Archive for Beauty and the Beat

Great Rock Albums of 1984: The Go Go’s- Talk Show

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2017 by 80smetalman

Cause and effect here: From what I remember, the third album from The Go Go’s received hardly any radio airplay although the first single, “Head Over Heels” got a decent video play on MTV. That is the effect, the cause was because I think “Talk Show” is the best of their three albums in the early 1980s. They had matured as a band by this album and while the music is still in the pop-rock, new wave vein, their playing had really improved and why it’s my favourite Go Go’s album.

Of all five ladies who comprised the band, the one whose musicianship really struck me was that of lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey. I’ll be the first to admit that she doesn’t hold a candle to Girlschool’s Kelly Johnson in the female lead guitarist sweepstakes, she does some okay solos on the tracks. “Turn to You,” “Beneath the Blue Sky” and “You Thought.” She also plays keyboards and her best efforts if probably on “Head Over Heels.” Fair play, Caffey is a very underrated musician for sure. Speaking about underrated, I think that drummer Gina Schock is much better drummer than what she’s given credit for. All drummers reading this are welcome to comment here.

Actually, I think “Talk Show” is heavier than their previous albums, “Beauty and the Beat” and “Vacation.” The songs I mentioned in the previous paragraph are all fairly hard. Not metal but they are hard enough to be a step up, “Turn to You” especially. “I’m the Only One” is even harder though. It almost explodes onto you at the beginning and that is kept up throughout the song making it the hardest rock song on the album. Plus, it has Caffey’s best guitar solo. Okay, it’s my favourite track on the album. “Capture the Light” is pretty good as well and “Mercenary” is a cool closer that gives further support to my feelings in Gina Schock’s drumming.

Track Listing:

  1. Head Over Heels
  2. Turn to You
  3. You Thought
  4. Beneath the Blue Sky
  5. Forget That Day
  6. I’m the Only One
  7. Yes or No
  8. Capture the Light
  9. I’m With You
  10. Mercenary

The Go Go’s

Belinda Carlisle- lead vocals

Charlotte Caffey- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Jane Wiedlin- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Kathy Valentine- bass, backing vocals

Gina Schock- drums, percussion, backing vocals

It is possible that “Talk Show” being my favourite Go Go’s album was why they broke up after it. I hope it’s not the case but after 1984, the Go Go’s would be no more. Lead singer, Belinda Carlisle would have a successful solo career towards the end of the decade, (I’ll cover those albums in due time) and Jane Wiedlin would have a couple of hits but for me, she’ll always be Joan of Arc in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Still, the end of the road for a band that was just discovering how good they could be.

Next post: A Poll

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Go Go’s- Vacation

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-GoGos-Vacation

Owing to a heavy work schedule over the past few days and going to visit family tomorrow, I’m afraid I won’t be getting two posts out this week, ┬ámy apologies. Although I do have to share some blame because instead of getting on the computer on Monday evening, I decided to watch the recorded Eagles-Cowboys game and seeing the way the Eagles played this week, I would have been better off posting on here.

Eagles vs Cowboys

Eagles vs Cowboys

I was still not tired of listening to The Go-Go’s debut “Beauty and the Beat” album in June of 1982 when browsing the record section at the PX in Rota, Spain, I discovered that they had put out a second one. I made a mental note to get it once I returned to the States a few weeks later, although I didn’t need to because my sister had recorded several songs off of it. My reaction was that it pretty much sounded like the previous album while at the same time being rather good.

Keeping with the trend of 1982, “Vacation” begins with the hit single which is also the title track. It’s not a bad song, probably what you would expect from a single, quite lively. It’s the songs that come after it that tingle my interest a bit more. The very next track, “He’s So Strange” has a lot more substance to it and is quite a good listen. It sounds as if they are at least trying to venture forth a little and be creative. With several of the other tracks, there is a strong guitar start to the songs. At least The Go-Go’s were trying to be a little hard rock. “Girl of 100 Lists,” “Everything But Party Time” and “Beatnik Beach” are examples of this and the closer, “Worlds Away” does an excellent job in concluding the album. There is one thing I found slightly disappointing and that is the fact that there is not one memorable guitar solo from Charlotte Caffey on the album. I don’t know if that was down to her or other things. I mention this because I always believed that she was the most musically talented of the group. Still, “Vacation” was still an enjoyable album while The Go-Go’s still managed to excite my then 21 year old hormones.

