Different Light

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Different Light
The Bangles - Different Light.jpg
Studio album by the Bangles
Released January 2, 1986 (US)
March 3, 1986 (UK)
Recorded Summer–Autumn, 1985
Length 38:48
Producer David Kahne
the Bangles chronology
All Over the Place
Different Light
Audio sample
"Manic Monday"
Singles from Different Light
  1. "Manic Monday"
    Released: January 27, 1986
  2. "If She Knew What She Wants"
    Released: 1986
  3. "Walk Like an Egyptian"
    Released: September 1, 1986
  4. "Walking Down Your Street"
    Released: 1987
  5. "Following"
    Released: 1987 (UK only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[3]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide6/10[5]
The Village VoiceB[6]

Different Light is the second studio album by American pop rock band the Bangles, released in January 1986. The album's Top 40 sound was a departure from their earlier 1960s-style rock'n'roll sound. It is their best-known album, with five charting singles, including the Billboard top two hits "Manic Monday" and "Walk Like an Egyptian". It is also the first album in which bassist Michael Steele sings lead vocals on some tracks.

The 2008 reissue CD on the Wounded Bird Records label (WOU 4039) adds a bonus track: "Walk Like an Egyptian (Extended Dance Mix)".

Slant Magazine listed the album at number 78 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[7]


Different Light produced five singles, the first three of which were written by someone other than the Bangles. Lead single "Manic Monday", originally written by Prince under the pseudonym "Christopher"[8] in 1984 as a duet for the Apollonia 6 album, peaked at number two in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1986.[9][10] "If She Knew What She Wants", the second single from Different Light, was originally recorded by Jules Shear on his 1985 Eternal Return album. The song was originally written in the first person, however the Bangles rewrote the lyrics in the third person as they considered it more appropriate; their version charted at number 29 in the United States[9] and number 31 in the United Kingdom.[10] "Walk Like an Egyptian" was written by Liam Sternberg after seeing people on a ferry walking awkwardly to keep their balance as figures do in Ancient Egyptian reliefs; it became one of the most successful singles by the Bangles, hitting number one in the United States,[9] Denmark,[11] and the Netherlands,[12] as well as peaking at number three in the United Kingdom.[10] "Walking Down Your Street" hit number 11 in the United States[9] and number 16 in the United Kingdom,[10] and a fifth single, "Following", was released exclusively in the latter country.

Album cover variations[edit]

The covers of the most of the album's US cassette pressings and the sheet music songbook only show 12 (out of 16) of the "different" snapshots, eliminating the third column to best fit the rectanglular layout of cassette cases and book.

The back cover of European-made CDs replicates the back cover of the vinyl LP edition, with all 16 snapshots and the track index at the top. The back cover of the US version, however, only shows the first column of four snapshots, with the track index list occupying the rest of the space – a rare deviation for Columbia's CD issues during the 1980s.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Manic Monday""Christopher" (Prince)Hoffs3:06
2."In a Different Light"Susanna Hoffs, Vicki PetersonV. Peterson2:52
3."Walking Down Your Street"Hoffs, Louis Gutierrez, David KahneHoffs3:04
4."Walk Like an Egyptian"Liam SternbergV. Peterson, Steele and Hoffs3:24
5."Standing in the Hallway"Hoffs, Kahne, Debbi Peterson, Vicki PetersonD. Peterson2:56
6."Return Post"Hoffs, Vicki PetersonV. Peterson4:22
7."If She Knew What She Wants" (cover of Jules Shear, 1985)Jules ShearHoffs3:49
8."Let It Go"Hoffs, D. Peterson, V. Peterson, Michael SteeleGroup2:32
9."September Gurls" (cover of Big Star, 1974)Alex ChiltonSteele2:45
10."Angels Don't Fall in Love"Hoffs, V. PetersonV. Peterson3:23
12."Not Like You"Hoffs, Kahne, D. PetersonD. Peterson3:06


The Bangles
Additional musicians
  • Produced by David Kahne
  • Engineers: Tchad Blake, David Leonard, Peggy McLeonard
  • Assistant engineers: Dave Glover, Mike Kloster
  • Mixing: David Leonard
  • Nancy Donald, Tony Lane – art direction
  • Raul Vega – photography


Country Date Peak position Certification Comments
United States 1986 2[13] 3x Platinum  
United Kingdom October 1986 3[10] Platinum[14] Originally peaked at 30 on March 1986
Norway March 1986 5[15]    
Switzerland May 4, 1986 16[16]    
Netherlands 1986 24    
Australia 1986 2[17]   Peaked in April 1987


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "Different Light – Bangles". AllMusic. Retrieved April 4, 2007. 
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  3. ^ Evans, Paul; Lechner, Ernesto (2004). "The Bangles". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside Books. pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (September 23, 2003). "The Bangles: Different Light". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 23, 2007. 
  5. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 3, 1986). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 28, 2008. 
  7. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s - Feature - Slant Magazine". 
  8. ^ Stichting Nederlandse Top 40, 500 Nr. 1 hits uit de Top 40, Page 234, 9023009444
  9. ^ a b c d Billboard.com the Bangles singles chart history Accessed: November 4, 2006
  10. ^ a b c d e Everyhit.co.uk UK Top 40 database Accessed: November 4, 2006
  11. ^ Infinity charts German Top 20 - The Chart Of December 1986 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  12. ^ Top4000.nl Chart week 49, 1986 Accessed: November 2, 2006
  13. ^ Billboard.com the Bangles album chart history Accessed: November 4, 2006
  14. ^ BPI.co.uk Certification Different Light Accessed: November 4, 2006
  15. ^ NorwegianCharts.com Different Light page. Accessed: October 29, 2006
  16. ^ SwissCharts.com Different Light page. Accessed: November 4, 2006
  17. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 26. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.

Additional sources used:

  • www.aurealm.com/bangdisc.htm (No longer online)

External links[edit]

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