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Different Light

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Editors’ Notes

Striving to be more than a cult band, the Bangles ratcheted up the commercial quotient of their sound on 1986’s Different Light. Under producer David Kahne’s guidance, synthesizers filled in the spaces between the guitars and the tracks took on a glossier sheen overall. This strategy had its risks but fortunately the group’s impeccable vocal harmonies never sounded better. Even more important, the songs range from strong to excellent. Radio listeners became Bangles fans thanks to the baroque-tinged “Manic Monday” (written by Prince) and the odd-yet-danceable “Walk Like An Egyptian.” Beyond these hits, there’s a wealth of other folk-rock standouts to be found here, with “September Gurls” and the absolutely luminous “If She Knew What She Wants” worth a special mention. Band originals like the jazz-tinged “Return Post” and the sweetly empathetic “Not Like You” compliment the covers. Different Light boosted the profile of Susanna Hoffs in particular, but the rest of the group deserves equal praise. Amidst the cooled-out techno-pop of its time, Different Light shines brightly as a warm-hearted, unremittingly melodic gem of an album.

Customer Reviews

The Best Album By An All Girl Group Ever

For me this album is close to perfect. The big hit, Walk Like An Egyptian, is the worst song here. It's a fun, interesting single, but it's my least favorite track. There are songs like September Gurls, which was not released as a single, that are so much better. If She Knew What She Wants was a single, and didn't do as well as it should have as it's the best thing on this wonderful album. Every track is a winner. How many albums from the mid 80's can you say that about ?

Pure enjoyment with big 80s hair

Seductive harmonies, crystal clear guitars and straightforward drum beats; this is just good pop/rock music. These girls were (are) really good musicians and better entertainers. You will like all of these songs and you will love a few of them.

great album

Don't just get the big hits like Manic Monday and Walk Like an Egyptian. The rest of the album is strong, especially "If She Knew What She Wants", "September Gurls" and "Following."


Formed: 1981 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Bangles combined the chiming riffs and catchy melodies of British Invasion guitar pop with a hint of the energy of new wave. In the process, they became one of the handful of all-female bands of the '80s to win both critical and commercial success. The critical success came first — with their self-titled debut EP and full-length album, All Over the Place — and popular success arrived once they polished their sound, added some synthesizers, and deviated slightly from their...
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