Song: “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles
Reached #1: April 1, 1989 (their second, 1 week)
The reality is that the novelty always overshadowed the ability.
The Bangles were, regardless of gender, a very talented rock group. Toss in the fact that they were also four attractive women, and it becomes rather obvious how they hit the top of the charts, no?
“Eternal Flame” was inspired by the eternal flame at Elvis’ gravesite, which Susanna Hoffs had seen not too long before the songwriting session that led to the song.
Of course, “Bangles” wasn’t the original name of the group – it was “The Colors”. Then they became “The Bangs”, and if it hadn’t been for legal problems with the name, they might have ridden the more risqué name to the top of the charts…
…and who knows what might have happened if their record label hadn’t obsessed on the songs sung by Hoffs. In reality, all four members of the band shared lead vocals, but Columbia decided to push Hoffs as “lead singer”, releasing singles that had her on lead. The rest of the band… well… didn’t like it. They broke up shortly after “Eternal Flame” hit #1, and didn’t get back together for a decade.
Let me close with a bit of trivia that reads like an April Fools’ gag: allegedly, Susanna Hoffs did the studio work for “Eternal Flame” while naked, after being told that Olivia Newton-John did the same.
And while it would’ve been interesting to be a fly on that wall, Debbi was my favorite. 🙂
There are no #1s tomorrow, so we’ll look back at a song that gained more fame (and infamy) long after its release than it did when it hit #1.
Other songs that reached #1 on April 1:
2006 – “Temperature” by Sean Paul (his second, 1 week)