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Direct The Bangles - Albums Collection 1984-2003 [5CD] Japanese releases
The Bangles - Albums Collection 1984-2003 [5CD] Japanese releases
5CD | Mp3 CBR320 / Stereo | Time: 04:03:06 | 657 Mb
Genre: Rock, Pop Rock, Jungle Pop, New Wave, Paisley Underground
Collection includes: All Over The Place (1984); Different Light (1985); Everything (1988); Greatest Hits (1990) and Doll Revolution (2003). The Bangles combined the chiming riffs and catchy melodies of British Invasion guitar pop with a hint of the energy of new wave. In the process, they became one of the handful of all-female bands of the '80s to win both critical and commercial success. The critical success came first -- with their self-titled debut EP and full-length album, All Over the Place -- and popular success arrived once they polished their sound, added some synthesizers, and deviated slightly from their trademark jangling guitar hooks. Once they were selling at the platinum level, The Bangles didn't stay together long, but they left several pop gems behind them.
The group's original lineup formed in 1981, when guitarist/vocalist Vicki Peterson and drummer/vocalist Debbi Peterson responded to an advertisement that guitarist/vocalist Susanna Hoffs had placed in a local Los Angeles paper, The Recycler. Taking the name The Bangs, the girls rounded out their ranks with bassist Annette Zilinskas and released an EP, Getting Out of Hand, on their own independent label, Downkiddie. They had to change their name early the following year to The Bangles, since there was already a New York-based group called The Bangs. After an appearance on a Rodney on the ROQ compilation and a series of local concerts, Miles Copeland signed The Bangles to the IRS subsidiary Faulty Products and landed them an opening spot for The English Beat. That summer, The Bangles released a self-titled EP on Faulty Products.
In early 1983, The Bangles signed with CBS Records and Zilinskas left the band to join Blood on the Saddle. She was replaced by bassist/vocalist Michael Steele, a former member of the proto-punk hard rock group The Runaways. The group released its first full-length album, All Over the Place, in the summer of 1984. While it didn't feature any charting singles, the record managed to climb to number 80 on the American charts, a feat that owed equally to college radio, MTV, and strong reviews. In particular, a cover of Katrina & the Waves' "Goin' Down to Liverpool" and the original "Hero Takes a Fall" received heavy airplay on college stations across the country.
The Bangles released their second album, Different Light, during the spring of 1986. It was preceded by the colorful, neo-psychedelic single "Manic Monday," which was written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher. "Manic Monday" became a number two hit in both America and Britain, sending Different Light into the Top Five as well. A cover of Jules Shear's "If She Knew What She Wants" was a relative commercial disappointment, stalling at number 29 on the U.S. charts, but the third single from Different Light, "Walk Like an Egyptian," was another major hit, spending four weeks at number one in America. It also peaked at number three in Britain. After The Bangles completed a summer tour, Hoffs starred in the movie The Allnighter, which was directed by her mother, Tamara. The film was released during the summer of 1987 and bombed at the box office, putting a fast stop to Hoffs' potential acting career. Meanwhile, "Walking Down Your Street," the final single pulled from Different Light, was released in early 1987 and peaked at number 11.
Later that year, The Bangles recorded a hard-rocking version of Paul Simon's "Hazy Shade of Winter" for the Less Than Zero soundtrack. The single peaked at number two in early 1988, and the band's third album, Everything, was released that fall. Everything was a slicker affair than either of band's previous records, but it didn't perform quite as well as Different Light. "In Your Room," the album's lead single, made it to number five, and the ballad "Eternal Flame" became the group's second number one single in early 1989. Even so, the record ran out of steam shortly after the release of its third single, "Be with You," which never made it past number 30. After a brief summer tour, the group disbanded and Hoffs began a solo career with 1991's When You're a Boy. The album never made it past number 83, though, and the single "My Side of the Bed" stalled at number 30. While in the midst of recording her second album, Hoffs was dropped from Columbia's roster.
