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Michael Steele

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Michael Steele
STYSMicki1

Born:

Susan Thomas
June 2, 1955
Newport Beach, California

Genre:

Rock, folk, pop

Occupation:

Musician, songwriter, singer

Instruments played:

Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, flute, piano

Years active:

1975-2005

Michael Susanne 'Micki' Steele (born June 2, 1955) is the bassist who replaced Annette Zilinskas in 1983. At this point Steele was solely the band's bassist, with no released compositions: her only live lead vocal at this time was on the band's cover of the Yardbirds' version of "I'm Not Talkin'" by Mose Allison. Accordingly, the band's 1984 debut LP All Over The Place is the only Bangles album with no Steele-written songs; her biggest showcase on the album is the bass solo on "Tell Me". In addition to All Over The Place, in 1984 Steele also wrote and recorded the political spoken word piece "El Pollo Loco" for the double LP compilation Neighborhood Rhythms.

All Over The Place Edit

Although All Over the Place was well regarded by critics, it was not a chart success. Like her bandmates, Steele only achieved popular success and fame with the 1986 release of Different Light and its hit singles "Manic Monday" (#2) and "Walk Like An Egyptian" (#1). In addition to playing melodic and often intricate basslines, Steele sings lead on two songs: a cover of Big Star's "September Gurls" and the self-penned "Following," a stark and introspective ballad far from the glossy sound and more standard lyrical themes of Different Light's other tracks. Rolling Stone magazine praised "Following" upon the album's release as its standout song, a dark composition that pointed the band in new jazz and folk directions. Steele also sings lead on the second verse of "Walk Like An Egyptian."

EverythingEdit

A commercial success on its 1988 release, Everything would also be the Bangles' final album before their 1989 breakup. In terms of Steele's career, Everything also reflects her development as a songwriter, with her three songs, "Complicated Girl", "Something To Believe In" and "Glitter Years" being the most she had written (or co-written) on an album to this point. Two further songs written for the Everything sessions did not appear on the album, with "Between The Two" eventually appearing on 2003's Doll Revolution and "Happy Man Today", played live on the band's summer 1987 tour, remaining unreleased. In addition to her usual bass credits, Steele is also credited with several "occasional" guitar parts.

1990s to presentEdit

After the demise of the Bangles, Steele initially sought to write and record material for a solo release. How far she got in doing so is not known as her promised record contract was cancelled. Despite this setback, Steele remained musically active throughout much of the decade. Besides recording songs for an unreleased solo album, she played in several bands in this time, most notably as rhythm guitarist and singer in her short-lived band Crash Wisdom (producing several more unreleased songs) and as bassist in Michelle Muldrow's San Francisco based group Eyesore. By the late 1990s, the Bangles agreed to reunite, with Steele being the last holdout, only joining the reunion with the expectation that they would focus on releasing new material and not become a 'Dick Clark oldies band'. The band soon recorded a 15-track album that would eventually be released in 2003 as Doll Revolution. Like Everything, the album had three Steele songs; "Nickel Romeo", "Between The Two" and the previously unheard "Song For A Good Son". Positive and negative reviews alike again noted these songs for their strikingly different sound and mood to the rest of the album. Despite initial brief tours in 2003, various family commitments for her bandmates meant that the band could not tour and support the album following its American release as much as Steele wished, a problem later noted by Susanna Hoffs as contributing to Steele's leaving the band in the middle of a tour. Although her final concert was in early 2004, her departure was not officially acknowledged until May 2005.

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