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A collection of power-pop from this '80s staple girl-band.

Music Review: The Bangles – We Are the ’80s

This past summer, Sony BMG in co-operation with VH1 released a series of CDs paying tribute to some of the biggest acts of the ’80s. As one of the rarities of pop – an all girl band – The Bangles certainly fit the bill. They carved out quite a career for themselves with four studio albums and ten charting singles, including two number ones – “Walk Like An Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame.” They even caught the attention of Prince, who penned another of their hits, “Manic Monday.”

In the original formation the band was comprised of Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitars), Vicki Peterson (guitars/vocals/bass), Debbi Peterson (drums/vocals/bass), and Annette Zilinskas (bass/vocals). In 1983, Michael Steele (guitars/bass/vocals) replaced Annette Zilinskas, but then left the band in 2005 and was replaced with Abby Travis (bass/vocals). That’s right, not content to be queens of the ’80s, the Bangles came back together and released a new albums, Doll Revolution in 2003, achieving mild success.

But the ’80s were their heyday, and the songs that were in high rotation on MTV and the pop-radio stations are all included here. Be it the quirky “Walk Like an Egyptian,” the melancholy “Manic Monday,” or the beautiful ballad, “Eternal Flame,” the Bangles delivered sweet melodies with ear-pleasing harmonies, what most would consider guitar-rock. The video to “Manic Monday” (shown below) capitalized on the band’s attractiveness and blended what was then some innovative editing techniques to make something that was, at the time, cutting edge.

In essence, We Are the ’80s – The Bangles is a greatest hits compilation, and they are all here. Aside from the previous mentioned there is also their cover of the Simon and Garfunkel hit “Hazy Shade of Winter,” “If She Knew What She Wants,” and “In Your Room.” The disk contains fourteen songs in all, and is a real treat for anyone who came of age in the ’80s and enjoyed the all-girl power pop band.

The following is the video to “Manic Monday.”

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