Evanescence Pair Turn ’80s ‘Karate Kid’ Song Into Soaring Cover


Bananarama scored a number of ’80s hits, including the bouncy summer jam “Cruel Summer” that got a boost from being included in the hit ’80s film The Karate Kid. Now, three-plus decades later, Evanescence pair Amy Lee and Troy McLawhorn are giving the track a fresh approach with their keyboard-led version of the song.

The original Bananarama track had a darker lyrical take juxtaposed against the infectious and danceable beats, but here Lee and McLawhorn have stripped back to bouncy vibes and given the song a more somber backing which fit the lyrics. Lee takes the lead on her keyboard, with her vocals delivering the emotional weight of the song. In this version they recorded for MagentaMusik 360, Lee speaks at the end of how the song has taken on new meaning given the current state of the world.

“Cruel Summer” was initially released as a stand-alone single by Bananarama in 1983, but later was included on their self-titled sophomore set. It rose to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after it was included in The Karate Kid a year later (though not being added to the movie’s soundtrack). Over the years, the song has been covered several times, with the band even updating their own version in 1989.

Bananarama, “Cruel Summer”

Evanescence are building up to their highly anticipated return on their upcoming album The Bitter Truth. The band has held off on announcing a release date given the current pandemic, but they have issued the current single “Wasted on You.” Look for more music from Evanescence coming in the lead up to their new album.

Evanescence’s Amy Lee + Troy McLawhorn Cover Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”

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