We Are the '80s

by: The Bangles

The Bangles have had many, many compilations released between their disbandment in the late '80s and the 2006 release of VH1 Classic/Legacy's We Are the '80s comp. All of these have focused on the group's big hits of the mid-'80s -- they're heavy on 1986's Different Light, offer the MTV hits from their 1984 debut LP, All Over the Place, and have the hits from 1988's Everything, with nothing from their cult classic 1982 eponymous EP. That's also the case with We Are the '80s, which contains all the usual suspects: "Manic Monday," "If She Knew What She Wants," "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Walking Down Your Street," "Hazy Shade of Winter," "In Your Room," "Eternal Flame," "Hero Takes a Fall," and "Going Down to Liverpool." All of these were also on the two previous standard-bearers among Bangles compilations, 1990's Greatest Hits and 2004's Essential Bangles, and if you have either, there's no need to get these. But if you're choosing between those two and this, We Are the '80s has a slight edge, since it balances the big songs from Different Light with five selections from All Over the Place while keeping selections from Everything to three tracks -- and by doing so, it captures the band at their best. The first two LPs plus the EP are still worth hearing by any pop fan, but those listeners looking for just the hits will be well served by this fine collection. [We Are the 80's was reissued in 2008 as Playlist: The Very Best of the Bangles]. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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