The Bangle craze of the 1980s produced a group of female singers and songwriters who made an indelible mark in the music industry. From “Walk Like an Egyptian” to “Eternal Flame,” these artists filled our ears and hearts with their catchy and witty lyrics, empowering music, and fashion forward dress. But that was 30+ years ago! Many of those singers and songwriters are now in their 60s, so let’s find out how and where the Bangles of the past are today.
Introduction to the Bangles
The Bangles were an all-female pop/rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1981. The core members of the group were Debbi Peterson and sisters Susanna and Vicki Hoffs. They are best known for their singles “Manic Monday” (which was written by Prince) and “Walk Like an Egyptian,” both of which went to number one on the U.S. charts. Another popular song of theirs was a cover of the 1960s song, “Eternal Flame,” which peaked at number one in the U.K. and reached the top 10 of the U.S. chart.
A Brief History of the Band
The Bangles began as an early 1980s all-girl band that drew influence from the British Invasion of the ’60s. Their trademark sound was a combination of vocal harmonies and heavy guitar riffs that conjured up the sunny SoCal vibes to create a perfect 1980s pop/rock soundtrack.
The band’s debut EP was released in 1982, and the following year their debut album, All Over the Place, was released. It featured the hit song “Hero Takes a Fall.” It was their cover of the 60s hit single, “Going Down to Liverpool,” that really put them on the mainstream rock radar. In 1986, their second album, Different Light, was released and propelled them to international fame. The singles “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian,” both of which were huge success, helped them to cross over from rock to mainstream pop.
Not only did the Bangles release great music, but their look also set them apart from their peers. With their large glasses and colorful clothes, the band helped define 1980s fashion. They also worked closely with various magazines and clothing companies to promote different looks and styles.
Where Are the Bangles Now?
The Bangles split up in 1989, but have reunited several times since then, most notably for two-month tour in 1999 and then for a 20-date tour in 2018. Here’s a look at each of the Bangles’ individual accomplishments since the band disbanded:
Debbi is the bangs’ drummer and the only original member of the band left. After the band split up in 1989, Peterson pursued a solo career and released her debut album in 1990. She has since been involved with a few other projects, including the reunited Bangles.
Susanna, the lead vocalist, pursued a solo career after the Bangles broke up and released her first solo album in 1996. Since then, she has continued to tour, record, and write. She also collaborated with her husband, Matthew Sweet, on several albums.
Vicki, the guitarist and backing vocalist, has released a few solo projects, including an album in 1993 entitled All I Ever Wanted. She has also kept busy with a variety of side projects since the band broke up.
Michael joined the Bangles at the end of 1984 and played bass for the band until 1989. After the band split, she formed the Women’s Guitar Army and released several albums. She also recorded with other artists and started her own small record label, Dangerhouse Records.
Annette was the band’s bassist for a brief time in 1989 before the band broke up. She later released several solo albums. She also joined the band Blueberry Hill, who released two albums in the early 2000s.
It’s amazing to think that the Bangles, who had such a major presence in the 1980s music scene, are now all in their 60s. Yet despite their age, they continue to make music and tour together occasionally. They remain a powerful force in the industry and an inspiration to all women who hope to pursue a career in music. By conquering the music industry with their stylish image, exceptional songwriting and vocal harmonies, the Bangles provided a great service to all of those aspiring singers and songwriters. They have endured for more than 30 years and are still going strong!