Monday, January 5, 2015

The Bangles - Ladies And Gentlemen. . . The Bangles

Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.

The digital-only album Ladies And Gentlemen...The Bangles pulls all five songs from the band’s 1982 self-titled EP, and adds rare tracks, demos, and live performances. Most are from the days when bassist Annette Zilinskas was a band member along with Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson, and Vicki Peterson. Longtime fans might have some of this material already, but those who are only familiar with “Manic Monday” or “Eternal Flame” will be in for a surprise. The collection provides an essential puzzle piece of how The Bangles were able to bring a 1960s pop sensibility to original material that worked within the Los Angeles punk scene in the early 1980s.

The surf rock instrumental “Bitchen Summer” originally appeared on the Rodney On The ROQ: Vol. 3 compilation, while “Getting Out Of Hand” and “Call On Me” were the A Side and B Side respectively of The Bangles’ (then known as The Bangs) first single. Catchy songs like “I’m In Line” and “The Real World” from the EP show much harmony vocals mattered to The Bangles right from the start. The previously unreleased material includes authentic covers of the Warren Zevon-penned “Outside Chance” (a minor hit The Turtles), and Paul Revere And The Raiders’ caustic “Steppin Out.”

Ladies And Gentlemen...The Bangles came in at number 3 on the Broken Hearted Toy Favorite Releases of 2014 List. Up On The Chair, Beatrice by The Psycho Sisters, a side project from Vicki Peterson, came in at number 15.


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