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4.5 out of 5 stars
Greatest Hits
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
The Bangles made some very good albums, but by and large they were a singles band. Their greatest hits collection culls together their finest songs which are among the catchiest of the 80's. The band were knee deep in the sounds of the 60's and their songs are laced with the bright and sunny sounds of flower power. The album features their number one songs, "Walk Like An Egyptian" and "Eternal Flame" as well as their all time best song, the mesmerizing cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade Of Winter". The Bangles are one of those bands that many people will never admit to liking, but will turn up the volume and sing along when "Manic Monday" comes on the radio.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon November 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Me not getting this album until now is like a Gen X-er not seeing Grease until the 1998 reissue. Wait, that was me too. Never mind. Anyway, having had all three of the Bangles albums, the Less Than Zero soundtrack, and both of Susanna Hoffs' studio albums, and me being aware that yeah, there were two new songs on there, I figured why bother, I wasn't missing much.
That changed when I chose it for an instore play during a late shift at work and I was impressed with those new songs. In looking at the album, the songs are in order of release date.
All Over The Place (1984) is under-represented with the two rockers "Hero Takes A Fall" and "Going Down To Liverpool." On the first, Susannah lashes out at an ex-lover, while on the second, giving a nod to their influences, the Beatles, Debbi avers that she's "going down to Liverpool and do nothing all the days of my life"
Then comes five songs from Different Light (1985), the album that broke them wide open. The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" sure beats the old Garfield refrain of hating Mondays, as it incorporates the rush to get to work on time or else not get paid, the Byrdsy "Tambourine Man"-like rhythms of "If She Knew What She Wants", and the wacky dance tune "Walk Like An Egyptian" are so memorable to me. The poppy "Walking Down Your Street" is the single version featuring different vocals in the beginning and deserved a Top 5 rating at least. The haunting guitar-only "Following", sung by bassist Michael Steele proves she is a vocal force to be reckoned with.
With Everything (1988), the Bangles began to write their own material. Before that, they hit the Top 5 with a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade Of Winter," which outdoes the original with its fierce guitar and drum attack. All the Bangles sing in unison here, and the haunting lines "Seasons change with the scenery/weaving time in a tapestry/won't you stop and remember me" give an enchanting feel to it.
The psychedelic sounds of the frantic "In Your Room" has a Tommy James-type beat, a la Mony Mony, and incorporates weird strings, organs, and distorted Indian sounds. Yes, the sixties are back.
Then comes the lush torch ballad that has been redone by Atomic Kitten. Sorry, but the original of the #1 "Eternal Flame" burns twice as bright and more eternally than the remake, sung as it is by the one and only Susanna Hoffs, with some angelic chorals by the remaining Bangles.
The upbeat "Be With You" failed to break the Top Ten, as did the mid-paced sad number "I'll Set You Free," which has an a capella beginning, echoing vocals, and Indian sounds instead of the usual guitar of the original version.
Now the new songs. The engaging guitar rocker "Everything I Wanted" could've been a big hit, as it features Susanna on vocals and is classic Bangles instead of the matured songs from Everything. Finally, there's their cover of the Grass Roots' "Where Were You When I Needed You", sung again by Susanna, with sweet harmonies by the others, and which was the B-side of "Hero Takes A Fall." Dipping back into the Sixties was so fun for them, as they were heavily influenced by that music.
Mondays won't be manic, I'll always be in my room, walking like an Egyptian, and I'll be listening to a CD whose flame will burn eternally.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is an absolutely fabulous collection of songs. I am 25 years old, and I am a long time Bangles fan. The first song I ever heard by them was "Walk Like An Egyptian" when I was in the 4th grade and I have been hooked ever since. This album has 14 tracks, and I can put it in and not skip a single track. This music brings back some great memories from the 80's when music was still fun to listen to. All of the great tracks are here, including "Manic Monday", "Walk Like An Egyptian", "Hazy Shade Of Winter", "Eternal Flame", "In Your Room", and "Walking Down Your Street". All of these are my personal favs. This group is probably THE most under-rated girl group of all time, and I am truly excited that they have reunited and have gone back out on tour this year. I still stand amazed at their stunning vocal harmonies, that I don't believe has been matched by any other group ever. They also deserve credit for playing ALL of their own instruments. If you love great music, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this MOST EXCELLENT MUSIC. Let it blast in your car, or "IN YOUR ROOM"!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I love this band! I grew up on the Bangles' music during the '80s. This band was so inspiring for all young girls, showing them that women can rock with the guys. My only problem with this cd is that 95% of the songs were sung by Susanna but then again the majority of their greatest hits had Susanna on lead vocals.
