Wednesday, July 27, 2022

"Be with You" by The Bangles

Song#:  3887
Date:  05/06/1989
Debut:  73
Peak:  30
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  The Bangles earned their second #1 Pop hit with "Eternal Flame," the second single from their third album Everything. It would also become their second gold seller and it helped the album get to #15 and go platinum. For a follow-up, this next track was selected. Whereas the first two singles from the album featured Suzanna Hoffs on lead vocals, this track had drummer Debbi Peterson taking over the duties. The song ended up peaking right at the Top 30 mark, which was a bit of a disappointment. A fourth single would not follow. Then in September of '89, the band shocked fans by announcing their breakup. The Bangles had always functioned as a collaborative group with each member writing songs and performing lead vocals. Then after the Prince-written "Manic Monday" hit #2 in '86, dynamics in the group changed. Since Hoffs had performed the lead vocal on the track, many folk including from the press began to consider her the leader and voice of the band, which wasn't actually true. Yet Hoffs kept getting a push out front and when it came time to assemble Everything, it seems a lot of time was spent trying to make sure each member was represented equally, which caused friction as it was not done in the same collaborative way as in the past. Then, of course, the label pushed out the first two singles that were both co-written and sung by Hoffs, which just added fuel to the fire. After this Peterson-led track didn't get very far on the heels of the #1 "Eternal Flame," the fate of the band was nearly sealed. The band met and chose to go their own ways less that six months after earning a #1 gold single.

ReduxReview:  This urgent tune was an acceptable single, but it wasn't going to get the band back into the Pop Top 10. Really, the two best single candidates had already been released and the balance didn't necessarily have another immediate smash, so it was a crap shoot as to what to push out. If I were to guess, I bet the label wanted the Hoffs-led "I'll Set You Free" (which was issued out in the UK) to be third, but some talks led to Peterson's "Be with You" getting out. Either way, another Top 10 was just not in the cards and in the end the band split. It was really too bad as the quartet were best when they collaborated and shared songwriting/vocal duties. Hoffs' first two solo albums were meh, but her 2012 LP Someday was excellent and I liked her collaborations with Matthew Sweet. Meanwhile, Vicki Peterson did some fine work with the Continental Drifters. I also liked the Bangles' second post-breakup LP Sweethearts of the Sun. In 2014 a really fun compilation titled Ladies and Gentlemen...The Bangles! was issued out. It consisted of their pre-fame/pre-Columbia Records indie tracks most with original bassist Annette Zilinskas, who would actually rejoin the band in 2018.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The only Bangle to seek out a solo career was Suzanna Hoffs. Her 1991 debut effort, When You're a Boy, would be an underwhelming effort peaking at #83. Its only charting single was the #30 "My Side of the Bed," which was written by Hoffs with Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg (the same trio wrote "Eternal Flame" and the #5 "In Your Room"). Her self-titled 1996 LP would not chart, but it did feature the minor #77 Pop entry "All I Want." Since then, Hoffs has had a few more releases and also collaborated with singer/songwriter Matthew Sweet for a series of decade-oriented remake albums title Under the Covers.  2) The Bangles would end up getting back together thanks to a film. In 1998, Hoffs' husband at the time Jay Roach was directing Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, the sequel to the 1997 Mike Myers hit Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Roach kind of poked and prodded the members into recording a song for the film. Vicki and Debbi Peterson along with Hoffs would write "Get the Girl" and the full compliment of The Bangles, which included Michael Steele, would record the tune. The reunited band would then set out on a tour in 2000. That was followed by their first album since their split, 2003's Doll Revolution. Steele would leave the band in 2005, but the remaining members continued on and would record the 2011 album Sweethearts of the Sun.


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