Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Go Go’s- Beauty and the Beat
There were many all girl bands that came and went before 1981. I’m even going to pay tribute to one of them in my between the years post once the tour of 1981 is over. Don’t worry, that’s still quite a long way away. However, there was something a little different about The Go Go’s when I first heard them in 1981. They weren’t heavy rock but they were hard enough in a new wave sort of way that was popular around this time. There was another reason I got into them. I once stated that in the mid 80s, many male metalheads, myself included, listened to Bon Jovi on account of the sole fact that our girl friends did. While, I wasn’t dating any particular lady at the time, I noted while at a party one evening that many of the ladies there were getting into them. It could be said that The Go Go’s were the first band that both genders could listen to without any worry girls being branded a rock slut and boys being branded a p*ssy.
Back in this time, there were some prehistoric notions that women couldn’t play instruments and that all female bands were there more to be looked at than listened to. I never thought that even before I heard this album. Still, this album shows that these girls are capable of playing although I will admit I liked looking at them too. True, the video to their first single “Our Lips Are Sealed” betrays this fact but even though it has been heralded as one of the greats of the 80s, there are some other good rock tunes here as well. Besides, I always preferred the other single, “We Got the Beat” anyway. If I had too much to drink and this song came on, I would start pogo dancing to it. However, the album doesn’t end with that song either. For me, “Lust to Love” is a hidden gem of a rocker and after its slow start, “This Town” shapes up pretty well. “Fading Fast” is another decent one as it “How Much More” and “Tonite” isn’t bad either. I thought the only track that didn’t quite measure up to the others was “Skidmarks On My Heart,” not that it was a bad song, I just couldn’t get into it. As one good song doesn’t make a great album, one song not up with the others, doesn’t in any way detract from the rest of the album.
1. Our Lips Are Sealed
2. How Much More
4. Lust to Love
5. This Town
6. We Got The Beat
7. Fading Fast
9. You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)
10. Skidmarks On My Heart
11. Can’t Stop the World
Belinda Carlisle- lead vocals
Charlotte Caffey- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Jane Wiedlin- rhythm guitar, vocals
Kathy Valentine- bass, backing vocals
Gina Schock- drums, percussion
Back on the subject of musicianship, I have always thought that Charlotte Caffey doesn’t get the respect she deserved then or now. I’m not saying she’s a Clapton or a Van Halen etc but she does play well enough to be respected. Listen to the album and judge for yourself as this is definitely one album from an all girl band that should be taken seriously. Did they open the way for others? Well, we can answer that as we journey through history.
Next post: Another band that should be taken seriously.
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