Their cover of Simon and Garfunkle's "Hazy Shade of Winter" really showcases the band at its best with the women all harmonizing. The remix version of "I'll Set You Free" is even better than the original version found on "Everything". Another favorite is their cover of the Grassroots "Where Were You When I Needed You?". I love singing along to that song.
Overall, good cd. It covers all of the Bangles' hits. It can't disappoint for any '80s fan.
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36 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Only 4 stars because this album contains "Eternal Flame", the one Bangles song I really can't stand and the song that, according to reports, tore the band apart. The Bangles did better songs than the ones that became hits and most of them are housed on "All Over the Place", their first full length album. It appears to me that this disc was put together by the record company to showcase Susanna Hoffs and her, at the time, forthcoming solo debut. I love the inclusion of "Hazy Shade of Winter", one of their best featuring 4-part harmonies, but really could have done without "I'll Set You Free", another Hoffs ditty. Better choices abounded, including "James" and "All About You", both great Vicki Peterson-penned songs, "Something to Believe In", Michael Steele's ballad that kicks the snot out of "Eternal Flame", "Watching the Sky", a dark rock song by Vicki, showing off her fantastic vocals and "September Gurls", Michael's great cover of an Alex Chilton classic. If all you remember of the Bangles are their hits and are happy with that, this disc is for you. Interested in hearing more and seeing how truly talented this group was, start first with "All Over the Place", then work your way to "Everything".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
In the decade that brought us The Go-Go's, Cyndi Lauper and Bananarama, The Bangles were a great group of women who tried to smash the girl-group stereotype by (like Beauty and the Beat) being a fully formed band that wrote their own songs and played their own music. The early EP (not on here and credited as The Bangs) found them on the fringes of the Paisley Underground, and having a distinct Byrds/Beatles infuence. By the first full-length, All Over the Place, these influences came into sharp pop-focus. Hoff's ex-boyfriend kiss-off "Hero Takes A Fall" was an almost hit, while the choice of Kimberly Rew's "Going Down To Liverpool" was well-apt to their hero's sounds.

Obviously, CBS smelled stardom, and smoother sounds on Different Light indicated more than a little corporation grooming. Prince had developed a crush on Susanna Hoffs and gave the band "Manic Monday," a pitch perfect pop song from an artist at his peak. It became the breakthrough, followed by the zany "Walk Like and Egyptian." While Hoffs and Vicki Peterson were writing songs for the album, it was their choice covers that got attention and chart positions. Jules Shears' "If She Knew What She Wants" is a standout track, as is the pick of Big Star's "September Gurls" (not here). The first of the big ballads appeared as well, with Michael Steele's "Following."

However, dispite songwriting contributions from Steele and Peterson and the fact that the harmonies of the Peterson sisters were a big part of The Bangles' sound, the spotlight was becoming more focused on Hoffs. The super-slick Everything reflected the pressure CBS put on the band. Number one ballad "Eternal Flame" was there, surrounded by hyper-synthed 80's production. Oddly enough, the star hit of this period, "Hazy Shade of Winter," poured fire into a Simon and Garfunkle song but was only issued on the Less Than Zero Soundtrack until this best of. Shortly after "Everything," the band broke up and Hoffs entered a less than successful solo career.

