The Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter” 1987. Def J…

The Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter” 1987. Def Jam Recordings. This week 30 years ago, The Bangles’ cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966 hit was climbing up the charts (eventually hitting #2); it was the second single to be released from the soundtrack of most depressing and nihilistic Christmas movie ever, Less Than Zero. (The book is even less holiday-friendly: the screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel is loose at best; Ellis hated the sanitized story but a faithful rendition was deemed too edgy and studio execs nixed much of the bisexuality subplot, among other things.) The Bangles’ “Hazy Shade of Winter” is one of the best cover songs ever – they take reliably melancholy Simon and Garfunkel and add to them a desperate rock-n-roll beat, hook and feminine harmonies (and sleigh bells!), making a perfect late Reagan-Just-Say-No-era holiday anthem. The B-side on the 45 is Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ “She Lost You,” which also appears on the Less Than Zero soundtrack.  “She Lost You” was first recorded in 1965 by The Zephyrs. 

Time, time, time
See what’s become of me…

Time, time, time
See what’s become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Hear the Salvation Army Band
Down by the riverside
It’s bound to be a better ride
Than what you’ve got planned
Carry a cup in your hand

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Hang onto your hopes my friend
That’s an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again

Look around
Grass is high
Fields are ripe
It’s the springtime of my life

Seasons change with their scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground