The Bangles “Eternal Flame” From 1989

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The Bangles “Eternal Flame” From 1989

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The Bangles 1986. L-R Vicki Peterson, Michael Steele, Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson. Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns.

It was this week 30 years ago, in 1989, American all-girl group The Bangles hit No. 1 with the smash hit, “Eternal Flame”, from the album Everything (1988). It was a global phenomenon, peaking at No. 1 in the charts of nine countries, including the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and here in Australia where it was the fourth highest-selling single of 1989.

The Bangles scored several hit singles during the 1980s, including; "Walk Like an Egyptian", the Prince-penned "Manic Monday" and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's, “A Hazy Shade of Winter". But their enduring legacy would be the runaway success of "Eternal Flame."

The soft ballad was co-written by Billy Steinberg who came up with the title after talking with Susanna Hoffs about the band's visit to Graceland - Elvis Presley's estate in Memphis, Tennessee. An ‘Eternal Flame’ in memoriam to Presley is maintained on the site, but on the day the band visited, the flame had gone out and its clear-plastic enclosure was flooded. When they asked what was in the box, they were told, "That's the eternal flame".

Check out The Bangles' flawless harmonies in this live rendition of "Eternal Flame" from 1989:

Fun fact: Susanna Hoffs recorded “Eternal Flame” in the nude!

“I wasn’t on display and had my privacy behind the screen. But just the notion of it was fun and the sensation of feeling emotionally naked as well somehow brought out these vocal performances on that record, that I don’t know if I would have achieved otherwise.” [via Rock Cellar Magazine]

In the spirit of keeping Monday's fun, here's "Manic Monday" from 1986's Different Light. Featuring all of the best hairstyles from the '80s, this song was written by Prince and became The Bangles' first international hit single, peaking at No. 2 in the UK and US. It was only kept out of the top spot by Prince himself with his single "Kiss".

Relive the glory days of harmony-driven power pop with our I Like: The Bangles playlist on Spotify, featuring all the classic faves alongside some recent new tunes. 

Immerse yourself in all The Bangles Essentials on Apple Music:

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