Thursday, August 25, 2011
Girl Groups, Part 3: The Bangles
In 1986, a female quartet hit the charts with a Prince-penned song, "Manic Monday." This group is called The Bangles and they became huge for a couple years, then faded away. Earlier this year, I featured their video "Walk Like an Egyptian" for one of my Music Video Mondays, in solidarity for the Egyptians who rose up against the Mubarak regime this past spring.
The Bangles scored a hit with their second album, Different Light, which spawned four singles. Along with the two mentioned above, they also released "Walking Down Your Street" and "If She Knew What She Wants" as singles. They remade a 60s song ("Hazy Shade of Winter") for the Less Than Zero film.
When bands find success with an album, it's always interesting how the follow-up will do, as the anticipation is usually pretty high for their next release. In 1988, their album, Everything, managed two singles that charted in the Top Ten: "In Your Room" and the huge hit "Eternal Flame" (my favourite of their songs). After that, I never heard from them again. I find it interesting that female bands don't seem to achieve longevity like male bands do (such as The Rolling Stones and U2). I hate to bring up the cliche of "cat fights" but female bands do seem to have more problems with group dynamics. I'm sure it was not easy for the band members when Susanna Hoffs got most of the attention (she was the most attractive member of the band, even though they were all pretty attractive to begin with). Though I liked the band, they seemed far too influenced by the 60s sound. Perhaps that's why music fans got tired of them after awhile. But, 7 hit songs is nothing to scoff at. In a hypothetical battle of the girl groups, Bananarama definitely beats The Bangles.