Greatest Hits is a compilation album by The Bangles. It was released by their record company, Columbia Records on May 8, 1990 to fulfil the band's contractual requirements. The album peaked at 97 in the Billboard Album chart.
The Greatest Hits album also featured the previously unreleased song "Everything I Wanted".
The band was formed by sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson in Los Angeles, California in 1981 as The Supersonic Bangs, later shortened to The Bangs. The band was part of the so-called Paisley Underground scene in LA, which featured groups that played a mixture of 1960s influenced folk-rock and jangle pop with a more modern punk-ish/garage band undertone.
They were forced to change their name to The Bangles when a band from New Jersey, also named The Bangs, threatened to sue.
The initial Bangles line-up of Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitars), Vicki Peterson (guitars/vocals), Debbi Peterson (vocals/drums) and Annette Zilinskas (vocals/bass) recorded at least one single as the Bangs, then made their recorded debut as the Bangles with a self titled EP, which was released on their manager Miles Copeland's Faulty Products label in 1982. Zilinskas subsequently left the band, and was replaced on bass and vocals by Michael Steele.
The Bangles' full-length debut album on Columbia, All Over the Place (1984), captured their power-pop roots, featuring the singles "Hero Takes a Fall" and the Kimberley Rew-penned "Going Down To Liverpool" (originally recorded by Rew's band Katrina and the Waves). The record attracted good critical notices, and the video for "Liverpool" featured Leonard Nimoy, which helped to generate further publicity.
"Manic Monday" went on to become a #2 hit in the US, the UK and Germany, outsold at the time only by another Prince composition, his own "Kiss". The accompanying album Different Light (1986) was more polished than its predecessor and, with the help of the worldwide #1 hit "Walk Like an Egyptian", saw the band firmly in the mainstream as radio and MTV stalwarts.
There was friction among band members after the media began singling out Hoffs as the lead singer of the group, due to Columbia Records practice of releasing mostly singles on which Hoffs sang lead vocal. In fact, the group's albums were fairly evenly divided among all of the band's members, all of whom wrote or co-wrote their songs. In 1987, Hoffs starred in a film, The Allnighter, which was directed by her mother, Tamar Simon-Hoffs, and was critically panned. That, and the firing of their manager Miles Copeland, further exacerbated the dissent among the band members. But they soon had another US #2 hit with a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade Of Winter" from the soundtrack of the film Less Than Zero, whereas on the other side of the Atlantic the melancholic "If She Knew What She Wants" reached the German Top 20.
1988's Everything was another multi-platinum smash and included their biggest selling single in the soft ballad "Eternal Flame" which was inspired by Elvis Presley's eternal flames and one at a local synagogue in Palm Springs which co-writer Billy Steinberg attended. The single became another worldwide No.1 hit.
The working relationships within the band had broken down, however, and they split shortly after, with Hoffs embarking on a solo career and Vicki Peterson touring as a member of the Go-Go's and the Continental Drifters.
Hoffs released a solo album When You're a Boy, produced by former Bangles producer David Kahne. The album spawned a minor hit "My Side of the Bed",and a Cyndi Lauper penned "Unconditional Love", but it stalled, and Hoffs was dropped from Columbia during the recording of her second solo album. The second solo album Susanna Hoffs, released in 1996, fared better critically, but it too had disappointing sales. Hoffs married film director Jay Roach (Austin Powers and Meet the Parents), and their union led to the Bangles' reunion of 2000. Vicki Peterson joined and contributed songs to the New Orleans band the Continental Drifters, which received rave reviews. Debbie Peterson had a short-lived career with Siobhan Maher under the name of Kindred Spirit, while Steele lived in semi-retirement in California.