Bananarama has been among pop’s most impactful and treasured groups from the 80s, and their successes speak for themselves.
A Guinness World Record entry for the most successful female band in the world thanks to numerous charting singles, several sell-out tours, and 30 Top 50 UK hits!
One of those hits is “Look On The Floor (Hypnotic Tango),” released in 2005: 18 years later, we look back at how this song dominated the clubs and radio.
UK pop trio Bananarama epitomized so much of the decade’s glitz and glam that they became the standard for at least a chunk of it. At the start of their careers, Keren Woodward, Sarah Dallin, and Siobhan Fahey were post-punk misfits, reinventing the girl group sounds for the new wave. A handful of hit collaborative efforts with Fun Boy Three in 1982 became the foundation for Bananarama’s own hits.
The group gained an extensive following in American dance clubs, allowing their single “Cruel Summer” to be a Top Ten hit in 1984 and gave rise to the international smash “Venus” in 1986. Bananarama’s dance ties were strengthened by “Venus,” which gave them another massive hit with “I Heard a Rumour” in 1987 and kept the group alive for the next three decades. Fahey left the band in 1988, but Woodward and Dallin persisted, scoring hits in the United Kingdom and worldwide well into the twenty-first century.
“Look On The Floor (Hypnotic Tango)” was released in 2005 as part of the album “Drama,” which includes songs produced by Korpi, Mute 8, and Blackcell, along with songs produced and co-written by Ian Masterson and Terry Ronald. It transitions from strongly robotic-sounding lyrics to a softer chorus, which itself is based on the Italo disco track “Hypnotic Tango” by “My Mine” in 1983. It provides the song a gentle warmth compared to the more upbeat original, and it’s bound to ring a bell if you’re a fan of Italo. “Look On The Floor (Hypnotic Tango)” is highly energetic but not completely noisy like some of today’s over-processed mix. Bananarama combines seamless feminine elegance with catchy uptempo music.
In its music video directed by Tim Royes, Woordward, and Dallin performed the song on a simple white setting wearing “little black dresses,” danced with male dancers inside a mirrored space, and “floated” in the air.
“Look on the Floor (Hypnotic Tango)” reached number 26 in the United Kingdom, becoming the band’s twenty-fifth – and, to date, last – top 40 single. It was eventually released globally and peaked at number twelve on the Spanish singles chart.
Even though the single was not released in the US, it rose to number two on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart solely based on nightclub play of the imported song (a rare feat for the US dance chart), becoming Bananarama’s best club hit since “Venus” in 1986. “Look on the Floor (Hypnotic Tango)” quickly became a radio hit, reaching number five on the Hot Dance Airplay chart. The popularity of this single on the dance charts pushed the official release of Bananarama’s previously released “Move in My Direction” in the United States in August 2006.