Born in a Jewish family as Susanna Lee Hoffs on January 17, 1959 in Newport Beach in California, Susanna Hoffs is an American vocalist, guitarist and actress who is best recognized as a member of the all-female pop group called ‘The Bangles’.
Susanna’s mother Tamar Simon Hoffs was an ardent fan of The Beatles and often played their records for her when she was a child. When Susanna was in her teens, she took up playing the guitar and associated with Vicki and Debbi Peterson who were looking for a singer for their band that would later develop into ‘The Bangles’. In the meantime, Susanna attended the Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, Los Angles. And in 1980, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Art.
Career With The Bangles
After her graduation, Susanna joined the all-female band called ‘The Bangles’, which released its debut album ‘All Over the Place’ in 1984. While this album was a modest hit owing to the single ‘Hero Takes a Fall’, the group tasted its first commercial success with the release of its second album ‘Different Light’ in 1986. This album contained two super hit singles – ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ and ‘Monday Maniac’. In the same year, Susanna Hoffs co-wrote the song ‘I Need a Disguise’ for Belinda Carlisle’s debut album titled ‘Belinda’.
In 1987, Susanna Hoffs acted in the movie directed by her mother Tamar Simon Hoffs ‘The Allnighter’ and gained some fame as an actress. As Susanna Hoffs became more and more famous, she began to appear on the covers of several magazines and the Rickenbacker Guitar Company released a Susanna Hoffs model, which the artist modified and still continues to play in her live concerts. Interestingly enough, though ‘The Bangles’ did not have any lead singer and each vocalist sang leads on different subjects, many of Susanna Hoff’s ardent fans regarded her as the lead vocalist of the band.
In 1988, The Bangles released their third album titled ‘Everything’ and this contained their best selling single ‘Eternal Flame’ Despite such success, The Bangles split up in 1989 However, Susanna did not give up hope and in a bid to reunite the members, she contacted each of them and in 1999 they recorded a single ‘Get the Girl’ for an Austin Powers film. In 2000, The Bangles members announced their decision to reunite and subsequently in 2003 they produced their fourth album titled ‘Doll Revolution’.
When the Bangles disbanded in 1989, Susanna Hoffs launched her own solo career and two years after the band closed down, she released ‘When You’re A Boy’. This album featured songs written by Cyndi Lauper, Juliana Hatfield and Diane Warren and such an assortment of songwriters made the album a little unfocused. However, in spite of this, a single from the album ‘My Side of the Bed’ made a place in the Top 40 hit.
After the release of ‘When You’re a Boy’, Susanna Hoffs took a sabbatical with a view to focus on her domestic life. She, however, returned to the music scene in 1996 recording a self-titled album ‘Susanna Hoffs’ – her first for the London Records. Although the album failed to yield a single hit, it received better reviews than her debut album. However, the singles ‘All I Want’ received some appreciation.
Before leaving Colombia Recoeds, Susanna Hoffs recorded another album during 1993/1994, but it is yet to be released. On the other hand, Freddy Blohm’s movie ‘The Corner of Her Eye’ was based on Susanna Hoff. She also featured in the first Austin Powers film portraying the role of a member of a 1960 conjured rock group called the ‘Ming Tea’.
Teaming Up With Matthew Sweet
Susanna Hoffs teamed up with Ming Tea rocker Matthew Sweet in 2006 under the pseudo name ‘Sid ‘n’ Susie’. Together, they recorded 15 cover editions of classical rock songs for an album ‘Under the Covers, Vol. 1’. While the album was released in April 2006, the duo appeared on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ on July 18 to endorse the album as well as their impending tour.