Friday, November 23, 2018

"Manic Monday" by The Bangles

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2597
Date:  01/25/1986
Debut:  86
Peak:  2
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This all-female band formed as The Bangs in 1981. The new group honed their 60s influenced rock tunes in clubs before issuing out a self-distributed single. Quickly after that, a same-name legal issue forced them to do a name change. The quartet became the Bangles and their 1982 self-titled indie EP got them noticed by Columbia Records. Their 1984 debut album for the label, All Over the Place, was a critical success, but it failed to generate any Pop chart singles. Yet good exposure on MTV and rock radio helped to send the album to a respectable #80. For their next effort, Different Light, the band decided to ease up on the 60s rock and move a bit more towards the mainstream. Although the band would still write the majority of the tracks, the album featured a few tunes from outside writers including this lead-off single. The quirky tune was their first single to reach the Pop chart and slowly caught on and finally found its way to the #2 spot. It also did well at AC getting to #10 while making a #43 appearance at Rock. The Bangles were off and running.

ReduxReview:  All it took was that piano riff and I was totally hooked on this song. There was also a swirling, dream-pop quality to the track that I totally dug. I knew the first time I heard it that the song was going to be a hit. The pairing of The Bangles with Prince seemed a bit offbeat and strange, but it was almost like this song was written specifically for the band. Even though it was far more poppy than anything on their debut, it still had shades of their own style and it was a great idea to rework the song in their own way instead of mimicking Prince's demo. It was a gem of a tune that made stars out of the band.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The writing credit for this song is simply listed as being by "Christopher." Of course it didn't take folks long at all to realize that the name was a pseudonym for Prince. Christopher was the name Prince would use for his character in the upcoming 1986 film Under a Cherry Moon. Prince originally wrote this song for his protégé vocal group Apollonia 6. It was recorded as a duet between Prince and Apollonia. The song was slated to be on the group's debut album, but Prince pulled it at the last minute. There are varying stories as to how the Bangles ended up with the track. Most do state that Prince was a fan of the band's debut album, especially the track "Hero Takes a Fall." Then it gets a little sketchy, but in an interview band member Debbi Peterson stated that Prince contact the band and offered them a couple of songs. In a different interview, Susanna Hoffs said that she went and picked up a cassette Prince had prepared. One of the songs was "Manic Monday." The retro-ish track seemed to be a good fit for the Bangles. The band and their producer David Kahne rebuilt the song a bit and got it recorded. Prince ended up liking what they did with his song. The other tune he submitted to them was one called "Jealous Girl." Prince wrote this for a vocal trio he assembled that he titled The Hookers. The song was recorded, but Prince later cancelled the project. Two of the trio then left and the remaining member plus two new girls then became Vanity 6. Prince would revive "Jealous Girl" in 1987. He revamped the track and then had a lead vocal done by singer Bonnie Raitt. Raitt and Prince collaborated on a couple of other songs, but it seems whatever project these were for, it didn't happen and the songs remain shelved.


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