Ladies and Gentlemen…The Bangles
Review by David Bowling
If you are, or have ever been a fan of the Bangles, then this new release is one for you. Ladies And Gentlemen…The Bangles gathers rare tracks from their past, including those when they were known as The Bangs, and presents them in a clean remastered form.
The Bangles were and still are a bright, melodic pop and rock band. Formed as The Bangs in 1981 by guitar/vocalist Susanna Hoffs, drummer Debbi Peterson, and guitarist Vickie Peterson; they received their greatest fame during the 1980’s. They produced a number of up-beat radio-friendly pop hits such as “Manic Monday,” “Hazy Shade Of Winter,” “Eternal Flame,” and the number one single of 1987 “Walk Like An Egyptian.”
The material on this release pre-dates their most successful time period. If you want an introduction to the band, any of their greatest hits albums would be preferable to this one, which digs deeply into their formative years.
Their only single release as The Bangs; “Getting Out Of Hand/Call On Me,” plus their early recording “Bitchen Summer/Speedway” find a band learning their craft.
The heart of the release are the five tracks that were originally issued as a self-titled EP in 1981. “The Real World,” “I’m In Line,” “Want You,” “Mary Street,” and “How Is The Air Up There” approach the sound that would produce their best work in a couple of years.
Throw in some early demos, including the old Paul Revere & The Raiders song “Steppin’ Out,” plus a couple of live tracks from 1984, “7 + 7” and “Tell Me” and you have an interesting, if not classic release.
Like many albums that explore the history of an artist, Ladies ad Gentlemen…The Bangles may not be of the quality of their best work but creates a nice time-line to their career, while filling in the gaps in their catalogue of music.