Another dynamic debut from the early ‘80s today, we have “Beauty and the Beat” by The Go-Go’s. Rated as the #400 selection on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, this record is mainly about the two massive hit singles it produced. The rest of the record is pleasant but not terribly memorable, but those two hits are timeless. Led by singer Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin, who played guitar and added a lot of vocals, this all-female act garnered a lot of well-deserved respect and appreciation for their catalog of work.
The record opens with “Our Lips Are Sealed”. This song has such an infectious appeal, it is almost impossible not to love it. Aside from nice harmonies, I have always loved the middle bridge when Jane Wieldin’s angelic voice sings in solo. This is truly one of the very best pop hits of any era, most certainly so for the 1980s. Most of the rest of the album, aside from the other big hit I will discuss below, is simple and non-distinct, with my 3rd favorite track probably being “Can’t Stop The World”.
The other major success was “We Got The Beat”. Aside from being more of a rocker and an equally great song, most movie fans from this era will instantly recognize this as the opening track of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, when all of the gang is doing their thing at the Ridgemont Mall. Mike Damone, Brad and Stacy Hamilton, Mark Ratner, Linda Barrett, and of course, the one and only Jeff Spicoli playing video games shirtless in the arcade. It is probably not great that we all aspired to be Spicoli, even if we grew up in rural Colorado, where the surfing wasn’t great, but that movie and this era of music and life remain a major component in the life we all lived as we were preparing for our own high school experience.