“The Bangles: Return to Bangleonia”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
August 14, 2007

During their career peak in the mid- to late 1980s, the Bangles were so famous that Saturday Night Live‘s Dennis Miller was parodying lead singer Susanna Hoffs’ precious sideways glance. The Bangles: Return to Bangleonia is the female quartet’s live concert offering.

But oddly enough, it isn’t a gig from that era, but rather a concert recorded in 2000 at the House of Blues in Hollywood.

Even more curious, the DVD wasn’t released until 2007.

With a handful of catchy and popular songs that were staples on both the radio and MTV, the Bangles transcend the one-hit wonder category. But they aren’t an iconic girl group like the Supremes or even the Go-Go’s (who preceded them by a couple years).

Still, fans will enjoy this collection, which includes 18 songs such as “Eternal Flame,” “Manic Monday,” “Hazy Shade of Winter,” and their breakthrough single “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

The group includes bassist Michael Steele, lead guitarist Vicki Peterson, Peterson’s younger sister Debbi on drums, and Hoffs on rhythm guitar. Thanks to her winsome, quivering voice and doe-eyed good looks, it was Hoffs who garnered the most attention from fans, media, and men. (Prince was such an admirer that he wrote “Manic Monday” as a vehicle for Hoffs to sing. He used the pseudonym Christopher for that track.)

And it was Hoff’s popularity that drove her to leave the band to launch an unsuccessful solo career.

In Bangleonia, the women show that they are far from dinosaurs, rocking out to their pop hits. Yes, they hit some rough notes live. Yes, they’ve aged well. And no, they don’t look like pathetic wannabes trying to regain their glory.

The DVD also includes an interview with Hoffs and the Peterson sisters that is lighthearted, though not particularly revealing.

Comments (1)

  1. Barry says:

    Man for a reviewer you are really out of it. This is probably the Bangles best and most intense concert displaying all the years of practice both off and on stage. Powerful emotional virtuoso performance of all four members. with some incredible guitar playing.and even at this late date 2016 I would hire them in a minute to play a gig.

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