Hard to believe it was 35 years ago we all learned how to “Walk like an Egyptian.” Life seemed so much more carefree back then. Of course most of us were kids and didn’t know any better. We didn’t have panic attacks over starting the school week. Now the beginning of every 40 hours of work feels like a Manic Monday.
So much has been said over the years about Susanna Hoffs eyes. This is very much an MTV band. They have a look, and that look is attractive women who can actually play too. Hoffs’s eyes became iconic. If MTV counted down the top 100 eyes instead of 100 videos we wouldn’t wait hours for the inevitable “Thriller” but instead, expect the Bangles at the top.
How iconic? So iconic that upon seeing her and wishing to win her affection a songwriter gave the Bangles the song “Manic Monday”. Here’s a hit song, now how about a date? And that generous ulterior motive gift came from Prince.
There’s nothing too serious about that song. Just a desire to stay in bed late instead of going to work. I think Prince is probably a person that wanted to stay in bed. Probably not by himself. I’m ready to write songs about that feeling too.
On the other end of things we understand when we are adults, “Walk Like an Egyptian” seems problematic in the light of 2021. A pop song about mocking a society from thousands of years ago? Too soon! However, in reality, songwriter Liam Sternberg saw people on a ferry trying to balance themselves while the boat bounced on the water. This is a great explanation and makes the song even sillier and endearing. It’s just absurd.
As absurd as using whistles from a machine and replacing the drummer with another machine. Between focusing on eyes and leaving everyone else not attached to them in the dust it was inevitable there would be friction in the band. A breakup occurred but like many 1980s bands distance apart heals most wounds.
While we are all familiar with the big singles from this album the rest of the tracks were a delight to discover. In my 40’s. Sure it has the sounds of the era all over it but I could put this on in the background and feel happy for the 40 something minutes run time. As much as I love angry heavy music this album 35 years later helped me feel like I no doubt did as a child. As the album went on I found myself feeling calmer and calmer. I was able to lay down and not worry about things for a few minutes. Never in my dreams would I have imagined the Bangles to have a timeless soothing influence on my mind.
Check out these other great features on TRN:
- #MustSee: 10 Can’t-Miss Music Documentaries
- The Beginnings of MTV
- High Fidelity Film Celebrates Two Decades of Music and Misery
- My Favorite One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s
- Heisenberg: My ’80s Contraband Life