Music-versary: The Bangles ‘Everything’ released October 18, 1988

The Bangles Everything

The Bangles Everything

Release Date: October 18, 1988

Credits: Susanna Hoffs (vocals, guitar); Vicki Peterson (vocals, guitar); Debbi Peterson (vocals, drums); Michael Steele (vocals, bass)

Backstory: Nearly thirty years after becoming a household name with the Prince-penned Manic Monday, and novelty chart-topper Walk Like an Egyptian, the Bangles reclaimed their legacy by re-releasing the surf-inspired garage rock they recorded in the early 1980s, shortly after changing from the Bangs to the Bangles. But when Everything was released in 1988, they were losing hold of their image, and fast. They had started to stray from their original sound—which was synthesized from the folk and rock music they’d grown up with, like the Beatles, the Hollies, the Mamas and the Papas—working with a slew of contributing musicians and polished producers who molded their sound into something more radio-friendly.

However as their star rose, so did the fame of one particular member, Susanna Hoffs. Sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson, who had been playing music together since their teens, had joined up with Hoffs (and later with ex-Runaways singer Michael Steele) to form the girl group, which had focused on harmonies and an egalitarian order. But Hoffs had starred in a film (The Allnighter, a forgettable film directed by her mother, Tamar Simon Hoffs) and, thanks to her sleight frame and special relationship with Prince, had become separate in the media’s eye from the rest of the band. All of a sudden there was a lead singer—even thought they took turns leading on the albums. Less than two years after the release of Everything, the band split. But not before the world got to hear classics like Eternal Flame, In Your Room, and Be With You.

Eternal Hit: The second single off the album, Eternal Flame, was also the band’s biggest international hit. While most of the album channels their upbeat, new-wave edge, Eternal Flame was a ballad which songwriter Billy Steinberg (who wrote the song with his partner Tom Kelly and Hoffs) said was inspired by the songs off the Beatles’ Revolver.

Groovy Reunion: It wasn’t until the late 1990s, when Hoff’s husband Jay Roach was working on Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, that the band got back together. She happened to get together with Vickie and Debbie to play around with writing songs when her husband asked if they’d like to write one for a scene in the upcoming film. “We wrote the song, and we ended up getting Michael Steele to join us in the studio to record it,” she later said. It felt so good to be back as the Bangles that they’ve toured sporadically ever since.

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