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"T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)" is a song written by jazz musicians Melvin "Sy" Oliver and James "Trummy" Young. It was first recorded in 1939 by both Jimmie Lunceford and Ella Fitzgerald.[1]


Cover versions

"It Ain't What You Do...."
Single by Fun Boy Three with Bananarama
from the album Fun Boy Three and Greatest Hits Collection
B-side "The Funrama Theme"
Released February 1982
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded July 1981
Genre Pop, New Wave
Label Chrysalis Records
Writer(s) Sy Oliver
Trummy Young
Producer Dave Jordan, Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three singles chronology
"The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)"
"It Ain't What You Do...."
"Really Saying Something"
Bananarama singles chronology
"Aie a Mwana"
"It Ain't What You Do...."
"Really Saying Something"

The jazz tune was transformed into a pop song with ska elements in 1982. With the title slightly altered to "It Ain't What You Do....", it was included on Fun Boy Three's debut self-titled album, but it was not available on a Bananarama album until 1988's Greatest Hits Collection.

Terry Hall of Fun Boy Three owned a copy of Bananarama's previous single "Aie a Mwana" and after seeing an article about the trio in The Face he decided he wanted them to sing background vocals on this song, solely based on the fact that he liked their look. "It Ain't What You Do...." became a big hit in the UK, climbing to number four in the UK singles chart. The success of this single also prompted Bananarama to return the favor and have Fun Boy Three sing on their next single "Really Saying Something".


7-inch single
  1. "It Ain't What You Do" (It's The Way That You Do It) - (2:54)
  2. "The "Funrama" Theme" - (2:56)


Chart (1982) Peak
UK Singles Chart 4
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 49
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 55
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 37
Dutch Singles chart 3



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