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The Bangles

The Bangles combined the chiming riffs and catchy melodies of British Invasion guitar pop with a hint of the energy of new wave. In the process, they became one of the handful of all-female bands of the '80s to win both critical and commercial success. The critical success came first -- with their self-titled debut EP and full-length album, All Over the Place -- and popular success arrived once they polished their sound, added some synthesizers, and deviated slightly from their trademark jangling guitar hooks. Once they were selling at the platinum level, the Bangles didn't stay together long, but they left several pop gems behind them.

The group's original lineup formed in 1981, when guitarist/vocalist Vicki Peterson and drummer/vocalist Debbi Peterson responded to an advertisement that guitarist/vocalist Susanna Hoffs had placed in a local Los Angeles paper, The Recycler. Taking the name the Bangs, the girls rounded out their ranks with bassist Annette Zilinskas and released an EP, Getting Out of Hand, on their own independent label, Downkiddie. They had to change their name early the following year to the Bangles, since there was already a New York-based group called the Bangs. After an appearance on a Rodney on the ROQ compilation and a series of local concerts, Miles Copeland signed the Bangles to the IRS subsidiary Faulty Products and landed them an opening spot for the English Beat. That summer, the Bangles released a self-titled EP on Faulty Products.

In early 1983, the Bangles signed with CBS Records and Zilinskas left the band to join Blood on the Saddle. She was replaced by bassist/vocalist Michael Steele, a former member of the proto-punk hard rock group the Runaways. The group released its first full-length album, All Over the Place, in the summer of 1984. While it didn't feature any charting singles, the record managed to climb to number 80 on the American charts, a feat that owed equally to college radio, MTV, and strong reviews. In particular, a cover of Katrina & the Waves' "Goin' Down to Liverpool" and the original "Hero Takes a Fall" received heavy airplay on college stations across the country.

The Bangles released their second album, Different Light, during the spring of 1986. It was preceded by the colorful, neo-psychedelic single "Manic Monday," which was written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher. "Manic Monday" became a number two hit in both America and Britain, sending Different Light into the Top Five as well. A cover of Jules Shear's "If She Knew What She Wants" was a relative commercial disappointment, stalling at number 29 on the U.S. charts, but the third single from Different Light, "Walk Like an Egyptian," was another major hit, spending four weeks at number one in America. It also peaked at number three in Britain. After the Bangles completed a summer tour, Hoffs starred in the movie The Allnighter, which was directed by her mother, Tamara. The film was released during the summer of 1987 and bombed at the box office, putting a fast stop to Hoffs' potential acting career. Meanwhile, "Walking Down Your Street," the final single pulled from Different Light, was released in early 1987 and peaked at number 11.

Later that year, the Bangles recorded a hard-rocking version of Paul Simon's "Hazy Shade of Winter" for the Less Than Zero soundtrack. The single peaked at number two in early 1988, and the band's third album, Everything, was released that fall. Everything was a slicker affair than either of band's previous records, but it didn't perform quite as well as Different Light. "In Your Room," the album's lead single, made it to number five, and the ballad "Eternal Flame" became the group's second number one single in early 1989. Even so, the record ran out of steam shortly after the release of its third single, "Be with You," which never made it past number 30. After a brief summer tour, the group disbanded and Hoffs began a solo career with 1991's When You're a Boy. The album never made it past number 83, though, and the single "My Side of the Bed" stalled at number 30. While in the midst of recording her second album, Hoffs was dropped from Columbia's roster.

Meanwhile, Vicki Peterson toured as a member of the Go-Go's (replacing the pregnant Charlotte Caffey from 1994 to 1995) and joined the Continental Drifters alongside future sister-in-law Susan Cowsill. Debbi Peterson teamed up with Siobhan Maher to form the duo Kindred Spirit, and Steele played in several short-lived bands after failing to land a solo deal. In 1998, the bandmembers began to drift back together, teaming up for the first time in nearly a decade to record a song for the second Austin Powers film. A tour followed in 2000. For the next two years, the reunited Bangles worked on Doll Revolution, which appeared in 2003 and marked Steele's final performance with the band. She left in early 2004, reportedly frustrated with the band's inability to tour a sufficient amount behind the album. The Bangles continued playing in her absence, with hired gun Abby Travis handling bass duties during the group's smattering of tour dates.

During the decade's second half, Hoffs recorded a pair of cover albums with Matthew Sweet. Both albums were produced by Sweet himself, and when it came time to find a producer for the Bangles' fifth record, Hoffs didn't have far to look. The result, Sweetheart of the Sun, was released in September 2011. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

candy.marroq u i n
This is real love songs
A truly beautiful song from the 80's this is my fiancee and I song I want this to be our first dance at our wedding
love the 80's
close your eyes
belive
make the desition
and go to be really
just try
be determinate with us love for be a couple and more ….more and ever
Part of my life is in that album. I adore the eighties and the bangles
joeandmichel l e r
I love the 80's!!
I love walk like an Egyptian
This is one of my fave from The Bangles!
The Bangles song "going down to Liverpool" has Leonard Nimoy in it. Mr. Spock driving them around. I've never seen Nimoy so badly used as that video. Sad just sad.
The Bangles never made a bad song really!
All the girls in the Bangles were beautiful and talented. Shame we'll never see such class acts like the Bangles, the Go Go's ever again. It's almost all garbage now what is called music.
Saw them in the 80's. Outdoor concert they were great. Hoff seriously beautiful then loved her.
If they made this music again. I would be in heaven!
It has a smooth edgy sound to it ooh and sexy aha ;)
Love the bangles
wonderful!!! sometimes I wish they would make this kind of music again...just the understandin g and complete LOVE for the notes, rhythm and WORDS......c l a s s i c ! ! ! !
Great song by a great band
Love it
Love this song
autumn_03
love this song
Fun time in my life
Love it! I wish i had 20 in the 80's i was a baby lol!
Susana Hoffs was so hot in the 80's!!!!!
Love your voice Susanna! I saw you and your band at Cal St. Fullerton; great show!
I love Manic monday ^.^
kingsgirl9
I love this song Eternal Flame. One of the best songs ever written. They just don't make songs like this anymore. Way too sad. Kids today will never know what good music really is.
Beautiful voice & harmonies...
LOVE THESE LADIES
wltrbuckley4 8 7
I loved this song, the Bangels were so good
aprylwime
I love Dover Beach. This is my favorite Bangles album.
I love eternal flame
Great music
I wish Pandora would mix in some of their early stuff... when they were a little rougher and jangly.
rioja1992
They were much more diverse than people give them credit for..stood the test of time; Some beautiful songs by the Bangles! Eternal Flame is epic!.
cleoeb25
just saw them too - at the stone pony, awesome!
jparsons3
Just saw them live- they were great!
charm101star
love them!!! best girl band of the 80's no doubt
ramon4615
Susanna Hoffs STILL looks damn good!
my s**t, i love this group
collins_rick y
LAID BACK AND CHILLIN...
My favorite girl group of the 80's.
They need to add Different Light to the discography.
When I was a kid, I "walked like an Egyptian" in the living room to their music! =) oh, the good ole days.
cqr80
Their sound is timeless. I still enjoy it as though it's the first time I've heard them
punk_star170
I love them!
Now this is the 80s ....love it ...sick
kmay63
they were great
they realy rock i love the bangles

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