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The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian (1986)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.5
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Walk Like an Egyptian” is a song recorded by the American band The Bangles. It was released in 1986 as the third ...

“Walk Like an Egyptian” is a song recorded by the American band The Bangles. It was released in 1986 as the third single from the album Different Light. It was the band’s first number one single, being certified gold by the RIAA, and became Billboard’s number-one song of 1987.

Chart performances

“Walk Like an Egyptian” was released as the third single from Different Light. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1986. The song reached a peak of number three on the UK Singles Chart in November 1986 and reached number one in the US on December 20, staying at the top of the Hot 100 for four weeks, carrying it over into January 1987. The success of the song and “Manic Monday” propelled Different Light to number two on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the group’s most successful album.

Music video

The music video for “Walk Like an Egyptian” was nominated for Best Group Video at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards. It features both the Bangles performing the song at a concert and scenes of people dancing in poses similar to those depicted in the Ancient Egyptian reliefs that inspired songwriter Liam Sternberg. Most of these people were filmed on the streets of New York City, although special effects were used to modify photos of Princess Diana, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and the Statue of Liberty. In a popular scene from the video, Hoffs was filmed in a close-up where her eyes moved from side to side, looking left and right. When asked about the scene in an interview, Hoffs explained that she was looking at individual audience members during the video shoot, which took place with a live audience. Looking directly at individual audience members was a technique she used to overcome stage fright, and she was unaware that the camera had a close-up on her while she was employing this technique, switching between one audience member on her left and one on her right.

Airplay restrictions

“Walk Like an Egyptian” was one of the songs which were claimed to have been banned by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Snopes in researching this found that the list was simply suggestions regarding songs to be sensitive about when deciding what to play. It was also included in a “list of records to be avoided” drawn up by the BBC during the Gulf War.

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