• WARNING: Spoilers

    First of all, the band members. Susanna Hoffs, siblings Vicki and Debbi Petersen, and Michael* Steele. Susanna's the more prolific one, the movie star, 1987's The Allnighter (1987), Debbi's the blond drummer, Michael's the redhead, that leaves Vicki, who is blonde in some appearances, brunette in other.

    *a girl, despite the boy name

    HERO TAKES A FALL. Never mind all those male mannequins. Never mind the street buskers. Close your eyes and just listen to them. As the group started out, they had the determination, the drive, and most of all, the talent. Underneath it all, perhaps from the look of it, unbeknown to them, the potential to wow crowds with their looks. But that is still (mostly) absent here. The theme here is poetically a street urchin panhandling band, a metaphor for the look of their early work. There's no denying that they have what it takes, and fortunately, Prince took them under his wing. Here, goofing about as they are, you can see that they really needed it. Not so much Vicki, she'd been sass personified, and Michael also breezes along, but those other two...

    GOING DOWN TO LIVERPOOL. Little Susanna seems intimidated by Mr. Spock? Michael cannot be bothered. For some reason, they are all in a car with actor Leonard Nimoy, having a singalong with the radio from the backseat. He is in a surly mood and is having none of it, and switches the radio off, damned hitchhikers! he seems to be thinking. Vicki, in turn, doesn't take such an affront, and switches it back on. Seems the song does get past his cool, no, ice-cold, facade. They stop in a tunnel, there are pools of water in the dark and dingy place, they perform in the headlights, to their difficult audience of one, who now mellows to their sound, well, at least somewhat. Very noticable is that both Susanna and Debbi haven't found their style niche yet, they seem as out of place as can be, especially Susanna, who brings the term 'ugly duckling' to mind, but wait, swan to emerge...

    MANIC MONDAY. "Six o'clock already, I was just in the middle of a dream, I was kissing Valentino by a crystal-blue Italian stream. But I can't be late, 'cause then I guess t just won't get paid, these are the days when you wish your bed was already made. Just another manic Monday, wish you were Sunday, my I-don't-have-to-run day..." The music video that truly heralded their arrival. There'd be no looking back. This was the way to go. All glam. No more street urchins. Birds flying, spinning alarm clocks, calendar pages getting ripped off, barefoot in the park, a song about a girl having to be the breadwinner, a sign of the times. The girls in the big city. Hectic lifestyles. A race against the Monday morning clock. Michael, wearing a witchy outfit, desperately trying to find a parking space. Vicki, nonchalant as ever, wears a red beret. Flashes of Susanna in the arms of her romantic dream lover.

    IF SHE KNEW WHAT SHE WANTS. Bookended by those red, white and blue stage lights, the girls at first silhouetted and then coming into full view, with Susanna singing the lead vocals. "If she knew what she wants, he'd be giving it to her, if she knew what she needs, he can give her that too..." The Bangles perform on a slowly revolving stage with the camera moving in for close-ups on them and their musical instruments. Kisses from mystery men to Susanna and Vicki, with Michael shrugging off hers impatiently. "Some have a style that they work hard to refine, so they walk a crooked line, but she won't understand why anyone would try to walk a line when they could fly... She's got so many ideas traveling around in her head, she doesn't need nothing from mine..."

    WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN. "All the old paintings on the tombs, they do the sand dance don't you know? If you move too quick, ooh whey oh, they fall down like a domino." There isn't anything else quite nearly even like this one. Reportedly, it's the song in Principal Dooley's head in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Which means it is for crazy people only. For crazy fun-spirited people, though. The Bangles are performing live in front of a very appreciative audience, understandably, Debbi is wearing a belted body-stocking, hips swaying as she cajoles the crowd into a frenzy, and the others are all little more than variations on Victoria's Secret anyway. The sound of this number, though, the whistling, and the totally trippy off-beat (drug-inspired? sounds like it, sure does!) lyrics make it unique in the entire history of rock 'n' roll. "All the crocodiles, ooh whey oh, they snap their teeth on your cigarette." No, honestly, those are the lyrics. Controversy arose. Vicki did the lead vocals for the first verse, Michael got the second, Susanna the third, drummer Debbi got shunted out, synthetic drums even, she felt she was being pushed aside, and there began the big (infamous) dissention in the Bangles ranks. Several campy people joyously simulate the way Egyptians were seen to walk in ancient hieroglyphics. The most famous couple of the time, Prince Charles and Diana, are digitally manipulated into playing along. Even spoilsport pariah Muammar Gaddafi gets in on the act. The Statue of Liberty, old people, young people, of all nationalities, even dogs getting coaxed, the entire city, everybody mimics walking like an Egyptian...

    WALKING DOWN YOUR STREET. Huddled in front of the TV set, a group of girls, band members, eagerly await the result of a talent competition they had entered. It is then announced that they, The Blockheads, had won. Cheers all around. They pack to leave. A little goldfish gets a month-long supply in one go. Off in a red panel van. They get lost. Ask directions. Some bloke wants eagerly to lead them into perdition. They're having none of it. A Heresford bull and cow stands chewing their cud watching the girls amble their way. Finally they reach their destination through trial and error. They're the opening act for Little Richard. Smarmy little self-important showman Little Richard. Big star, huge, not! With growing dismay, Little Richard watches their stars on the rise as they take over the show and he fades into obscurity.

    IN YOUR ROOM. The camera goes down the corridor, really trippy weird color schemes, like far out, man! We see, in front of a large circular bay window, with blue sky outside, the all-girl band, Susanna doing lead guitar, and lead vocals. An eye peeping through the keyhole, obviously a very beautiful face made up invitingly. "I love it in your room at night, you're the only one that gets through to me, in the warm glow of the candlelight, oh, what you're gonna do to me? I'm alive when I'm with you, I'll do anything you want me to." We enter, Vicki is playing with a yo-yo, Michael is sitting on the side of the bed ready for tomboy baseball practice and Debbi is paging through a photo album. Susanna stands in front of the open wardrobe. "You won't regret if you let me stay, teach you everything that a boy should know..." A girl in a one-piece black bathing costume. And the band plays on. They're in a garden, Susanna wears an outfit decorated with rose prints. Now they're a bunch of hippie chicks, just look at Debbi. A funky old record-player with dizzying patterns as the record spins on the turntable. Everything is psychedelic. One big trip, man...

    ETERNAL FLAME. With Susanna singing the lead, and with almost all the attention centered on her, this video is more like a 'Susanna Hoffs & some other folks' music video, it's clear that she is the Nicole Scherzinger of these pussycat dolls. She's sitting by candlelight, softly bathed in the light of the flickering flame, soft, smooth skin, big, brown eyes, talk about sensuous, this is a romantic ballad. "Close your eyes, give me your hand, can you feel my heart beating, do you understand...?" Crashing wave, fireworks in the sky, Vicki looking orgasmic, Susanna Miss American Sweetheart on the beach, more fireworks exploding... At the end, they all come together, joyfully cavorting on the beach, if only they could have been like that in their professional relationships...

    BE WITH YOU. Written by Debbi and with her singing the lead vocals, this one is the all-out rocker, featuring a live concert performance in an auditorium attended by a full crowd. "Out my window, rain starts to fall, and the wind blows through an empty hall... In the mirror, reflections of you... In the distance I hear a sound, is that you coming around?" The girls are dressed in funky street gear, very Madonna-influenced, stockings and Christian crosses. They're at it on stage, cavorting just like the (boy) hair bands. Besotted guy fans hold up a number plate, BANGLS-1. "Should I call ya, or should I walk away?"

    Being incomplete is the only aspect of this compilation that is at fault. Surely, living up to its title, HAZY SHADE OF WINTER should have been included?