"Love In The First Degree" - Bananarama
from the album Wow! (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48
This week's "robbed hit" comes from the British female vocal trio Bananarama, whose Stock-Aitken-Waterman produced fourth album Wow! had given them their third top-10 pop hit in America with "I Heard A Rumour" from the the Fat Boys movie Disorderlies. While that song only stopped at #14 in their native UK, the second single released in Britain ended up being tying their highest rank yet at #3. In America, after the retro-disco "I Can't Help It" missed the pop top 40, that British second single, the hi-NRG bubble of "Love In The First Degree", was released. With a bevy of muscle hunks carousing while the girls cavort in prison garb, the song may have been a bit too campy for U.S. radio...
While "Love In The First Degree" gave Bananarama their third straight top-10 dance hit in the U.S. at #10, the single stopped at #48 on the American pop Hot 100. Internationally, the song made the top 10 in Australia (#5), Ireland (#6), and Belgium (#9). Member Siobhan Fahey would leave shortly thereafter, eventually forming the duo Shakespear's Sister with Marcella Detroit. After a stint with replacement Jacquie O'Sullivan, which also netted them a #3 hit with a cover of "Help", Sarah Dallin and Karen Woodward have continued as a duo since. In 2005, they scored a pair of top-40 hits in the UK that made the American dance chart, with "Look On The Floor (Hypnotic Tango)" reaching #2 on the Billboard Dance Club Play list.