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The Bangles - Eternal Flame (1989)

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  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.77
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"Eternal Flame" is a song recorded by American pop rock group the Bangles for their 1988 album, Everything, written by group ...

"Eternal Flame" is a song recorded by American pop rock group the Bangles for their 1988 album, Everything, written by group member Susanna Hoffs with the established hit songwriting team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. Upon its 1989 single release, "Eternal Flame" became a number-one hit in nine countries, including Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Since its release, it has been covered by many musical artists, including Australian boy band Human Nature, who reached the Australian top 10 with their version, and British girl group Atomic Kitten, who topped four national charts with their rendition.

Given that the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" had been ranked by Billboard as the number one single of 1987 and that the group had reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 with "Manic Monday" and in 1987 with "Hazy Shade of Winter", the number-five Hot 100 peak of the lead single from their album Everything, "In Your Room", was a comparative disappointment with its parent album Everything—whose original Billboard 200 peak was number 33—being considered a flop. The January 1989 release of "Eternal Flame" as the new Bangles' single was heralded in The Chicago Tribune with the song described as an "old-fashioned killer ballad that is just about as far as one could get from the psychedelic sound of the group's recent Top 5 hit 'In Your Room'." "Eternal Flame" debuted at number 56 on the Hot 100 issue dated January 28, 1989, when "In Your Room" was ranked at number 34, and rose to number one after ten weeks, making the Bangles the third all-female group to top the Hot 100 multiple times, being preceded by the Shirelles and the Supremes. In addition "Eternal Flame" set a record for the song's co-writers: Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, as the first songwriting team to score a number-one Hot 100 hit five years in a row. "Eternal Flame" also afforded the Bangles a two-week tenure at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.

In the United Kingdom (see UK Singles Chart records and statistics)—where "In Your Room" had stalled at number 35—"Eternal Flame" made a rambling eight-week chart ascent into the Top 40 before vaulting 20 positions to number 13 on the chart dated April 1, 1989—the week of the single's being number one on the Hot 100—reaching number one on the UK singles chart dated April 15, 1989, and remaining there for three additional weeks. The single was still in the UK Top 40 (at number 38) dated June 17, 1989, at which point the single was deleted to clear the way for "Be with You" as third single release off the Everything album: overall "Eternal Flame" would be afforded a UK chart tenure of twenty weeks, ranking as the UK's third biggest hit for the year 1989. "Eternal Flame" spent three weeks at number one in Sweden and 18 weeks in the Swedish charts, and also spent seven weeks at number on the Dutch Top 40. The song was Australia's 4th biggest selling single of 1989 and was sent up on the Australian TV show Fast Forward.

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