R.I.P (M.Steele)

Year: 1994
Band: Crash Wisdom
Album: Unreleased.
First Live Performance: 5/12/94
Last Live Performance: 6/2/94


Sunday Solitaire
Honing your agenda by the pool
New friends must be found
Everyone has had enough of you
So now they know you’d sell them down the river
In a heartbeat just to save yourself

It wasn’t any fun
You stepped on everyone
Traded off your heart’s desire for greed
There’s no salvation for a sanitised soul
You’re not fooling me

Mirror on the wall
Do you think anybody really cares
For your bloated bank account
And all your phony little love affairs
And who died and made you the holy alchemist
Turning shit in a pile of fit for sale…

It wasn’t any fun
You stepped on everyone
Traded off your heart’s desire for greed
There’s no redemption for a plasticised soul
You’re not fooling me


R.I.P is another of Michael’s unreleased Crash Wisdom songs, with no versions currently circulating besides live renditions from May and June 1994. Its lyrics are (along with Between The Two) perhaps the most direct of her work from that time. As can be seen fairly clearly from the lyrics, they are directed towards a figure who has sold out and is desperately trying to save themselves. Unfortunately their past behaviour has led everyone to have had enough of them and their ‘plasticised soul’.

The inspiration for R.I.P.
The inspiration for R.I.P.

Although Michael has never directly stated who the song is about, one interpretation is that it refers to Susanna Hoffs. This is plausible when the song is placed in context, with Sue going solo to release When You’re A Boy (1991) and after its commercial failure attempting to bring The Bangles back together. Additionally, the line ‘phony little love affairs’ may be seen as referring to the rumored romances Sue had with Prince and other celebrities in the 1980s, which didn’t happen but were nonetheless reported in the media. With Michael effectively declaring the band R.I.P at this point, in 1994 there was very little chance a reunion would happen. While feelings changed on the subject several years later, the song was understandably never revived by the Bangles. The May version also features backing vocals by Vicki Peterson.

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