Pan - Bana Bana (1989)


Single: Pan - Bana Bana (1989)
Album: Eurovision Song Contest 1989 - Turkey Entry
Song: Bana Bana

I struggled with whether to post the recorded version of this song from the single, or post the live performance of it from the Eurovision contest in 1989. While I love this song on it's own, I think the live performance really does offer some additional context and entertainment.

For those who don't know, Eurovision is a yearly contest held in Europe where every country sends a band or artist. Some kind of vote happens, and a winner is declared. I've never actually watched one, but they are still held today. Sadly in 1989 Bana Bana won second to last place. In a contest that is for embarrassing ballads and really soulless pop, this track stood out is the best possible way. Kind of like Marty McFly playing that solo at the end of Johnny B Goode.

This track on it's own is already exceptionally fast. It's clipping by at a BPM that is way to fast to dance to. With many tight and intricate melodies popping up then blinking gone in an instant. To my ears it runs at a pace similar to metal or even NES music. And, like those two genres, everything about the song is surgical, punchy and insanely melodic. From the vocal melodies and dual harmonies, to the drum fills and riffs in the wind and horn sections, this song is just screaming past. The vocals of the two females singing on these Turkish eastern scales haunt me to this day. The song title "Bana Bana" translates to "To me to me", and appears to be about couples having some troubles. These melodies hammer it home.

Ultimately, I decided on posting the live video because of the energy. Compared to the track on the record, this is at least 5 bpm faster. And you can see at the start, the composer (and writer) of the song Timur Selçuk going absolutely mental as the conductor in front of the orchestra. He must have really been feeling the energy, because he ramped the whole band into a frenzied pace where you can audibly hear them speeding up. So fast that the more intricate wind sections almost blur together rather than have this tight surgical feel like on the record. I actually really like that about this version. It's balls out, with nothing held back. And for the most part, exceptionally well executed all things considered. I get the impression that the message behind the song was important to the conductor Timur Selçuk.

Lastly, I love the announcer at the start: " Now just keep an eye... *gets cut off as song starts to play and the conductor goes crazy* Here goes the boy, Timur Selçuk!"

Here goes the boy!

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