Meanwhile, Vicki Peterson toured as a member of the Go-Go's (replacing the pregnant Charlotte Caffey from 1994 to 1995) and joined the Continental Drifters alongside future sister-in-law Susan Cowsill. Debbi Peterson teamed up with Siobhan Maher to form the duo Kindred Spirit, and Steele played in several short-lived bands after failing to land a solo deal. In 1998, the bandmembers began to drift back together, teaming up for the first time in nearly a decade to record a song for the second Austin Powers film. A tour followed in 2000. For the next two years, the reunited Bangles worked on Doll Revolution, which appeared in 2003 and marked Steele's final performance with the band. She left in early 2004, reportedly frustrated with the band's inability to tour a sufficient amount behind the album. The Bangles continued playing in her absence, with hired gun Abby Travis handling bass duties during the group's smattering of tour dates.
During the decade's second half, Hoffs recorded a pair of cover albums with Matthew Sweet. Both albums were produced by Sweet himself, and when it came time to find a producer for The Bangles' fifth record, Hoffs didn't have far to look. The result, Sweetheart of the Sun, was released in September 2011.
Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
All Over The Place (1984) 2009 Mini-LP sleeve, Remastered
While the Bangles would later embrace a radio-friendly pop production style (and enjoy attendant commercial success) that separated them from their early peers, they were the only figures from the L.A. paisley underground scene who would go on to become genuine multi-platinum rock stars, and while their first full-length album, 1984's All Over the Place, showed that some of their rough edges were already being buffed away, of their major-label output it's the record that most openly embraces the folk-rock and garage rock influences that fueled their earliest music. Vicki Peterson's lead guitar and the band's stellar harmonies are the vehicles that drive these 11 songs, and if producer David Kahne was already pushing the group in a more commercially ambitious direction, there's no disguising the psychedelic guitar figures on "Dover Beach" or the Byrds-meets-Raiders jangle of "Tell Me," and the choice of the Merry-Go-Round's "Live" as a cover is especially telling. All Over the Place is also the Bangles' most unified full-length album; Susanna Hoffs hadn't yet been singled out as the star of the show, and the round-robin lead vocals, stellar harmonies, and tight, concise arrangements make them sound like a real-deal rock band, and the set's gentle but insistent sway from British Invasion-styled rock and West Coast pop feels natural, unforced, and effective. And when drummer Debbie Peterson and bassist Michael Steele feel like rocking out, the Bangles generate a lot more heat than they're usually given credit for, most notably on "Silent Treatment." the Bangles' second full album, Different Light, would sell a lot more copies, but All Over the Place is easily their best and most satisfying LP.
Review by Mark Deming, Allmusic.com
01. Hero Takes a Fall (02:53)
02. Live (02:36)
03. James (02:34)
04. All About You (02:26)
05. Dover Beach (03:46)
06. Tell Me (02:14)
07. Restless (02:41)
08. Going Down to Liverpool (03:41)
09. He's Got a Secret (02:42)
10. Silent Treatment (02:07)
11. More Than Meets the Eye (03:20)
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Different Light (1985) 2009 Mini-LP sleeve, Remastered
The Bangles' first album, All Over the Place, may have earned them a smattering of radio and MTV airplay, but it's clear that with Different Light they were aiming for much higher stakes, especially when Prince -- who was reportedly infatuated with Susanna Hoffs -- offered to write a song for them. "Manic Monday"'s baroque, keyboard-dominated sound was a far cry from anything The Bangles had recorded before, and while Hoffs' breathy voice and her bandmates' fine harmonies fit the song like a glove, it also sent the group down a path that led them away from the '60s-influenced pop/rock that was their strongest suit, and though Vicki Peterson does get to show off her guitar work on a few songs here, the differences between Different Light and All Over the Place are telling and a bit sad. The drum machines that dominate "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Walking Down Your Street" rob the performances of the organic feel of this group's best music, the funky accents of "Standing in the Hallway" are simply out of place, and while covering Big Star ("September Gurls") and Jules Shear ("If She Knew What She Wants") may have sounded good on paper, neither performance captures what makes each song special. And while the album struggles to rally in the last innings with the more personal air of "Following" and "Not Like You," most of the songs struggle to stand up under David Kahne's overly slick production and the layers of gingerbread added by a handful of guest musicians. Different Light turned The Bangles into bona fide pop stars, but it also transformed a spunky and distinctive band into a comparatively faceless vehicle for a hit-seeking producer; the group tries to let its personality shine through despite it all, but the effort fails most of the time.