Track Listing:

1. Vacation

2. He’s So Strange

3. Girl of 100 Lists

4. We Don’t Get Along

5. I Think It’s Me

6. Everything But Party Time

7. Get Up and Go

8. This Old Feeling

9. Cool Jerk

10. The Way You Dance

11. Beatnik Beach

12. Worlds Away

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Belinda Carlisle- lead vocals

Charlotte Caffey- lead guitar, backing vocals

Jane Weidlin- rhythm guitar, vocals

Kathy Valentine- bass, backing vocals

Gina Schock- drums, backing vocals

While The Go Go’s were able to build on the success of “Beauty and the Beat” with “Vacation” for some reason, they would go into obscurity after this album. I don’t know why because the second album is certainly likeable.

Next post: John Cougar- American Fool

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Girlschool- Hit and Run

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Girlschool_hit_and_run

Throughout the twenty eight years I have lived in the UK, there has been a lot of back and forth banter between my country of origin and my adopted country over which country did what things better. There are some things that each country will always do better than the other like the UK will always be better at cricket and the US will always be better at American football. In the world of music, neither country has been able to hold dominance over for very long. However, in 1981, one area where the UK outshone the US was in the category of all female bands. The US had The Go Gos who weren’t bad as far as rock bands go but they didn’t hold a candle to the UK’s female metal outfit Girlschool.

Their 1981 album “Hit and Run” is precisely the reason why Girlschool reigned supreme of all female music acts that year. They gave many of the male acts a good run for their money as well as they proved they could rock with this album. This is evident with the very first chords in the opening song “C’mon Let’s Go.” A great song that gets things going. Those who don’t truly appreciate metal complain that it’s the same two chords going over and over and if they were to listen to “The Hunter,” they would site this as proof. My response is that yes, it might be the same two chords but what two great chords they are. They certainly capture and hold my attention even throughout the vocals and guitar solo, so who cares? “(I’m Your) Victim,” “Kick It Down” and “Follow the Crowd all move the album along very nicely until something very interesting happens. Of all the songs, that I would like to hear metalized, ZZ Top’s monster tune “Tush” never occurred to me. I feel a fool because Girlschool metalize this song very well.

After “Tush,” things kick up a gear and stay there for the remainder. The title track has always been my favourite Girlschool song and I was disappointed that they didn’t play it either time I saw them live. Maybe one day, I’ll get to see them again and they will play it for me. One can hope. However, another song I have always liked is the pen ultimate “Yeah, Right.” This is a song that you want playing on the stereo before going to any metal event, a definite uplifter. The two tracks in between “Hit and Run” and “Yeah, Right” are also good jams and things go out very well with the closer “Future Flash.” In short and I don’t care how cliched this sounds but with “Hit and Run,” Girlschool proved they could play with the big boys.

Track Listing

1. C’mon Let’s Go

2. The Hunter

3. (I’m Your) Victim

4. Kick It Down

5. Follow the Crowd

6. Tush

7. Hit and Run

8. Watch Your Step

9. Back to Start

10. Yeah Right

11. Future Flash

Girlschool

Girlschool

Kim McAuliffe- rhythm guitar, vocals

Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, vocals

Enid Williams- bass, vocals

Denise Dufort- drums

I’ve realised that for many years I have taken for granted all the great albums that came out in 1981. To have so many great bands put out so many great albums in the same year is something truly phenomenal and there’s still more to come. Girlschool can stake their own claim to the year with “Hit and Run.” In spite of what I said about it when I posted on the album not long ago, “Hit and Run” beats the pants off The Go Gos’ “Beauty and the Beat” and that makes these fine ladies the best female artists of 1981.

Next Post: Iron Maiden- Killers

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Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Go Go’s- Beauty and the Beat

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Go-Go'sBeautyandtheBeatalbumcover

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 ┬áheavy 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.

Track Listing:

1. Our Lips Are Sealed

2. How Much More

3. Tonite

4. Lust to Love

5. This Town

6. We Got The Beat

7. Fading Fast

8. Automatic

9. You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)

10. Skidmarks On My Heart

11. Can’t Stop the World

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

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.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London