John Corbett | Summerland, California United States | 08/16/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Bananarama's debut album, Deep Sea Skiving, is one of the hidden gems of the 1980s, and helped launch the career of the most successful girl group in history. "Aie A Mwana," sung completely in Swahili, is their first and one of their best singles. Other classics include "Shy Boy," and a cover of "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)." The whole album is full of catchy beats and great melodies.
Now for the bad news. Collectables Records says this CD is "digitally remastered." Digitally "ripped" is more like it -- the songs on this CD sound like little more than badly ripped low quality mp3s, with the muddled and churny sound typical of them. You'd probably hear better quality on your worn out old casette tape, or perhaps even those crummy mp3s you'd been hoping to replace with your hard-earned dollars by buying this disc.
Shame on Collectables for passing these off as legit CDs. Stay away from this one if you don't want to be seriously disappointed!!"
Rating based on original CD, not this reissue
Ryan A. Rigg | 03/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own the original PolyGram issue of "Deep Sea Skiving" issued in 1986. Before that I owned the cassette. This is one of those CD's where I love every song, not just the hits. Of course I love the hits: "Shy Boy", "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" and "Really Saying Something". But I also love the other tunes, especially "Doctor Love", "Cheers Then", "Hey Young London" and "Boy Trouble". Brings back fond memories of 82-83 and the 2nd British invasion and listening to all these songs.
Apparently according to the other reviewer, this reissue by Collectables is poorly done. My advice is to scour stores that sell used CD's and pick up the original. It is well worth it."
Classic debut, raw and wonderful
D. H. Richards | Silver Spring, MD USA | 09/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album captures a small but wonderful section of the UK pop scene circa 1982 or so when the Fun Boy Three were experiencing chart topping success after splitting from the Specials. When the three boys hooked up with these three girls the results were inspiring. The germs of a real glossy pop career are here, but this record also shows why the gals have a place even in the hearts of "serious" pop aficionados. 1. Shy Boy - glossy pop, a great single.
2. Doctor Love - a Paul Weller cover, sounds like a pale Style Council imitation. A for effort.
3. What a Shambles - eh, insightful but kind of whiney on the part of the gals. Yes, fame is a pain, but no one os forcing you. Plus, at this point, what did they really know?
4. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin' - worth the price of admission alone. Clasic full on FB3 production.
5. Cheers Then - fun
6. Aie a Mwana - very well done cover, a real stretch that they handle well.
7. Young at Heart
8. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - another classic (along with He was Really and Shy Boy) that showed this band, with the right producers, could rule the world. And they did.
9. Hey Young London - eh, not bad, but the gals were a long way off from writing a hit single with this.
10. Boy Trouble - on an album with lesser song this would have been the single, as it is it stands nicely next to the singles on this album.
11. Wish You Were Here At time this album is raw, at times the promise of the gals future polish shine through. If you thought they were just some random collection of women found by SAW then you should pick up this album to see their roots. True, they seem to do best when working with producers who have a strong vision, but they clearly bring their own view points to the table."
Don't it make you feel good?
Dominic Davies | 11/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Out of all the Bananarama CD's I own I always go back and pull this one out for long drives or just to lift my mood. It is so fun and bouncy! You hear the girls here at their best. This is before different producers got ahold of them. This is the real sound of Bananrama. Sure it sounds a little dated but this was the sound fresh from London at the time. They were part of a movement like Haysi Fantayzee, Bow Wow Wow, Dead Or Alive, and early Culture Club. Besides the singles, What a Shambles, and Hey Young London are stand out tracks. This CD is good from start to finish!"
Very a-peel-ing debut from Bananarama
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 08/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though their hook-up with bubblegum popmeisters Stock, Aitken, And Waterman was five years away, their earlier era under the tutelage of producers Tony Swain and Steve Jolley gave them a vivacious dance tinged with a bit of Motown soul harmonies, a more natural sound. That being said, Deep Sea Skiving, their debut, is probably the best of their early era, and the original lineup of Keren Woodward, Siobhan Fahey, and Sarah Dallin never sounded fresher than here.Take away the drums, and bass in "Shy Boy" and one can imagine a Shirelles or Chiffons-type group doing it, especially with the "shoop shoop ahh" refrain they chant in unison. It's a mildly upbeat number. The same goes true for "Doctor Love"."What A Shambles" describes the downside of fame, such as the early mornings, interviews, and the pressured schedule that doesn't give the star a life. As the chorus says, "I wish you were in our shoes/I wish you could be us/Washing all your laundry /And riding on the bus." The title comes into play in describing a bad day: "What a shambles of a meeting/Don't know what to say/What a shambles of a bus ride/What a shambles of a day..." One of the best songs here.Their UK Top Ten hit, a cover of the Velvelettes' "Really Saying Something" shows their R&B roots all too well. They have the Fun Boy Three backing them up, a favour returned for a reason I'll explain later.A wall of dreamy keyboards and piano gives "Cheers Then" the atmosphere of a nice outdoor cafe, but sadly, it's about how all good things, even between "two old friends" thought to be inseparable, can come to an end: "But those good times came to an end/And its not worth another try/Time that lapsed a bond collapsed/We never planned for that/You felt betrayed I let you down/You're better on your own." One of the best songs here.Then comes the single that got the attention of Terry Hall, vocalist of Fun Boy Three, and which led to the Rams' collaboration of FBT's "It Ain't What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It." That single was a cover of Swahili Black Blood's "Aie A Mwana", and it was produced by Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook. I haven't heard the original but the sax and funky bass add to the tribal rhythms felt in the song, and they don't sound out of place chanting the African lyrics. That later led to a reteam for "Really Saying Something."The upbeat and gushingly bouncy "Young At Heart" is the best song on this album, set to an insistent backing drumbeat. Yet the subject is about how young people may be young at heart, thinking they can make it on their own the instant they walk out of Mum and Dad's door, but the irresponsible things they do make them old before their time: "How come I love them now/How come I love them more/But all I wanted to do when I was/Old was to walk out the door."They then cover Steam's well-known hit, "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)". Like "Shy Boy", this was another example of the production team of Tony Swain and Steve Jolley's giving them Top Ten hits on the UK charts. I like this one better than the version done by the Nylons later.The mid-paced synth exercise "Hey Young London" was written by all three members and two others, and is a commentary on the youth culture in London's night life."Boy Trouble"--the title explains the theme. "Wish You Were Here" has the same wistful and beat-heavy style as "Cheers Then." Six songs here were written by all three members, so to say they relied too much on cover songs is sort of fallacious. Now granted, it was those same covers that soared up the UK charts, but songs like "Cheers Then" and "Wish You Were Here" prove their non-single material didn't slip."