung in Swahili, which they had heard in a French disco. Group members Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward had to learn to sing the song phonetically. The “tropical” nature of the single inspired the group’s name: banana coming from the vibe of “Aie A Mwana” and -rama added to the end as a nod to an early Roxy Music song called “Pyjamarama”.

Issued by independent label Demon Records, “Aie A Mwana” reached number ninety-two in the UK singles chart. Write-ups in the English music and fashion press (NME, The Face) caught the attention of Terry Hall, who invited Bananarama to sing on his new vocal group Fun Boy Three’s next single.

He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ 7:54
Producer – Dave Jordan, Fun Boy Three
Written-By – E. Holland*, N. Whitfield*, W. Stevenson*
Performed ByBananarama And Fun Boy Three

Aie A Mwana 6:45
Producer – ohn Martin (2), Paul Cook
Written-By – Daniel Vanguard*, Jean Kluger
Perfomed ByBananarama

Aie A Mwana (Dub Mix) 4:38
Producer – ohn Martin (2), Paul Cook
Written-By – Daniel Vanguard*, Jean Kluger
Perfomed ByBananarama

Vinyl: Near Mint
Sleeve: Near Mint


Year Single Chart Position
1981 Aie A Mwana U.S. Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play #66
1982 He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ U.S. Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play #16


Label: London Records – 6400 661
Format: Vinyl, 12″, Single, 33 RPM
Country: US
Released: 1982
Genre: Electronic
Style: New Wave
Credits: Design [Cover] – Nick Egan, Pete Barrett*
Performer [Bananarama] – Keren*, Sarah*, Siobhan*
Performer [Fun Boy Three] – Lynval*, Neville*, Terry*
Remix – John Luongo

Fun Boy Three appears through the courtesy of Chrysalis Records.

Find The 12″ On DISCOGS

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut III
Cartridge: Ortofon Super
Stylus: Ortofon OM Stylus 30
Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
Soundcard: ESI Juli@
VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Brother MFC-6490CW Professional Series Scanner

Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Playlist Creator

All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
Downsampled to 24bit/96kHz and16bit /44kHz using iZotope RX Advanced 2
FLAC (Level Eight)
MP3 (320kbps)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

PW: burningtheground

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Posted in Bananarama, The Fun Boy Three | 27 Comments »