The group initially consisted of Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward -- three friends who sang in unison, instead of using harmonies. They started the band in 1979 and created the name by combining the TV show The Banana Splits with Roxy Music's "Pajama Rama."
Amazingly, Bananarama got not one but two big breaks to help launch their career. First, the group happened to live above a rehearsal room used by Steve Jones and Paul Cook (formerly of the Sex Pistols); this led to their first recording contract in 1981. Later that year, an article in The Face (a U.K. fashion magazine) in support of their first single ("Aie a Mwana") was read by ex-Specials singer Terry Hall. Hall reached out to Bananarama to work with his new group (Fun Boy Three) on "T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)" which led to a second collaboration on "Really Sayin' Something."
Both Fun Boy Three songs became top 10 hits in the U.K., and launched Bananarama as a major pop act in their native country. During the 1980's they had 18 top 40 singles in the U.K., though they had only 3 in the U.S. ("Cruel Summer," "Venus," and "I Heard a Rumour").
Siobhan Fahey left Bananarama in 1988 and was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan (who left in 1991). Since then, the group has been a duo, and remains active as of this writing. Fahey went on to form Shakespears Sister with Marcella Detroit.
"Really Sayin' Something" (with a g) reached #5 on the U.K. charts, but did not break the top 100 in the U.S. It was off Bananarama's 1983 debut LP, Deep Sea Skydiving, which hit #7 on the U.K. album charts, and #63 in the U.S.
The original version of the song ( "He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'" with no g at the end) was recorded by Motown group the Velvelettes in December 1964 and became their biggest hit, reaching #64 on the U.S. charts.