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Released: January 1986

Rating: 3.783 (average of 10 ratings)

Genre: pop

Quotable:Different Light turned the Bangles into bona fide pop stars, but it also transformed a spunky and distinctive band into a comparatively faceless vehicle for a hit-seeking producer.” – Mark Deming, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Manic Monday
  2. In a Different Light
  3. Walking Down Your Street
  4. Walk Like an Egyptian
  5. Standing in the Hallway
  6. Return Post
  7. If She Knew What She Wants
  8. Let It Go
  9. September Gurls
  10. Angels Don’t Fall in Love
  11. Following
  12. Not Like You

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 3.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.3
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 3.3


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 2
peak on U.K. album chart 3

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Manic Monday (1/25/86) #2 US, #2 UK, #10 AC, #43 AR
  • If She Knew What She Wants (4/26/86) #27a US, #31 UK, #24 AC
  • Walk Like an Egyptian (9/13/86) #1 US, #3 UK, sales: 1.0 m
  • Walking Down Your Street (1/10/87) #10a US, #16 UK, #33 AC
  • Following (4/18/87) #55 UK

Different Light
“The Bangles’ first album, All Over the Place, may have earned them a smattering of radio and MTV airplay, but it’s clear that with Different Light they were aiming for much higher stakes.” MD Different Light is certainly the band’s “best known album, with a Top 5 hit single and a No. 1 hit. The album’s Top 40 sound was a departure from their earlier ‘60s-style sound. This was [also] the first album in which bassist Michael Steele sings lead vocals on some tracks.” WK

The two biggest hits from the album – Manic Monday and Walk Like an Egyptian – were written by outside writers, as was the single If She Knew What She Wants. WK The most talked about of the trio was “Manic Monday,” written by Prince. He was “reportedly infatuated with Susanna Hoffs…[and] offered to write a song for them.” MD The song’s “baroque, keyboard-dominated sound was a far cry from anything the Bangles had recorded before, and while Hoffs’ breathy voice and her bandmates’ fine harmonies fit the song like a glove, it also sent the group down a path that led them away from the ‘60s-influenced pop/rock that was their strongest suit.” MD

“Though Vicki Peterson does get to show off her guitar work on a few songs here, the differences between Different Light and All Over the Place are telling and a bit sad. The drum machines that dominate ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ and Walking Down Your Street rob the performances of the organic feel of this group’s best music, the funky accents of Standing in the Hallway are simply out of place, and while covering Big Star (September Gurls) and Jules Shear (‘If She Knew What She Wants’) may have sounded good on paper, neither performance captures what makes each song special.” MD

“And while the album struggles to rally in the last innings with the more personal air of Following and Not Like You, most of the songs struggle to stand up under David Kahne’s overly slick production and the layers of gingerbread added by a handful of guest musicians.” MD

Different Light turned the Bangles into bona fide pop stars, but it also transformed a spunky and distinctive band into a comparatively faceless vehicle for a hit-seeking producer; the group tries to let its personality shine through despite it all, but the effort fails most of the time.” MD

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

previous album: All Over the Place (1984) next album: Everything (1988)

Manic Monday

If She Knew What She Wants

Walk Like an Egyptian

Walking Down Your Street

Following (fan-made video)

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Last updated February 3, 2011.