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WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN

 
SONG & HIT DETAILS
 
Artist Name: THE BANGLES
 
Hit Month (Australia): 1987
 
Song Author: Liam Sternberg
 
 
Year Recorded: 1986
 
SONG PROFILE
 
Walk Like an Egyptian

Single by The Bangles from the album Different Light
B-side "Angels Don't Fall in Love"
"Not Like You"
Released September 1, 1986 (UK)
Format 7" single, 12" maxi
Recorded Sunset Sound Factory (1985)
Genre Rock
Length 3:24
Label Columbia
Bangle-a-lang Music
Writer(s) Liam Sternberg
Producer David Kahne

Liam Sternberg wrote the song after seeing people on a ferry walking awkwardly to keep their balance, which reminded him of figures in Ancient Egyptian reliefs.

The opening lyrics state, "All the old paintings on the tombs/They do the sand dance don't you know".

The reference to the sand dance possibly refers to a music hall routine performed by Wilson, Keppel and Betty where Wilson and Keppel danced around in the postures portrayed on the reliefs wearing the fez while Betty watched.

By January 1984, Sternberg was finished cutting a demo version of the song with Marti Jones singing the lyric.

He offered his song to Toni Basil, who turned it down. From Peer Southern Publishing, David Kahne, the producer of Different Light, received a copy of the demo and liked it, especially Jones's "offhand quality".

Kahne took the song to the Bangles who agreed to record it. He had each member of the group sing the lyrics to determine who would sing each verse, with Vicki Peterson, Michael Steele, and Susanna Hoffs singing lead vocals on the first, second, and third verses, respectively, in the final version.

Kahne did not like any of Debbi Peterson's leads, and so she was relegated to backing vocals.

This angered Debbi and caused tension within the group, as she felt the rest of the band was not supportive. The situation was exacerbated by the drumming in the song being done by a drum machine instead of by her, further diminishing her role in the song.

"Walk Like an Egyptian" was one of the songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

"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 U.S. on December 20, staying at the top of the Hot 100 for four weeks, carrying it over into January 1987.

The song is the first song by an all-female group playing their own instruments to top the Billboard singles chart. 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

The song was also the Bangles' last non-cover Top 40 hit that wasn't co-written by at least one band member. Subsequent charted singles (with the exception of "Hazy Shade of Winter", which is a cover) were co-written by Susanna Hoffs and Debbie Peterson.

The music video for "Walk Like an Egyptian" was nominated for Best Group Video in the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards.

In 1990, "Walk Like an Egyptian" was re-issued as a single in the UK to promote the Bangles' Greatest Hits album. It featured new remixes for the song called Ozymandias Remix. With the group having parted ways by then, little promotion was made and it charted at a poor #73 in the UK.

2011 Egyptian RevolutionDuring the 2011 Egyptian Revolution the song enjoyed a surge in popularity among the younger population of protesters

1985 release
7" single
1."Walk Like an Egyptian" (3:21)
2."Angels Don't Fall in Love" (3:21)

12" maxi
1."Walk Like an Egyptian" (extended dance mix) (5:48)
2."Walk Like an Egyptian" (dub mix) (5:17)
3."Walk Like an Egyptian" (a capella mix) (2:47)

Australian Singles Chart 1.