Walk Like an Egyptian

“All the old paintings on the tombs,
They do the sand dance don’t you know…”

In a decade known for odd songs with indecipherable lyrics (Remember “Africa”? How about “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Abacab”?) there was perhaps none sillier than “Walk Like an Egyptian” by Bangles (no, not THE Bangles… It’s just Bangles.)

Rumor has it that songwriter Liam Sternberg was inspired during a ferry ride one morning, where he noticed that the people trying to keep their balance looked a lot like the folks from back in King Tut’s days. (We’re fortunate that he drew that comparison, right? For some reason, “Walk Like a Drunken Sailor” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.)

After Toni Basil (she of “Mickey” fame) passed on it, Bangles snapped it up for their 1986 album Different Light. They only had 11 songs ready, and they needed a twelfth, so Sternberg’s wacky ode made the cut.

“Walk Like an Egyptian” entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts in September of 1986, and 12 weeks later, it was the number one song in all the land– and it stayed on top for four weeks. It was easily Bangles most successful song, but it was also the one that is blamed for starting their downward spiral toward breakup.

You’ll notice that three of the four Bangles (Susanna Hoffs, Michael Steele, and Vicki Peterson) all sang a verse, but poor drummer Debbi Peterson was left out. Feelings were hurt, egos were bruised, and… well, you know the rest.

Looking back, Hoffs explained in a 2009 interview that she doesn’t regret doing “Walk” at all. In fact, she says, “[I]t’s become sort of iconic and a celebration of a lot of the good things about the 80’s – the escapist and sort of joyful lightheartedness of a lot of the music of the time, you know? It wasn’t that meaningful, but it was fun!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Oh-way-oh!

We ♥ Walk Like an Egyptian.

~ by weheart80s on February 9, 2011.

One Response to “Walk Like an Egyptian”

  1. Damn the song is a greatnes, am 18 but love it more than its writer

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