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Bangles

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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 trio released an single, "Getting Out of Hand"/"Call on Me," on their own 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 which featured new bassist Annette Zilinskas, 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 resulting sunny, very California-sounding Sweetheart of the Sun was released in September 2011. The following years saw the band regularly touring while playing some big shows like 2012's Rewind Festival, the 50th anniversary celebration for the famous L.A. nightclub the Whisky a Go Go, and 2013's Paisley Aboveground, which featured the Bangles playing alongside reunited paisley underground bands the Three O'Clock and Rain Parade. In 2014, the band released Ladies and Gentlemen... The Bangles!, a compilation of early singles, EP tracks, and rarities. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Andrew Leahey
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Stations Featuring
Bangles

    Female Rock

    Female Rock
    4 songs

    Awesome '80s

    Awesome '80s
    5 songs

    Lite Hits

    Lite Hits
    3 songs

    Classic Hits

    Classic Hits
    4 songs

    '80s Alternative

    3 songs

    Shuffle Hits

    3 songs

    Love Songs

    1 song

Albums by
Bangles

Top Songs by
Bangles

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Manic Monday
  3.   Hazy Shade of Winter
  4.   Eternal Flame
  5.   Walk Like an Egyptian
  6.   In Your Room
  7.   If She Knew What She Wants
  8.   Going Down to Liverpool
  9.   Hero Takes a Fall
  10.   Walking Down Your Street
  11.   I'll Set You Free
  12.   Live
  13.   James
  14.   Steppin' Out
  15.   Want You
  16.   Walking Down Your Street - James
  17.   The Real World
  18.   Watching the Sky
  19.   Complicated Girl
  20.   Tell Me
  21.   Some Dreams Come True
  22.   Dover Beach
  23.   Return Post
  24.   He's Got a Secret
  25.   Ball 'n' Chain
  26.   Under a Cloud
  27.   Restless
  28.   Outside Chance
  29.   What a Life
  30.   Through Your Eyes
  31.   Open My Eyes
  32.   Mesmerized
  33.   Lay Yourself Down
  34.   I'll Never Be Through With You
  35.   Circles In the Sky
  36.   Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)
  37.   Grateful
  38.   Between the Two
  39.   Mixed Messages
  40.   Song for a Good Son
  41.   Lost at Sea
  42.   Single by Choice
  43.   Here Right Now
  44.   I Will Take Care of You
  45.   Ride the Ride
  46.   The Rain Song
  47.   Ask My No Questions
  48.   Something That You Said
  49.   Stealing Rosemary
  50.   Tear off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)
  51.   What I Meant to Say
  52.   I Got Nothing
  53.   Where Were You When I Needed You
  54.   Get the Girl
  55.   Crash and Burn
  56.   Make a Play for Her Now
  57.   Something to Believe In
  58.   Bell Jar
  59.   Not Like You
  60.   September Gurls
  61.   Standing in the Hallway
  62.   More Than Meets the Eye
  63.   Silent Treatment
  64.   Everything I Wanted
  65.   In a Different Light
  66.   Following
  67.   Be With You
  68.   Angels Don't Fall in Love
  69.   Let It Go
  70.   I'm in Line
  71.   Bitchen Summer
  72.   Bitchen Summer/Speedway
  73.   How is the Air Up There?
  74.   Sweet and Tender Romance
  75.   One of Two
  76.   Call on Me
  77.   Waiting for You
  78.   Bangles Hit
  79.   Nickel Romeo
  80.   Glitter Years
  81.   All About You
  82.   Getting Out of Hand by The Bangs
  83.   Mary Street