The Bangles - Back In The Studio

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Bangles, one of the great girl bands of the 80's are back in the studio, and fans are eagerly awaiting the collection of new songs and covers (Bangles always like to "mix it up" in their music selections.) Susanna Hoffs (left), and the Peterson sisters, Debbi (centre) and Vicki (right) will be working predominantly as a trio, since they are currently without a regular bass player following Michael Steele's departure in 2004, and a string of on-and-off fill-ins.

An update from Gracie, the moderator of Return Post (The Bangles message board) and webmistress of The Bangles Official Website , reveals tidbits from both Vicki and Debbi Peterson about their new project.

"According to Debbi, it's sounding great - and a little different in style than what you might be expecting. Vicki's also hinted that the album will contain a couple of covers - some new to the Bangles, and some that long-time fans may remember from 80's era concerts."

Also on the horizon is the exciting tidbit that Debbi Peterson has a side project in the works, since she has not had one of these since 1995 when she created Kindred Spirit, a double act she formed with Liverpool import, Siobhan Maher (formerly of the River City People, now known as soloist Siobhan Maher-Kennedy.)

According to Gracie: "A little birdie also told me that a certain beautiful blonde drummer will be doing some work on a side project in the very near future... can't wait to get the scoop on that!"

Regarding the new album by the band, The Bangles will be working with guest musicians, as has been the case with past projects, including the omnipresent yet always mysterious keyboard player known affectionately as "Harpo" and guest bassist Matthew Sweet. Any hardcore Bangles fan knows that the band has always shared the vocals between the members, there has never been any "official lead singer", and although they are known to accept songs from songwriters outside the band and to work with guests, they have always written the bulk of their own material and play their own instruments, namely Susanna Hoffs on rhythm guitar, Vicki Peterson on lead guitar, and Debbi Peterson on drums.

Sweet will be filling in for Michael Steele, who left the band in 2004, who was briefly replaced with the talented Abby Travis, who joined Hoffs and the Petersons on a tour of Australia in 2005 which I was fortunate enough to attend. Travis has since returned to her solo work and will be releasing her fourth solo album within the next year.

Hoffs and Sweet recently had success with the July 2009 release of "Under The Covers 2," a collection of tributes to songs from the 70s, which in turn is a sequel album to their 60's tribute from 2006, entitled "Under The Covers 1." Some of the popular favourites from these albums include covers of Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys' "Different Drum," Neil Young & Crazy Horse's "Cinnamon Girl," and The Zombies "Care Of Cell #44" from the first volume; and The Grateful Dead's "Sugar Magnolia," Mott The Hoople's "All The Young Dudes", and Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," for the second. This last song was also performed superbly by Anna Waronker & Ze Malibu Kids for their 2002 album "Sound It Out."

Stay tuned for further news on The Bangles new album and Debbi Peterson's mysterious side project in future updates.

~ Michael Holloway


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