Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bangles - Different Light


Blech...  Girly guitar pop.  Yeah, Susanna Hoffs was hot, okay.  And she played a cool Rickenbacker guitar and looked fuckin' awesome in mini skirts and long boots.  Still doesn't mean I liked the music she was making.

It doesn't help that their biggest song, apart from ergh... Walk Like An Egyptian and Eternal Flame, wasn't written by them but by Prince.  Now, I don't have anything against the pint-sized purple-clad popster (check out that alliteration) but no wonder he gave Manic Monday away.  I probably wouldn't ever have admitted to writing it.



I was a bit disappointed when the pointy stick landed on this CD rather than All Over the Place, as that (in my opinion) is by far the better Bangles album.  I had to save my pennies to buy the first album, after I saw Going Down to Liverpool on a late-night music TV show called Rock Arena.  At the time I was an unemployed army wife living in a country town, and I had to get the record shop to order it in for me - on cassette, as we were spending a lot of time in the car driving to Melbourne and back. 

I played that cassette to death, and was delighted to hear the band had a new record out in 1986, when I was living in Brisbane.  Still an army wife but no longer unemployed, I called the city's eclectic record shop (Rocking Horse Records, it's still there) to find they had it - on import from the US.  So I paid through the nose for it, and brought it home.  About three weeks later, Walk Like an Egyptian hit the airwaves, and the Bangles became a household name.  Which of course distressed me no end with my indie-cool.

Listening to it for this exercise, there are songs I like - Return Post and Walking Down Your Street in particular - but it still leaves me feeling a wee bit cheated.  Oh, and please, please do not mention their later hit Eternal Flame - the very thought of that sweetly, syrupy piece of fluff makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

As a side note: these girls owe me for concert tickets I bought in the early 90s for a tour they later cancelled.  I was so depressed I never got a refund - just stared at the tickets for days before throwing them away.  They're touring Oz with Pat Benatar right now... but I just couldn't bring myself to fork out for it.  Hmmm, is that regret I hear now?

VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN and put the other one on

For more information:

In our collection, we also have All Over the Place


  1. OK, I’ll come clean here: I’m a big Bangles fan so I’ll beg to differ on a few points. Having said that, I’ll admit that ‘Different light’ is not my favourite album – in fact I would put it in last place and it’s entirely due to all that commercial crap like ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ and ‘Manic Monday’. Their own contributions are much better, especially the title track.
    Like Mine, I’d prefer ‘All Over the Place’ but for best would actually go with their reunion album ‘Doll Revolution’ (2003) which is by far their best album to date, beating their debut and the somewhat patchy ‘Everything’ into a cocked hat.
    The reasons why I like them are twofold: a) they are a proper band in that they ALL contribute both musically and vocally (despite what the media would have you believe i.e. that Hoffs is the ‘talent’) and b) they are one of the best live bands I’ve seen, without exception.
    I could go on and on here but I’ll leave you to check out if you’re at all interested!

  2. Ah Martin, I might have known you'd be a fan of my favourite girl-band. Thanks for the link, and now you're making me regret I didn't take up the option to see the Benatar/Bangles double act!

    OK, I guess I have to give the reunion album a go. BTW, "Dover Beach" is one of my favourite songs of all time.