Review by Mark Deming, Allmusic.com
01. Manic Monday (03:04)
02. In A Different Light (02:51)
03. Walking Down Your Street (03:03)
04. Walk Like An Egyptian (03:23)
05. Standing In The Hallway (02:55)
06. Return Post (04:21)
07. If She Knew What She Wants (03:49)
08. Let It Go (02:30)
09. September Gurls (02:44)
10. Angels Don't Fall In Love (03:22)
11. Following (03:20)
12. Not Like You (03:06)
13. Manic Monday (extended version) (04:38)
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Everything (1988) 2009 Mini-LP sleeve, Remastered
Released in 1985, Different Light elevated the Bangles to pop stardom, but at a price -- it was a significantly less interesting and cohesive album than their debut, All Over the Place, and the production as well as the addition of outside musicians and songwriters robbed the group of a great deal of its fire and personality. In many respects, 1988's Everything was more of the same, but success seems to have emboldened the Bangles just a bit -- while producer Davitt Sigerson still keeps the sound slick and radio-ready and a flock of guest musicians were brought in for the sessions, the album's approach seems less inclined to smother the group's identity, and the West Coast garage and folk-rock accents of their earlier work come back into the picture, albeit in muted form. A number of outside songwriters were brought in to work up material for Everything, but each of them collaborated with at least one member of the group, and while it's anyone's guess how Vinnie Vincent was tapped for this project, the songs suit the group better than, say, "Manic Monday" or "Walk Like an Egyptian." "Complicated Girl," "Be with You," and "Some Dreams Come True" are fine songs and strong performances if you can look past the studio gingerbread, and while Susanna Hoffs was positioned front and center on the album's two singles, "Eternal Flame" and "In Your Room," they at least suited her vocal style and the latter is an irresistibly hooky rocker. "Glitter Years" is a fun and high-kicking salute by Michael Steele to her days in the Runaways, and if the Bangles had to have another guitarist imposed upon them, David Lindley was a far better match than most. In many respects, Everything is a work dominated by compromises, but at the very least it allowed the Bangles a shade more freedom and autonomy than Different Light, and of the two it's easily the better album, though it still falls well short of the promise of their first recordings.
