Bananamen (the)

Bananamen – The Crusher

Big Beat Records – NS 88 [1983]
The Crusher / Love Me – Surfin’ Bird

Though it was fairly easy to recognize the Meteors on the cover of the Clapham South Escalators single, the identity of the Bananamen was less obvious and more mysterious.
Here’s the story. In 1983, Ace Records released a reissue of a three-song single by the Bananamen. The Bananamen were supposedly a Minneapolis quartet that released this single in 1965 on Hava Banana records. The group was playing a noisy brand of trash, and one could see the direct influence on the Cramps. The use of a double-bass in their line-up was surprising and pretty unusual for the time. Except that… these songs were actually recorded in 1983, and instead of being from Minneapolis, the Bananamen were, in reality, the Sting Rays in disguise. I remember some reviews at the time writing that the Bananamen were so ahead of their times. There’s nothing like an excellent musical hoax. These songs later appeared on the CD compilation Single-Minded. But if you can, try to grab a copy of the original single. This music is meant for that.

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