A to Z of Making It, Influenced, Music, My Stories

1986 – Part 5.3: The Bangles – Different Light

I was always on the lookout for new music. New artists to get into. New melodies to expose my ears to.

Radio in Australia during this time was an interesting beast. We had stations that played just rock music (bands classed these days as glam metal, glam rock, classic rock, melodic rock and hard rock also fitted this bill). We had stations that played whatever was on the Charts. If it was popular they played it, so these stations could have included rock music. Then we had stations devoted to Country, jazz, various different religions and ethnicities and classical.

The Bangles ended up on a lot of stations. Because they could be classed as a rock band and during this time they were very popular. Music Television loved them as well. They looked great so were easily marketable, they could play their instruments and they were known for killer live performances.

“Different Light” is album number 2. It is their most successful album,. But the big secret for the album was the running time of each song. It’s like they knew back in 86, that Spotify would pay per listen. Here is a perfect Spotify album, with an average song runtime of 3 minutes each.

The Bangles were special because they had all the members on lead and backing vocals. Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson also played guitars. Micki Steele played bass and guitars on some tracks while Debbi Peterson played the drums. They were all seasoned and had paid their dues. Hoffs was 27 years, Vicki Peterson was 28, Steele was 31 and was also known as the founder of The Runaways, before leaving them prior to their first album and Debbie Peterson was the youngest at 25.

Manic Monday

The song is written by “Christopher” and Hoffs. “Christopher” was a pseudonym for Prince. At 157.5 million streams on Spotify, it’s one of their biggest. Only “Eternal Flame” and “Walk Like An Egyptian” are bigger.

In a Different Light

My favourite track. It’s rocking from the start and the vocals remind me of “California Dreamin” from The Mamas And The Papas

Walking Down Your Street

This was a skip for me.

Walk Like an Egyptian

192 million streams on Spotify. It’s so overplayed these days, but goddamn it was infectious when it came out. The vocal melody was so unique. Press play and start walking like an Egyptian.

Standing in the Hallway

It’s pop rock, with a bit of rhythm and blues.

Return Post

A rare running time of 4.22 however the track was not their best.

If She Knew What She Wants

A Jules Shear cover from 1985 which has this 60’s feel.

The album standard slips towards the backend with tracks like “Let It Go”, “September Gurls”, “Angels Don’t Fall in Love” and “Not Like You” being seen as throwaways.

However the introspective acoustic cut, “Following”, written and sung by Steele, is excellent.

In relation to sales, it was 2x Platinum in Australia, Canada. It went Platinum in New Zealand and the UK. In the U.S, it went 3× Platinum.

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