Review by Mark Deming, Allmusic.com
01. In Your Room (03:28)
02. Complicated Girl (03:38)
03. Bell Jar (03:21)
04. Something To Believe In (04:02)
05. Eternal Flame (03:56)
06. Be With You (03:02)
07. Glitter Years (03:41)
08. I'll Set You Free (04:28)
09. Watching The Sky (04:12)
10. Some Dreams Come True (03:26)
11. Make A Play For Her Now (03:46)
12. Waiting For You (03:36)
13. Crash And Burn (02:37)
14. In Your Room (12' Remix) (05:13)
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Greatest Hits (1990) Reissue 2004
Weighing in at 14 tracks, Greatest Hits is a good, basic collection of the Bangles' biggest singles, containing all the hits, including the previously non-LP "Hazy Shade of Winter," plus a couple of album tracks and, for the dedicated, a new cover of the Grass Roots' "Where Were You When I Needed You." It may be easy to carp about fine album tracks from All Over the Place and Different Light that should have been included, yet this is a fine sampler/introduction that might not necessarily capture the Bangles' best -- in this context, their ties to the Paisley Underground and college rock seem nonexistent -- but still finds them as masters of irresistible pop singles.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
01. Hero Takes a Fall (02:53)
02. Going Down to Liverpool (03:39)
03. Manic Monday (03:04)
04. If She Knew What She Wants (03:48)
05. Walk Like an Egyptian (03:22)
06. Walking Down Your Street (03:15)
07. Following (03:19)
08. Hazy Shade of Winter (02:46)
09. In Your Room (03:28)
10. Eternal Flame (03:56)
11. Be With You (03:01)
12. I'll Set You Free (04:51)
13. Everything I Wanted (03:36)
14. Where Were You When I Needed You (03:05)
15. What I Meant to Say (03:21)
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Doll Revolution (2003) Japan Bonus track Edition
The Bangles were once upon a time a great band. When they first started out as fresh-faced kids back in the mid-'80s, they captured the jangle of the Byrds, the melody of the Left Banke, the attitude of the Shangri-Las, and the rich harmonies of the Mamas & the Papas (without the Papas, of course) and wrapped them all up in a sweet and catchy package. Their first album was a bright, shiny pop album full of all kinds of promise, which they thereafter either fulfilled or wasted depending on where you stood. Having a hit with the Billy Steinberg-penned novelty song "Walk Like an Egyptian," doing Prince songs (even though "Manic Monday" is a song that deserves its pop classic standing), hiring faceless session musicians to make the second album sound more in tune with the times: these all deserve votes for wasted. The rest of their career was strewn with one landmine after another, like Susanna Hoffs being picked out as the focus of the band because she was "glamorous," the terrible power ballad (and number one hit) "Eternal Flame," more cover songs as singles (even though "Hazy Shade of Winter" was pretty darn good) and finally, the bitter breakup. So far it is not a story unique to The Bangles. Nor is the eventual, inevitable reunion. Doll Revolution is the result of The Bangles' re-formation. It would be nice to tell you that it was a triumphant return. It would be nice to tell you it was an interesting return. Sadly, it is neither. It is a bland, overproduced, and safe-sounding record that fails to leave much of an impression at all. Sure, all the things one would expect from a good Bangles album are here -- jangling guitars; full, sweet harmonies; and earnest, emotional lead vocals. All that is lacking are songs. There are a couple that are decent, like "Ask Me No Questions," a sweet Debbi Peterson sung ballad, and "Ride the Ride," a catchy Hoffs folk rocker, but mostly they are forgettable or worse. Picking Elvis Costello's recent self-derivative song "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution) to cover as the lead track was a mistake. Michael Steele's songs sound like they should be on a different band's record, the dark lyrical themes and clunky music drag Doll Revolution down. As do Hoffs' MOR soul "Something You Said" and her weak power ballad "I Will Take Care of You," which sounds like an attempt to duplicate the success of "Eternal Flame." The rest of it sounds like a solid attempt at a Sheryl Crow record, and that is something the pop world did not need from The Bangles. Doll Revolution won't add much to The Bangles' legacy. It won't do much to ruin it, either, perhaps that is the most fans of the band should have hoped for.
Review by Tim Sendra, Allmusic.com
01. Tear Off Your Own Head (It's A Doll Revolution) (03:57)
02. Stealing Rosemary (03:32)
03. Something That You Said (04:33)
04. Ask Me No Questions (03:26)
05. The Rain Song (03:41)
06. Nickel Romeo (04:57)
07. Ride The Ride (04:45)
08. I Will Take Care Off You (03:50)
09. Here Right Now (03:25)
10. Single By Choice (03:40)
11. Lost At Sea (03:55)
12. Song For A Good Son (04:01)
13. Mixed Messages (03:19)
14. Between The Two (03:42)
15. Grateful (05:00)
16. Getting Out Of Hand (02:17)
17. Call On Me (01:33)
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