The Bangles


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1981-82)

- Susanna Hoffs -- vocals, rhythm guitar
- Debbie Peterson -- vocals, drums, percussion
- Vicki Peterson -- vocals, lead guitar 
- Annette Zalinskas -- vocals, bass 

 

   line up 2 (1982-89)

- Susanna Hoffs -- vocals, rhythm guitar
- Debbie Peterson -- vocals, drums, percussion
- Vicki Peterson -- vocals, lead guitar
NEW - Michel Steele -- vocals, bass (replaced Annette  Zalinskas) 

 
   

 

 

- The Bangs
- Blood On the Saddle (Annette Zalinskas)
- Susanna Hoffs (solo efforts)
- The Runaways (Michael Steele)   

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop 

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Bangles

Company: IRS

Catalog: SP-70506

Year: 1982

Country/State: LA, California, US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: five track EP; minor ring wear

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 8

Price: $25.00

Cost: $1.00

 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, sisters Vicki (guitar) and Debbie (drums) Peterson spent their teens played in a string of late-'70s local bands, including The Colours and The Fans. After seeing an ad soliciting a band in a local paper the pair hooked up with recent University of California, Berkeley graduate/vocalist Susanna Hoffs . With the addition of bassist Annette Zalinskas the quartet began playing local clubs as The Colours, then The Supersonic Bangs; the name quickly shortened to the ill-advised The Bangs. Playing local clubs won the quartet a local following, but efforts to interest a major label in their demos proved fruitless. Frustrated, they formed their own Downkiddie label, releasing a one-off 1981 single "Getting Out of Hand" b/w "Call On Me" (Downkiddie catalog number 001). 


Threatened with legal action from a New Jersey group claiming rights to the name The Bangs, the group adopted the name The Bangles. Initially garnering attention as part of L.A.'s early-'80s "paisley revival" the band's first break came when they attracted the attention of L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. Bingenheimer included one of their efforts ("Bitchin' Summer") for one of his "Rodney on the ROQ" compilation albums. The resulting attention attracted the attention of Miles Copeland who promptly signed them to a management contract and recording deal on his Faulty label. The group was promptly thrown on the road as the opening act for the English Beat and Cyndi Lauper. 

Produced by Craig Leon, the band made their label debut with 1981's  "The Bangles".  A five track EP, the collection aptly showcased the group's affection for 60's styled rock with a dash of new wave energy thrown in for good measure. Exemplified by original material such as "The Real World", "I'm In Line" (with it's "Taxman" guitar pattern), and "Want You", the entire EP shined with strong melodies, ringing guitars and impressive group harmonies. Although lacking a knock-'em-dead track, their obvious enthusiasm (to say nothing of stunning good looks), made for one of the year's more impressive debuts. Personal favorite, their cover of "How Is the Air Up There?". Unfortunately, shortly after the collection's release, original bass player Zalinskas left to join Blood On the Saddle. Adding to their problems, Copeland decided to close down his Faulty subsidiary.   Interestingly, while the EP was recorded within a matter of days, it languished on the shelf for almost half a year.  Finally released, it quickly sold over 40,000 copies largely in Southern California. 

"The Bangles" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Real World    (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson) - 2:35   rating: **** stars

One of the best things they ever recorded ; their instantly recognizable sound was all there - killer melodies; killer jangle guitars, and harmonies most bands could only dream about,  but without all the trappings that forthcoming success would being with it.  YouTube has the VH1 promotional video for the song.  My goodness they looked so young ...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvoNSnoNn6w  
2.) I'm In Line   (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson - Debbie Peterson) - 3:00  
rating: **** stars

Debbie Peterson on lead vocals - maybe it's just my ears playing tricks but darn if I don't hear echos of 'Taxman" throughout this one.  YouTube has a clip of them lip synching the tune for the Los Angeles MV3 cable program:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOYI_A8dUAs 
3.) Want You   (Vicki Peterson) - 2:15 
rating: **** stars

Vickie wrote it and handled lead vocals.  And anyone who thought they were just pretty faces who couldn't actually rock out needs to check out the blazing 'I Want You'.  Awesome track.   Neither the video, or sound quality are very good, but YouTube has a clip of them lip synching the song on American Bandstand:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac5urkEyks0 


(side 2)

1.) Mary Street (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson) - 2:38  rating: *** stars

On any other set 'Mary Street' probably would have been a highlight, but surrounded by all these other gems, it was an also ran number. Nice harmonies though ...  YouTube has a live performance with original bassist Zalinskas guesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFaNeZTC3JQ 
2.) How Is the Air Up There?   (Steve Duboff - Artie Kornfeld) - 2:51
  rating: **** stars

I've always loved The Changin' Times original, but have to admit their cover was pretty stunning - those harmony vocals were too-die-for gorgeous.  Vicki on lead vocals; Annette on harmonica.  

 

 


Genre: pop 

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  All Over the Place

Company: Columbia

Catalog: PCT-39220

Year: 1982

Country/State: LA, California, USA

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4

Price: $8.00

 

After a two year break, armed with former Runaways bass player Michael Steele (see separate entry), the band signed a contract with Columbia Records. Placed in the hands of producer David Kahne, "All Over the Place" again served to showcase the band's obvious affection for '60s English rock. Loaded with terrific songs including "Hero takes a Fall", "Dover Beach" and a dynamite cover of Kimberley Rew's "Going Down To Liverpool" the album showcased the quartet's impeccable harmonies, Vicki Peterson serving to liven up the recipe with some wonderful shimmering guitars. Curiously, while the primary focus was placed on vocalist Hoffs, bassist Steele actually proved the better (tougher) voice. In hindsight, the band never sounded as strong, or energetic !!! Easily one of the year's best releases, the collection attracted strong reviews and proved a modest seller, peaking at # 80.

"All Over the Place" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Hero Takes a Fall (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson) 
2.) Live (Rhodes) 
3.) James (Vicki Peterson) 
4.) All About You (Vicki Peterson) 
5. ) Dover Beach (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson) 
6.) Tell Me (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson) 

(side 2)
1.) Restless (Susanna Hoffs - Vicki Peterson) 
2.) Going Down to Liverpool (Kimberly Rew) 
3.) He's Got a Secret (Vicki Peterson) 
4.) Silent Treatment (Vicki Peterson) 
5.) More Than Meets the Eye (Vicki Peterson) 

There are a couple of Bangles-related website.  The official site is located at:

 http://home.att.net/~BanglesCom/Bmain.html

 

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