THE STORY OF THE BANGLES begins on December 9, 1980.
Still shaken from John Lennon’s assassination, a young Susanna Hoffs answered a classified ad for a guitarist and met sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson. By the time the three girls had rocked their first song in the family garage, a band was born.
Legendary musical guru Rodney Bingenheimer gave the gurls’ self-produced single ‘Getting Out Of Hand,’ airplay, and soon “The Bangs” were signed by IRS Records.
Renamed The Bangles, the gurls hit the road in ’82 opening for The English Beat, and in the process got signed to Columbia Records. With veteran musician (and former Runaways lead singer) Michael Steele replacing Annette Zilinskas on bass, the lineup that would catapult the Bangles to the top of the charts was complete.
The band released their first full-length album, All Over The Place in ’84, with the singles ‘Hero Takes A Fall’ and ‘Going Down To Liverpool,’ making a splash on college radio.
Opening for Cyndi Lauper’s ’84 tour exposed them to an ever-widening audience, and helped their 1985 album, Different Light make a huge impact. Featuring the hits ‘If She Knew What She Wants,’ the Prince-penned ‘Manic Monday,’ and the smash dance track ‘Walk Like An Egyptian,’ the Bangles rocketed to superstardom.
‘Egyptian’ charted at Billboard’s 1 for four weeks in a row – a feat no other all-female band had ever achieved. A smash national tour, and awards including Single of The Year, Best MTV Video Performance, and a BMA helped solidify the band’s status.
In ’87, the Bangles recorded a hard rocking cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’ for the Less Than Zero soundtrack that rocketed to 2 on the charts. That summer found the band at the peak of its popularity, and back on the road for the ‘Bitchen Summer’ internationaltour. In early ’88, the Bangles released Everything, with two more chart hits: the rocking ‘In Your Room,’ and the seminal ballad ‘Eternal Flame,’ which went to Billboard’s 1, becoming the fifth largest-selling single of 1989.
Despite (or perhaps because of) their successes, the band was exhausted, tensions were high, and in 1989 they decided to take an extended hiatus – canceling the rest of their world tour. In 1990, the Sony-released Greatest Hits broke sales records in Britain, charting in the UK Top 10 for an incredible 97 weeks, and peaking as the 4 album in the country.
The bandmembers stayed in touch, but serious talk about reforming the Bangles didn’t begin until Susanna’s husband, award-winning director/producer Jay Roach, needed an original song for his film, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
In 1999, Vicki, Susanna, Michael, and Debbi headed back into the studio to record ‘Get The Girl’ for the Austin Powers soundtrack, and The Bangles formally announced their reunion in 2000.
In July 2003, the Bangles proudly released the power-pop driven Doll Revolution, their first studio album in over a decade. A fan and critical favorite, Doll Revolution went to 23 on Billboard’s Top 100 Independent Albums for 2003, with the single ‘Something That You Said’ going Top 40 in the UK and enjoying extensive airplay throughout Europe. Appearances on The Tonight Show and Graham Norton, a smash Japan tour, and sold out European and US Tour dates kept the band busy.
In 2007 The Bangles released a brand new concert DVD, Return To Bangleonia, and are currently in the studio recording their 5th full-length album.
In 2005, longtime bassist Michael Steele elected to retire from the band, but drummer Debbi Peterson, and guitarists Susanna Hoffs and Vicki Peterson continue to tour and perform internationally – look for them in summer 2010 at Lilith Fair!