The Bangles, four young women from Los Angeles who made it to the top of the charts, are a great example of the female power on the stage. Hits like “Eternal Flame” or “Walk like an Egyptian” are known worldwide.
An eternal flame. The Bangles: Girl power from the 80s.
In the 80s, the big world stages of pop music became increasingly female: Madonna and Tina Turner were the first women at the microphone, who were not only successful worldwide, but also shaped the style for an entire generation.
Also as band members women were more and more often at the top of the charts. Bands of the 80s like ABBA not only stood for big hits and international success, but especially for the aspiration of talented women in the show business. But a band formation consisting only of women was already something special in the 80s – and still is today.
The Bangles, four young women from Los Angeles who made it to the top of the charts, are a great example of the female power on the stage. Hits like “Eternal Flame” or “Walk like an Egyptian” are known worldwide. But how did it happen?
Two sisters form a band
Nobody reflects on the fact that as brilliant musicians on the stage, women can do a great show and be in no way inferior to the men. But that wasn’t always the case. Pop music was masculine in its early days.
The 80s can be considered the first phase in which women like Madonna, Nena, Tina Turner or Cyndi Lauper became icons in pop music next to their famous male colleagues Michael Jackson or David Bowie.
Bands such as ABBA or Eurythmics ensure visual equality with a fifty-fifty cast. But an all-female band? The weak point lies in the instruments. Especially bass and drums are “male instruments“. Women have already been successful as singers in jazz – but a woman on drums?
Why not, Deborah Mary (“Debbi”) Peterson must have asked herself when she decided to form a band with her sister Victoria Anne Therese (“Vicky“) in 1981. Via an advertisement in the newspaper the sisters from Northridge, California, found the guitarist Susanna Hoffs. So nothing stood in the way of the first own songs. When in 1992 the bassist Annette Zilinskas joined the trio, the female band formation became perfect.
“Different Light”: International rise, crisis and comeback
With their second studio album “Different Light“ the Bangles left the exclusive popularity zone of domestic stages. The single releases “Manic Monday” and “Walk like an Egyptian” became famous throughout the USA, Europe and Canada. With the cover song “Hazy Shade of Winter” they reached the 2nd place of the US charts, and with their song “Eternal Flame“ of the third studio album, which was released in the same year, the Bangles continued to stay in the top 5.
But with the success the personal discrepancies between the band members increased. The pressure of the concert dates chasing each other weighed as much on them as on their fellow musicians of other bands of the 80s. In 1989, the public was surprised to learn that the band had split up.
But after a 10-year break the four women found each other again. And they immediately agreed: A vile rehashing of the 80s songs is out of the question for them. Certainly they originally belong to the bands of the 80s, but they want to keep up with the times.
The new hit from 1999 is called “Get the Girl” and fits to the rocking 90s, also the stage outfits are adapted to the time. And the break was worth it: With new energy Vicky, Debbi, Susanna and the bassist Michael Steele convince new and old fans and can celebrate a successful comeback.
In 2003 the song “Something that you said” got especially in Germany great attention in the media: The Bangles performed with this single release of their new album “Doll Revolution” on the famous TV show “Bet That”.
In addition to the strange and bizarre performances of the betting artists, musical interludes by well-known stars always formed the highlights of the popular German show. The Bangles thus stand in a row with famous icons and bands of the 80s and 90s, such as Céline Dion, the Backstreet Boys or Elton John.
The Bangles have sold over 40 million records so far. Four times they got the “Golden Record“ among other things for their world hit “Manic Monday” and for their first video album “Greatest Hits” from 1990, as well as four silver and 13 platinum records.
The Bangles are one of the most famous girl bands of the 80s. They stand for professional female stage music like no other band and will hopefully still rock the big stages of this world for a long time.
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Stefan Lohmann (Artist Booking)
Stefan Lohmann is a Hamburg-based Talent Buyer and Artist Relations Manager. His service portfolio includes the placement of artists as well as the creation of comprehensive live entertainment concepts for concerts, festivals and events. With his live entertainment network of artists and creative people, he also represents market-leading show productions in the entertainment field of aerial shows, drone shows, video projection mapping, dance shows … “We create for our customers what is not available on the market,” says Stefan Lohmann about his company philosophy.
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