80’s Music: The Bangles

One of my favorite bands of the 80’s was the Bangles.  I think they’re the greatest girl group in the history of rock music, besides maybe the Supremes.  Susannah Hoffs was in my Top 10 hotties of the 80’s and I loved her voice just as much.  The band didn’t produce a lot of records, but its Beatle-inspired harmonies and jangly guitars make it music that still holds up well today, unlike most other female artists from the decade.

Their first record was not a smash, but Hero Takes a Fall is a great place to start when getting into the band.  The dated video is a time capsule moment, unlike the music which has a timeless feel to it.

At the peak of his power, Prince pulled out the song Manic Monday and offered it to Hoffs.  I don’t know if it helped him seduce her, but it made the band a sensation.  Hoffs flashes her peepers in the most seductive way I’ve seen in a music video.

Manic Monday reached number 2 and its follow-up, Walk Like an Egyptian went number 1.  My favorite from this record, though, was the Jules Shear penned tune, If She Knew What She Wants.

Speaking of covers, the Bangles performed Simon and Garfunkel’s Hazy Shade of Winter for the great soundtrack for the movie Less than Zero.  The band at its most psychedelic.

The last record they did together until 2003’s Doll Revolution was Everything and it was not a strong record.  The sexy ballad In the Room, was the record’s high point and showed the direction of Hoffs’ solo career.  Set You Free was the other quality song on the record.

Finally, I posted a cool acoustic cover of Manic Monday done by the band a couple of years back.  Hoffs doesn’t look much different than she did 25 years ago.


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