On this day in music history: January 2, 1986 …

On this day in music history: January 2, 1986 – “Different Light”, the second album by The Bangles is released. Produced by David Kahne, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Studios and Sunset Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA from June – September 1985. Receiving critical acclaim for their major label debut “All Over The Place”, The Bangles hit the road during 1984 as the opening act for artists including Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis And The News. By the Summer of 1985, the band are back in the studio working on their second release with producer David Kahne (Fishbone, Romeo Void, Translator). Kahne looks to steer the band away from the more 60’s oriented garage rock, toward a more polished and radio friendly sound. As well as writing material themselves, The Bangles cover songwriter Jules Shear’s (“All Through The Night”) “If She Knew What She Wants” (#29 Pop) and Big Star’s power pop classic “September Gurls” on the album. Prior to the start of the sessions, the band are contacted by Prince who tells them that he has a song for them. Having seen the video for “Hero Takes A Fall” on MTV, he is taken with the band’s sound and in particular, lead singer and guitarist Susanna Hoffs. The song he offers up is “Manic Monday” (#2 Pop), originally written for Apollonia 6 in 1984, but is pulled from that project when Prince isn’t satisfied with Apollonia’s vocals. The Bangles eagerly accept the song, and put their own unique stamp on it. Credited to “Christopher” as in Christopher Tracy, Prince’s character in the film “Under The Cherry Moon”, the song is issued as the first single from “Different Light” just ahead of the full album. It hits the radio and quickly races up the pop singles chart. By April of 1986, it’s sitting in the runner up position the on the Billboard Hot 100 behind Prince’s smash “Kiss”. “Manic Monday” thrusts The Bangles into the pop music spotlight, opening the door to the album’s success. It spins off two more singles including “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1 Pop) and “Walking Down Your Street” (#11 Pop). The track “Following” (#55 UK, #22 IRE), written and sung by bassist Michael Steele is issued as a single in the UK and Ireland only in the Spring of 1987. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2007 by Wounded Bird Records, including the 12" dance remix of “Walk Like An Egyptian” as an additional bonus track. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued by German label Yellow Label Records in 2013. “Different Light” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.