While this CD tends to bypass the more artistically inspired early songs for the slicker pop of the hits, The Bangles were still an ace band. Their choice in writers was impeccable and they had shared writer skills (8 of these songs are band member-written) that are often overlooked. The Bangles' Greatest Hits is a solid document of a great pop band, and just as worthy as A Go-Go's Collection would be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
In the eighties, when pop music (at least in Britain) was dominated by synthesisers, the Bangles provided a contrast with their guitar-driven rock music. They were not alone, of course - Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen also come to mind - but they were very much in the minority. The Bangles recorded a lot of upbeat, fun songs so did not always get the credit they deserved.
This compilation contains the three huge international hits that everybody remembers. Manic Monday is an up-tempo rocker. Walk like an Egyptian is a novelty song that (to some people) destroys their credibility but I love it. Eternal flame is a lovely ballad, more recently revived by Atomic Kitten who had a huge UK hit with it.
Apart from those three, they had several other hits, not as successful as the famous three but very entertaining. These include the original songs If she knew what she wants, Walking down your street, In your room and Be with you, together with a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Hazy shade of winter.
Anybody who loves guitar rock of the type that was common in the sixties and early seventies will surely love the music of the Bangles. If you want just one of their albums, this is the one to go for.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There are probably artistically superior Bangles CDs, but that's not really what Greatest Hits albums are about. For me this album will always evoke memories of this one particular summer. I was away at art school and trying really hard not to cheat on my then-boyfriend, so I decided to run 10 miles every day on the indoor track to burn off excess energy, and i always listened to this album while running. I've always appreciated the way that the "walk right down your street" song has a rhythm track deliberately designed to mimic feet hitting pavement...bounce bounce bounce. Anyway, my strategy completely backfired and I ended up having a huge crush on this adorable boy in my illustration class, and the Bangles only exacerbated it. These songs just have that fluttery crush feeling. "Oooh, I've had sleepless nights...tossing, turning, wake up burning for what you inspire..." One day illustration boy and I were the last to leave the classroom. We were gathering up our things, pretending not to notice, and then our eyes suddenly met and... (cue "Eternal Flame." Then flip to "In Your Room."). I know this sounds irredeemably cheesy, but if it's been awhile since you last fell in love, you should buy this album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This has all the best stuff they are famous for. the entire album "different light" is very good, but you should get this instead because it has extra stuff like "hazy shade of winter" and "going to liverpool" The bangles were very special and very fun to listen to, and if you get this you will enjoy it a lot. Its very 80's, but extremely good. IF that sounds cool to you, do not hesitate to pick it up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I ordered this CD primarily for the well-known Bangles hits such as 'Walk Like An Egyptian', and 'Eternal Flame'. Instead, I discovered that their music was much, much more than the hits. These girls were so talented -- not only did they play their own instruments, they also traded lead vocals.

And they could harmonize with the best of them.
Highlights include:
02. Going Down To Liverpool: Perhaps the Bangles most rocking track, this is a wonderful, Mamas And The Papas-inspired (Debbi Peterson's creamy vocals remind me of Mama Cass, as does the arrangement and production) track. Addictive.
03. Manic Monday (# 2 US): A Prince-produced track, this is perhaps the most pop-oriented track the Bangles ever cut. It certainly is danceable and the lyrics are fabulously unique, as with all of Prince's material.
04. If She Knew What She Wants: Susanna's vocals are melancholy and regretful in this ballad-lite rocker. It's made great, though, by tight harmonies and wonderful guitar work.
05. Walk Like An Egyptian (# 1 US): Everyone knows this one. One of the most catchy dance tracks ever cut. The girls share lead vocals on this one, and those lyrics are just....wonderful in their own quirkiness.
08. Hazy Shade Of Winter: A remake of the old Paul Simon song. Very choral in tone, with some virtuoso electric guitar and drum work.
09. In Your Room (#5 US): Susanna Hoffs is kittenish and coy (despite the lyrical content) and the track, which has psychedelic guitar riffs and a killer bass line is an absolute delight. This track is proof positive of the Bangles' consumnate musicianship.
10. Eternal Flame (#1 US): A rare torchy ballad (by Susanna Hoffs), which doesn't really fit in with the rest of their catalogue but which is a classic in its own right....like nothing they did before or after it.
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