The Bangles are a female pop group that originated in the early 1980s, scoring several hit singles during the decade. Susanna Hoffs joined sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson to form a band in Los Angeles in December, 1980. The trio briefly called themselves The Colours, then renamed themselves The Supersonic Bangs, and shortly afterwards The Bangs. The band was part of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground scene, which featured groups that played a mixture of 1960s-influenced folk-rock and jangle pop.
The early Bangles line-up of Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitars), Vicki Peterson (guitars/vocals), Debbi Peterson (vocals/drums) and Annette Zilinskas (vocals/bass) recorded an EP in 1982, and released the single "The Real World". Their first EP was titled Bangles and released in 1983.
In 1984, The Bangles' full-length debut album on Columbia, All Over the Place, captured their power-pop roots, featuring the singles "Hero Takes a Fall" and the Kimberley Rew-penned Beatlesque "Going Down to Liverpool". The record received good reviews, and the video for "Liverpool" featured Leonard Nimoy, which helped to generate further publicity. They received a much wider audience serving as the opening act of Cyndi Lauper on her Fun tour. All this went some way to attracting the attention of Prince, who later wrote "Manic Monday" for the group. "Manic Monday" went on to become a #2 hit in the US, the UK and Germany, outsold at the time only by another Prince composition, his own "Kiss".
The band's second album Different Light was released in 1986 and was more polished than its predecessor and, with the help of the worldwide #1 hit "Walk Like an Egyptian", saw the band firmly in the mainstream. The song was sent to them in mid-session and the group was divided about whether it would be a failure or a success. When the song was released the group was amazed to discover that it brought them a new audience of female fans, most of them very young.
There was friction among band members after music industry media began singling out Hoffs as the lead singer of the group, a result of Columbia Records releasing mostly singles on which Hoffs sang lead vocal. In fact, singing duties on the group's albums were evenly divided among all of the band's members, all of whom wrote or co-wrote their songs. They soon had another US #2 hit with a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "A Hazy Shade of Winter" from the soundtrack of the film Less Than Zero, and the melancholic "If She Knew What She Wants", written by Jules Shear, reached the U.S. Top 30 and the German Top 20.
In 1988, Everything was released and was another multi-platinum smash and included their biggest-selling single, the soft ballad "Eternal Flame". Co-writer Billy Steinberg came up with the title after Susanna Hoffs told him about the band's visit to Graceland, Elvis Presley's estate in Memphis, Tennessee.
The working relationships within the band would break down and the members went their separate ways. Hoffs began a solo career and Vicki Peterson toured as a member of the Go-Go's and the Continental Drifters.
Hoffs released a solo album When You're a Boy and spawned a minor hit "My Side of the Bed", and a Cyndi Lauper penned "Unconditional Love". The second solo album Susanna Hoffs, released in 1996, fared better critically, but it too had disappointing sales.
The band started drifting back together in 1998 and officially re-formed to record a song for the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, at the behest of the film's director (and Hoffs' husband) Jay Roach. The song chosen for the album was "Get The Girl" and was released in 1999. The reunion continued with a tour in 2000. Later the same year, the group was also inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. From 2001–2002, they were in the studio recording the album Doll Revolution. The album, featuring such songs as "Stealing Rosemary", "Ride the Ride", "Nickel Romeo", and the single "Something That You Said", was released in early 2003.
In August 2007, they released of the band's first official live DVD, Return to Bangleonia - Live in Concert. In 2008, the band toured the US with dates in Las Vegas, Louisiana, Austin, Glasgow, and Ojai.
Sweetheart of the Sun was released in September 2011 and they are touring in support of it.