Song: “Hazy Shade of Winter”

The Bangles covered a Paul Simon song, and ended up besting the original.

In 1987, Brad Pitt earned $38 as an extra in the film Less Than Zero, in which the Bangles’ cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” was featured.

Written by Paul Simon and released by Simon & Garfunkel in 1966, the initial version was more acoustic and had a bridge twice as long. It also only had two harmonies, of course.

The Bangles rocked it up.

Guitarist Vicki Peterson noted how hard it was to translate the lick from the original — played on a 12-string acoustic — to a six-string electric guitar, while preserving its feel.

This is one of the few covers of a Simon & Garfunkel song that charted better than the original, reaching #2 on the charts while the original reached #13.

The vocal prowess of the Bangles is on full display. The harmonies are excellent, they manage the dynamics and emotion wonderfully, and the build in the final section (and Susanna Hoffs’ final high harmony) . . . wow.

I was lucky enough to see the Bangles in concert in college, and they were amazing. What a great group, and what a great catalogue.