[16] Bangles, ‘Manic Monday’


On the other hand, this is “good and lovely and great”, so at least I got the order right. Maybe starting school has turned Junior all militant, because – on learning the Bangles were an all-girl group – she announced, “I only want to listen to music by girls now.”

So of course I told her this was written by a boy. Well, Prince anyway. Along with his ‘Take Me With U’, this was meant for the debut album by Apollonia 6, but the sly old dog kept the former for his own Purple Rain and used this as leverage for a go at Susanna Hoffs. Who can blame him? She was cute; even more so when perched all petite in front of her somewhat butch bandmates. Come on, one of them was called Michael.

‘Manic Monday’ is a pretty ditty, buoyed by rolling piano fills and the other girls’ Byrdsian harmonies. It broke the Bangles over here, but they could never consistently capitalise, only ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ and ‘Eternal Flame’ providing sporadic highs while the rest of their output took the middle ground. Still, ‘Manic Monday’ was a No.2 hit in the UK, and runner-up in the US too, losing out Stateside to a certain purple pompatus and a certain record which we may or may not return to in a bit.

Wish it was Sunday (there’s football on):

[1] TLC, ‘Waterfalls’

There’s a persistent rumour that this song was written by Prince, perhaps spread by those who refused to believe his muse had long since shrugged its shoulders and snuck off. Anyway, I don’t think it is, not even one of his ‘Manic Monday’ noms de plume. No doubting though that its tight funkiness and melody could have graced the mauve midget’s mid-’80s output.

So, it’s No.1. It’s not the expected conclusion of the preceding tracks, but I never tire of it. Not one jot. The soft wah-wah, T-Boz’s purr, the flowing bassline, Left-Eye’s arsonist Minnie Mouse rap – it sticks together like glue, every element essential to the sequencing of the tune. Yeah, the lyrics can be facile, but they lodge in your brain, the harmonies papering over the cracks. TLC led the ’90s r’n’b girl group boom, tracks like this, ‘Creep’ and ‘No Scrubs’ easily outstripping their peers.

A big hit with Junior too, this time giving the tray of her high chair a hammering, bouncing up and down within the strictures of the straps, her eyes crinkling with delight. A perfectly formed little gem for, well, you know. Aww.