The Bangles is a pop-rock band that was formed in Los Angeles in 1981. The founding members of the group are Susanna Hoffs and sisters Debbi and Vicki Peterson. In the early days of the band, Annette Zilinskas was the founding bassist, but she was soon replaced by Michael Steele. They were at the peak of their career during the 1980s, which is when The Bangles released their most successful singles and albums. In 1989, the group split up but later reformed in 1998. Zilinskas has since returned to the group. Since the band was formed, The Bangles released five studio albums, ten compilation albums, 12 music videos, three video albums, one EP, and 25 singles. Here are the 10 best The Bangles songs of all time.
10. Everything I Wanted (1990)
The Bangles originally recorded ‘Everything I Wanted’ for their 1988 album ‘Everything,’ but they decided not to include it on their track list. They later released it as a single in 1990, and it appeared on their ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation album. Susannah Hoffs provided the lead vocals for the song and co-wrote it with Dan Navarro and Eric Lowen.
9. Be with You (1989)
‘Be with You’ was a top 20 hit in Ireland and New Zealand, although it only reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band’s drummer, Debbi Peterson, composed this song with Walter Iglehart. Peterson also sang the lead vocals on this track, which featured on the 1989 album ‘Let It Go.’ It was the last song to achieve a top 30 position in the charts.
8. Following (1987)
The first track that Michael Steele wrote for the group was ‘Following,’ and it was also the first for which she provided the lead vocals. It is an acoustic ballad about obsession, paranoia, and jealousy after the end of a relationship. Although the song achieved little chart success, it remains one of the band’s best songs. It was the fourth single released from the album ‘Different Light.’
7. If She Knew What She Wants (1986)
‘If She Knew What She wants’ was a single released from The Bangles album ‘Different Light.’ It was originally written in the first person, but The Bangles converted the lyrics to the third person. Previously, the song sounded more like it was about a man who could not understand women, but changing the lyrics made it better, considering Susannah Hoff was providing the lead vocals. The song was written by Jules Shear, who performed the song on his 1985 album ‘The Eternal Return’ before it was released by The Bangles a year later.
6. Walking Down Your Street (1987)
The 1987 single ‘Walking Down Your Street’ was a top ten hit in both the United States and the UK. A notable feature of the music video that accompanied the single was that it featured guest appearances from rock icon Little Richard and actor Randy Quaid. The best international chart position that this single reached was number four in Ireland. In the United States, it peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. In Your Room (1988)
‘In Your Room’ was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, although there is also some inspiration from Susannah Hoffs’ love of 1960s pop music. It was the lead single from the 1988 album ‘Everything.’ The biggest chart success of this song was reaching number five on the Billboard Hot 100, although it was also a top ten hit in Canada.
4. Hazy Shade of Winter (1987)
Culture Sonar lists ‘Hazy Shades of Winter’ as one of the best songs by The Bangles. The original version of the song was released by Simon and Garfunkel. When The Bangles released their version in 1987, it was very similar to the original, except for the dropping of the bridge, some guitar distortion, and the addition of a lyric about vodka and lime. The Bangles version was more successful than its predecessor, as it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. Manic Monday (1986)
One of the most iconic songs of the mid-1980s was ‘Manic Monday,’ which was written by pop legend Prince. The song is about how people dread the end of the weekend and the beginning of the working week. Although it was a hit for The Bangles, the song was originally intended for Apollonia. Nonetheless, The Bangles made the song their own, and it was their first big hit as it reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
2. Walk Like an Egyptian (1986)
‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ is one of the singles released from the album ‘Different Lights,’ and it was the first of The Bangles’ hits to sell more than a million copies. This song differs from many others released by The Bangles, as it is a collaborative effort with each of the band members taking a turn on the lead vocals. There are also some unusual musical elements to the song, such as whistles, bells, and gongs. In the music video, Susannah Hoff makes noticeable eye movements. Apparently, it was not a choreographed aspect of the band’s routine, but Hoffs’ way of dealing with her nerves.
1. Eternal Flame (1989)
According to Smooth Radio, ‘Eternal Flame’ is the best The Bangles song of all time. ‘Eternal Flame’ is a ballad song that was written by Susannah Hoffs, Billy Steinberg, and Tom Kelly. The song was inspired by a visit to Graceland, and the lyrics are about a love that is so strong it can overcome any geographical challenges. This song topped the charts in the United States, the UK, Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.