Like a lot of kids in the ’80s, I used to tape videos off of MTV. I would sit there for hours, starting and stopping the VCR with the hope of capturing a full video from one of my favorite bands. Back in the summer of 1985, one of these videos served as my introduction to The Bangles.

It wasn’t even an actual Bangles video that did the trick, although the clip for “Going Down To Liverpool” starring Leonard Nimoy (!!!!!!!!!!) would have certainly won me over had I actually seen it. No, it was simply a short little promo for a band I had never even heard of…

“Hi, we’re the Bangles. And you’re watching M-T-V.”

I had inadvertently captured the promo when I hit record after a commercial, expecting a video to be next. Unlike the 10,000 times I had erased “We Built This City” that summer, I kept this promo. I probably don’t have to tell you why.

Yes, I was rather smitten with Susanna Hoffs. The fact that I had yet to hear any of her band’s music really didn’t matter much.  That all changed the day I bought Different Light on vinyl in early 1986.

I was hooked from the very first hook, and the hooks were plenty. The jangly guitars, crisp songwriting and impeccable harmonies made the Bangles great, not their looks. I had every cut on Different Light memorized before I even saw the video for “Manic Monday.” My two favorite songs on the record were actually sung by bassist Michael Steele: the sparse, confessional “Following,” and their amazing cover of Big Star’s “September Gurls.” Of course, at the time I didn’t even know who Alex Chilton was– I guess I hadn’t read any articles about R.E.M. or the Replacements  in Spin Magazine yet…

I had taped Different Light onto one side of a TDK SA90 (my preferred tape brand), and I needed an album to put on the other side. What better record than All Over The Place, the Bangles’ debut album  from 1984? I wore out both sides of that cassette during that spring semester in Austin. I played that tape for every person I knew. Some scoffed, but many listened. I felt a  great sense of pride when “Walk Like An Egyptian” hit #1 in late 1986, even if by that point I was so sick of the song that I never wanted to hear it again.

The Bangles went on to have four more Top 5 hits before their inevitable break-up. Thankfully, they finally got back together in 1999 and continue to make great music. Just this last Saturday, I was lounging on my couch when I received this tweet:

Yep, Susanna is still adorable– but it’s the music that has kept me coming back to the Bangles for the last 27 years.

And now, a bounty of Bangle b-sides and rarities!

fBangs_Getting_Out_Of_Hand

The Bangs: “Getting Out Of Hand” (Vicki Peterson)

Downkiddie Records, 1981

Getting Out of Hand

The a-side of their very first single, released under the name The Bangs. They had to change their name because another band called the Bangs already existed. ’80s fashion accessories would never be the same again.

 

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides 1

The Bangles: “Where Were You When I Needed You” (Steve Barri/P.F. Sloan)

B-side of the 7″ single Hero Takes A Fall

Columbia Records, 1984

Where Were You When I Needed You

A great Grass Roots song on the b-side of a fantastic single.

 

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides 5

The Bangles: “I Got Nothing” (Susanna Hoffs/Vicki Peterson/Jules Shear)

From the original soundtrack album The Goonies

Epic Records, 1985

I Got Nothing

Cyndi Lauper had the big single off of this soundtrack with “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.” The Bangles would go on to record backing vocals for Cyndi’s “Change Of Heart” in 1986.

 

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides

The Bangles: “Hazy Shade Of Winter [Purple Haze Mix]” (Paul Simon)

From the 12″ single Hazy Shade Of Winter

Def Jam Records, 1987

Vinyl rip courtesy of The Analog Kid

Hazy Shade Of Winter [Purple Haze Mix]

“Hazy Shade Of Winter” got all the way to #2 in 1987. Dig the guest appearance from what sounds like Ricky Ricardo on this rare 12″ remix!

 

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides

The Bangles: “What I Meant To Say” (Debbi Peterson/Vicki Peterson)

B-side of the 7″ single Eternal Flame

Columbia Records, 1989

What I Meant to Say

“Eternal Flame” was the second #1 single from the band. “What I Meant To Say” was a song left over from the “Everything” sessions.

 

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides 3

The Bangles: “Everything I Wanted” (Susanna Hoffs/Eric Lowen/Dan Navarro)

From the album Greatest Hits; also released as a 7″ single

Columbia Records, 1990

Everything I Wanted

Another rockin’ leftover from “Everything.”

 

The Bangles_ Singles & B-Sides 2

The Bangles: “Get The Girl” (Susanna Hoffs/Debbi Peterson/Vicki Peterson)

From the album More Music From Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Maverick Records, 1999

Get The Girl

The first new song from The Bangles in almost ten years. Susanna is married to Jay Roach and has contributed music to all three Austin Powers movies. She also is in all three movies if you know where to look…

 

The Bangles: “Manic Monday [Acoustic]” (Christopher)

iTunes-only download, 2003

Manic Monday (Acoustic)

“Manic Monday” was originally written by Prince for Apollonia 6. He made a very wise choice in giving it to the Bangles instead.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

The Bangles: “Going Down To Liverpool” (Kimberley Rew)

From the album All Over The Place

Columbia Records, 1984

 

Knee Deep In The Hoopla

Starship: “We Built This City” (Bernie Taupin/Martin Page/Dennis Lambert/Peter Wolf)

From the album Knee Deep In The Hoopla

Grunt Records, 1985

We Built This City

 

The Bangles: “Manic Monday” (Christopher)

From the album Different Light

Columbia Records, 1986

 

Different Light

The Bangles: “Following” (Michael Steele)

Following

The Bangles: “September Gurls” (Alex Chilton)

September Gurls

Both taken from the album DIfferent Light

Columbia Records, 1986

 

Radio City

Big Star: “September Gurls” (Alex Chilton)

From the album Radio City

Ardent Records, 1974

September Gurls

 

The Bangles: “Walk Like An Egyptian” (Liam Sternberg)

From the album Different Light

Columbia Records, 1986

 

All Over The Place 1

The Bangles” “Hero Takes A Fall”  (Susanna Hoffs/Vicki Peterson)

From the album All Over The Place

Columbia Records, 1984

Hero Takes A Fall

 

Where Were You When I Needed You

The Grass Roots: “Where Were You When I Needed You” (Steve Barri/P.F. Sloan)

From the album Where Were You When I Need You

Dunhill Records, 1966

Where Were You When I Needed You?

 

Cyndi Lauper_ Singles & B-Sides

Cyndi Lauper: “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” (Cyndi Lauper/Stephen Broughton/Arthur Stead)

From the original soundtrack album The Goonies

Epic Records, 1985

The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough

 

True Colors

Cyndi Lauper: “Change Of Heart” (Cyndi Lauper/Essra Mohawk)

From the album True Colors

Portrait Records, 1986

Change of Heart

 

Everything

The Bangles: “Eternal Flame” (Susanna Hoffs/Billy Steinberg/Tom Kelley)

From the album Everything

Columbia Records, 1988

Eternal Flame

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

4 responses »

  1. surpriseh says:

    I’m telling Pete Townshend, REM, Iron Maiden, The Beatles, AND the Buggles that you wrote about Starship before you wrote about any of them.

  2. WTF Pancakes says:

    You linked “We Built This City”? Party foul, maaaaan.

    • MaxHorn says:

      I know. Worst song of all time. But I was just following my own blog rules. I hope you will give me another chance, similar to how I have forgiven Bernie Taupin…

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