THE BANGLES - THE ALBUMS 1984 - 1986



 "ALL OVER THE PLACE"

1984


HERO TAKES A FALLThe debut single from this first album only reached number 96 in the UK chart but its a great introduction to the band.  This is The Bangles sound, sparkly guitars, breathy vocals from Susanna Hoffs, gorgeous harmonies and melodies and a punkish cheekiness of good old fashioned Rock and Roll.  New Wave Pop Rock at its best.


LIVE - This track is a great 60s styled Psychedelic New Wave track covered from the American Rock band The Merry-Go-Round.  A nice, laid back foot tapper which drummer Debbi Peterson delivers with aplomb.

JAMES - Another genre explored as this is a twangy guitar styled Country Pop Rock song that oozes class.

ALL ABOUT YOUThe multi-talented band give us Vicki Peterson on vocals this time.  This is a fast paced almost bluesy Rock and Roll number that has a catchy chorus, slightly repetitive lyrically but its just so cool a song to be spoilt by this.

DOVER BEACH - Susanna takes back the vocals reins here on this track.  It is an unusual mix of Glam and Progressive Rock but keeping a Folk Rock style.  Brilliant song.

TELL ME - Susanna and Vicki share the vocals on this melodious Country tinged Rock and Roll reminding me of The Stray Cats.  

RESTLESS - This is a a great New Wave Punk track similar to Blondie in style, led by Vicki on vocals.

GOING DOWN TO LIVERPOOL - One of my favourite tracks by the band sung on lead vocals by Debbi is a cover of Katrina and the Waves' track.  This second single only reached number 79 in the UK chart but got to number 56 on its re-release after the girls' hit second album, "Different Light" in 1986.  Ironically this is the best known version! Classic The Bangles sound which features "Mr Spock" of Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy in the video!


HE'S GOT A SECRET - For me this is the first "filler" track on the album.  Its a decent enough New Wave song but it doesn't really grab and is a disappointment after the first 8 tracks.  Even Susanna cannot save this from obscurity.

SILENT TREATMENT - Vicki leads this song which is a rip roaring Punk Pop track.  A catchy, simple repetitive chorus merges seamlessly with the frenetic guitars and crash of drums.  Great track.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE - Sharing the lead vocals are the Peterson sisters together, and this is an emotive, beautifully sung orchestral styled Pop ballad.  The perfect end to a brilliant debut album.



"DIFFERENT LIGHT"
 
1986
 

MANIC MONDAY - The song was written by one of my idols Prince, amid rumours of some kind of romance between Susanna Hoffs and the star.  It was perfect for the girls and was similar to Prince's other projects at the time, 60s style hippy-esque akin to "Paisley Park" and "Raspberry Beret" with subtle harmonies.
 
 

IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT - A great Pop song, taking you back to the late 60s and early 70s which sums up all the elements within this album.  The catchy chorus, the beautiful harmonies, the Rock guitars are all here backing up Vicki Peterson's great vocal.

WALKING DOWN YOUR STREET -  This took the band back to their debut album, "All Over The Place", 60s inspired Beat Pop combo style.

WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN - The fast tempo chug-a-chug backing and guitar solos plus an incredibly catchy chorus, sing-a-long "way-oh way-oh" chants, Susanna's sexy breathy vocal snippet and whistling.  Add this to a funny video and a "dance craze" it was destined to be a massive hit.


STANDING IN THE HALLWAY -  This surely has influences by Prince, The Cars and Talking Heads.  With its alternate guitar solo snippets of twangy Country and then funky slap bass style it is unmistakeably 80s Pop Rock.  DebbyPeterson takes lead vocals for this track.

RETURN POST - Vicki singing over an unusual Blues/Country hybrid amid little guitar solos and electronic keyboards.  Not my favourite track but then this album has high standards.

IF SHE KNEW WHAT SHE WANTS - A hint of Motown Soul feel like the singing groups of the time with a little more guitars.

LET IT GO - This sees all the girls on vocal duties in an almost Psychedelic track which reminds me of the likes of The Searchers, The Hollies and Mnafred Mann.  Nice little track.

SEPTEMBER GURLS - A cover of the 1974 track by Rock band Big Star.  Michael Steele takes centre stage on vocals in AOR Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers sound-a-like.

ANGELS DON'T FALL IN LOVE - Country Rock style track sung by Vicki and also has a Latin feel at the end, for half the track it reminded me of Fleetwood Mac then Santana towards the end!

FOLLOWING
- The song is an Acoustic ballad sung by Michael Steele in an almost Johnny Cash style, it actually reminds me of Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale".

NOT LIKE YOU - Sung by Debby, takes me back to the Mamas and Papas or The Carpenters.  A lovely, gentle song that is a nice end to a great album.







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