Our top 10 Bang Tango songs list digs deep into the music of an American band renowned for its glam metal sound infused with hard rock and funk-rock elements. Bang Tango’s inception happened in 1988, with the band reviving its musical career two times after going on hiatus. While the Bang Tango line-up has changed over time, its line-up since 2019 consists of the band’s original members. However, lead vocalist Joe Lesté has been the only constant member of the band throughout all its different line-ups.
Bang Tango began performing on shows and clubs, gaining popularity within its first year in the music industry. The band intrigued a lot of record labels during this time. Eventually, the band signed a recording contract with MCA Records. Without hesitation, Bang Tango started recording songs for the band’s first EP, The Live Injection (1989).
The EP was released a few months ahead of the band’s debut album. Psycho Café (1989) pushed the band’s fame, rising to the fifty-eight position on the Billboard 200. The album remains the band’s most successful release to date on the charts. Psycho Café (1989) is also home to some of the best Bang Tango songs, including “Attack of Life,” “Breaking Up a Heart of Stone,” and “Someone Like You.”
The band went on tour to promote the album. Bang Tango toured alongside other reputable artists, including L.A. Guns, BulletBoys, Cheap Trick, and Ratt. Almost two years later, the band started working on its sophomore release, Dancin’ on Coals. While Dancin’ on Coals (1991) was also a success, it failed to match the performance of the band’s debut album, Psycho Café (1989).
Dancin’ on Coals (1991) made it to number one hundred and thirteen on the Billboard 200. The album was produced by John Jansen, who has worked with other artists, including Alice Cooper, The Who, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Frankie Miller. Bang Tango went on tour to promote the album as an opening act to Cheap Trick. Some of the best Bang Tango songs on the album include “Untied and True,” “Soul to Soul,” and “Dancin’ on Coals.”
MCA Records felt that the band’s trajectory was downwards; hence, investing in Bang Tango wasn’t an optimal idea. Nevertheless, the band teamed up with producer Howard Benson, who produced its debut album, to work on a third LP. However, the LP remained unreleased until the band teamed with Music for Nations.
Love After Death (1994) was released in UK and Japan. The album was never released in the US despite the band performing songs on the album live. Eventually, Bang Tango disbanded after the European tour in support of its third LP in 1995. The band revived its musical pursuits in 1996 but still went on hiatus in 1999.
Bang Tango later reunited in 2003, releasing an album a year later. Ready to Go (2004) failed to revive the band’s mainstream success. Bang Tango later released two other albums, From the Hip (2006) and Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt (2011). However, none of its releases has managed to take the band back to the levels of success it achieved with its debut album. Here we present the best Bang Tango songs of all time.
#10 – Live Life
Opening our top 10 Bang Tango songs list is the bass-driven hit “Live Life.” The song is featured on Bang Tango’s most recent album, Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt (2011). “Live Life” brings the best of bass guitar skills by Lance Eric, who joined the band in 2005. The song brings back the band’s vintage sound, standing out amongst other releases on Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt (2011).
#9 – Mother Mary
“Mother Mary” is one of the best Bang Tango songs from the album From the Hip (2006). While the band might have pursued some glam metal in its prime years, change was knocking, and Bang Tango had no option but to evolve with time. “Mother Mary,” just like most of the songs on From the Hip, finds the band trying to explore some melodic hard rock sound. However, what sets “Mother Mary” apart from other songs on the album is Joe’s magnificent vocal transformation. His vocals on this song feel a little similar to those of former Stone Temple Pilots’ lead vocalist Scott Weiland.
#8 – Midnight Struck
Coming in at the eighth position on our top 10 Bang Tango songs is the tempestuous ballad “Midnight Struck.” Bang Tango released the song on the band’s album Dancin’ on Coals (1991). The song alludes to the sadness and loneliness that creep in when a lover is out there past midnight (probably cheating). “Midnight Struck” finds the singer showcasing how he became friends with emptiness during his lone nights waiting for his lover.
#7 – Ready to Go
“Ready to Go” is an awe-inspiring glam metal ballad that finds the band trying to chase success on the metal scene. This is despite most of the glam metal bands disbanding or rather changing their musical style. “Ready to Go” is the album title track to the band’s fourth LP. The song was released under Shrapnel Records, which was home to other artists, including Jason Becker, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, and Phantom Blue.
#6 – Dancin’ on Coals
Number six on our top 10 Bang Tango songs list is the epic track “Dancin’ on Coals.” The song serves as the lead single to Bang Tango’s sophomore album. “Dancin’ on Coals” is a high-spirited ballad thanks to the thunderous yet awe-inspiring guitar riffs. The song finds Joe singing about his endless pursuit of joy. While this might take him to the extremes at times, he feels like he needs to do anything just to afford that smile on his face.
#5 – Suck It Up
Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt (2011) is also home to our fifth song on the top 10 Bang Tango songs list, “Suck It Up.” The song brings the best of Joe Lesté’s vocals. At the time of the song’s release, Joe was the only original member of the band. “Suck It Up” also finds Scott LaFlamme giving his all on the guitars. His superb guitar licks add glamour to the song.
#4- New Generation
“New Generation” is a glam metal ballad that made its way to becoming one of the best Bang Tango songs from Love After Death (1994). Initially, the album’s recordings were shelved after MCA Records cut ties with the band. However, Music for Nations offered to release the band’s third LP. “New Generation” features backing vocals by Kyle Stevens and Kyle Kyle. This is among the last songs by the band’s original lineup.
#3- Untied And True
The third song on our top 10 Bang Tango songs list is the incredible hit “Untied and True.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore album Dancin’ on Coals (1991). “Untied and True” was a minor hit in the US that received some airplay. The song alludes to how a man wishes to treat his lady like a queen, reminding her that he will keep her by his side forever.
#2- Breaking Up a Heart of Stone
“Breaking Up a Heart of Stone” is one of the musical gems from the band’s debut album. The song features a catchy bassline that builds up its melodic vibe. Like most of the songs from the album, “Breaking Up a Heart of Stone” blends glam metal and hard rock elements to deliver one of the band’s most refreshing sounds.
#1- Someone Like You
Number one on our top 10 Bang Tango songs list is the electrifying hit “Someone Like You.” The song is the brightest of the all tracks on Psycho Café (1989). Joe showcases an amazing vocal range on this song, making him one of the most talented vocalists on the glam metal scene. The song feels almost perfect thanks to the exquisite work by the rest band members on their respective instruments. Sadly, not even “Someone Like You” managed to chart, proving how underrated the band was at its prime.
Feature Photo: Ted Van Pelt from Mechanicsburg, PA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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