Bananarama’s Sara Dallin Explains How She Knows ‘Cruel Summer’ Is a ‘Classic’


  • Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” was covered by several other artists, including Ace of Base.
  • Bananarama’s Sara Dallin said there’s a reason she knows the song is a classic.
  • “Cruel Summer” became a hit in the United States and the United Kingdom.
"Cruel Summer" era Bananarama wearing blue
Bananarama | Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Bananarama’s Sara Dallin said the music of the 1980s is more “organic” than today’s music. In addition, she said Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” had a big impact on the musicians of subsequent decades. She also revealed what she thought of a rock band’s cover of the song.

Bananarama’s Sara Dallin said people used to tell her the 1980s were ‘a terrible decade’

Bananarama is a girl group that had a handful of hits in the 1980s. During a 2022 interview with Pink News, Dallin discussed that time period. “When I think back, people used to say, ‘Oh the ’80s was a terrible decade, it was all backcombed hair and shoulder pads,’ but for me it was all very identifiable artists,” Dallin said.

Dallin compared the 1980s to today. “I think each person, each group or solo artist, we all wrote our own music, we all styled ourselves — we didn’t have the big glam teams they do now — it was all quite organic,” she opined.

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What Sara Dallin thought of Ace of Base, Lorde, Evanescence, and rappers making their versions of Bananarama’s ‘Cruel Summer’

Dallin discussed one of her group’s most famous tracks: “Cruel Summer.” “I think ‘Cruel Summer’ has proved to be a classic song because different artists cover it for each generation — and it’s quite a big hit,” Dallin said. “When Ace of Base did their cover, it went top 10 in America again.

“Evanescence did it in lockdown on the keyboard, it sounded beautiful,” Dallin added. “Lorde has done it. There have been rap ones and all kinds of things. I don’t know what it is about that song, but it really has taken on a life of its own now.”

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How ‘Cruel Summer’ and its parent album performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Cruel Summer” became a hit in the United States. The track reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 18 weeks. Other than “Venus” and “I Heard a Rumor,” none of Bananarama’s other songs charted higher. The group released “Cruel Summer” on the album Bananarama. The album peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 36 weeks.

The Official Charts Company reports “Cruel Summer” became similarly popular in the United Kingdom. There, it hit No. 8 and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks. Meanwhile, Bananarama reached No. 16 and lasted on the chart for 11 weeks.

“Cruel Summer” was a hit in the 1980s — and other artists helped it stand the test of time.

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