Banderas – She Sells
Banderas were about as close as we ever got to a female Pet Shop Boys – not that I recall anyone asking for such a thing – and they were potentially a very good pop group indeed, sadly victims of the very short attention span people in the early 1990s appeared to have. Faceless dance music was largely the order of the day, and it threw up more one hit wonders than just about any other decade. Curious.
It all started quite well for them with their debut single, the really quite enjoyable (if slightly worthy) This is Your Life hitting no.16 in March 1991. A duo made up of former Communards band member Sally Herbert and vocalist Caroline Buckley, Banderas released a rather excellent debut album called Ripe. It was produced by Stephen Hague, whose name is synonymous with some of the very best pop music ever made, West End Girls and True Faith representing his greatest successes.
Pleasingly, the drum intro of She Sells recalls our recent Popvoid entry I Know There’s Something Going On by Frida, but it’s a considerably less bombastic record than that. In subject matter, however, it’s much more hard-hitting – a scathing attack on the advertising industry’s misuse of women to flog product. At this point you’re probably thinking “well that doesn’t sound like hit single material to me” and you’d be absolutely right, as She Sells crawled to a tantalisingly close peak of no.41 on the UK chart, ironically due to a lack of advertising. It is, however, a great tune, beautifully sung and precision-produced to sound as shiny and tempting as possible. High gloss with depth, if you will.
The early nineties weren’t, alas, particularly noted for being especially deep: sample song titles from the top 40 when She Sells was released include I Wanna Sex You Up, Touch Me, I Touch Myself, People Are Still Having Sex and Naked Love. Britain appeared to have a one track mind, and while there was plenty of room for pop about sex, there was precious little for pop about sexual politics.
Still, props for being the only pop act ever to appear as a cruet set on the cover of a record.
Entered chart: 09/06/1991
Chart peak: 41
Weeks on chart: 6
Who could sing this today and have a hit? For ironic meta-lolz, Rihanna, who will put her face on anything if it makes her a buck.