1986 Bangles – If She Knew What She Wants

1986 Bangles – If She Knew What She Wants

Susanna Hoffs was a singer and guitar player hoping to form a new band. She placed an ad in the Los Angeles weekly newspaper The Recycler in 1981. As a result of the ad, she was soon joined by Vicki Peterson on guitar, her sister Debbi on the drums, and Amanda Hills on bass. When Amanda left, Annette Zilinskas took over as the group’s bass player. Everybody in the all-girl group could sing, and they began performing as The Colours. Bass player Carl Radle had been in a group that used that name in the sixties, so perhaps that caused the band to change their name to The Bangs.

The group recorded an EP of five songs and discovered that somebody had already registered The Bangs as a band name, so they changed their name to Bangles. The EP failed to attract much attention. Annette left the group to work on a solo album, and Michael Steele of the Runaways became their bass player.

The group’s first album came out on Columbia Records in 1984. While their singles failed to chart, it received good reviews. They got hired to be the opening act for Cyndi Lauper’s tour that year. Cyndi had a hit with All Through The Night which singer/songwriter Jules Shear wrote. Jules recorded his second solo album in 1985. Jules wrote If She Knew What She Wants and included it on his album, but did not release it as a single.

The Bangles’ first album impressed Prince enough that he sent demos of a few songs to the group to consider for their second album. They covered Manic Monday, and it reached #2 on the Hot 100 in early 1986.

Another song on their second album was a cover of If She Knew What She Wants. The Bangles changed the lyrics slightly to make it third person rather than first person and released the song as their follow-up single after Manic Monday. It peaked at #29 on the Hot 100 in 1986.

Jules co-wrote Steady with Cyndi released it as a single off his second album a few months later, and the Bangles helped him promote his album and single. In particular, they appeared as his backup band on American Bandstand in 1986.

Steady topped out at number #57, and Jules never reached the Hot 100 again.

The Bangles finally topped the Hot 100 a few months later with Walk Like An Egyptian.


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