Listen: 'Bangles: Excellent Female Rock Quartet' -- Commentary by Geoffrey Himes, 1986
Autumn de Wilde
The Bangles: Debbi Peterson, Michael Steele, Susanna Hoffs and Vicki PetersonExpanded View
The Bangles' 'Doll Revolution' CD cover
They were first known as The Bangs — four L.A. women who answered a classified ad. By the time they hit it big in 1985 with Walk Like an Egyptian, Debbi Peterson, Susanna Hoffs, Michael Steele and Vicki Peterson had morphed into The Bangles, a post-punk band on its way — according to some critics — to becoming one of the first bands to transcend the patronizing "girl group" label.
"Egyptian" was followed by four other top five hits, including the Prince collaboration "Manic Monday," but creative differences and the music industry’s focus on Hoffs led to a split in 1988. After a frequently turbulent 15-year hiatus (group members stopped speaking to each other for years), The Bangles are back with a new album, Doll Revolution. NPR's Neda Ulaby spoke with the band members — now rock 'n' roll moms — about the steps leading to their reunion, their younger male fan base, and how much fun it was to create Doll Revolution.
Now, largely angst-free, the bandmates say making the album was an enjoyable experience. Sometimes, according to Steele, worryingly so:
"We would go, 'Wait! We're not suffering, we're not in great psychic agony. What's wrong? Is it not coming out well?'"