For Bananarama, “Cruel Summer” is the “song that just keeps going”

Mark Mattock

Taylor Swift‘s “Cruel Summer” might be a hit now, but don’t forget the O.G. “Cruel Summer” is the 1983 single by Bananarama, a top 10 U.S. hit in 1984. It still pops up on TV and in movies, which is why the group’s Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin were a bit surprised when Taylor used the same title for her song.

“I think it is very much our title, and I think people would always think that,” Keren tells ABC Audio.

“But you don’t know because it’s a different generation,” Sara points out. “I mean, maybe she didn’t know it.”

“Who knows?” Keren adds, “It’s been used for quite a lot of stuff, that one. It’s like the song that just keeps going.”

“Cruel Summer” is currently “going” in the trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters movie Frozen Empire. It was also used in season 2 of Cobra Kai, which is fitting, considering “Cruel Summer” became a big hit in the U.S. after it was used in the 1984 movie that inspired Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid.

“We went to the premiere of it,” Sara remembers. “And just seeing your name as a writer roll [onscreen] in a Hollywood film … that was probably one of the biggest thrills of my life!”

While some believe Taylor’s song was partly inspired by her 2016 feud with Kanye West, who once released a compilation called Good Music Cruel Summer, the original song is about something very different.

“The heat of a city with the summer, it’s horrible, and London is no exception — we were on, like, endless promo,” Sara recalls. “And everyone else was going on holiday, and it’s, like, ‘This is just so unfair!'”

Keren laughs, “It’s the story of our lives, really, isn’t it?”

Bananarama’s Glorious – The Ultimate Collection is out March 8.

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