Thursday, March 03, 2011

6. Go-Go's - Beauty and the Beat (1981)

45 years, 45 LPs, 45 days...
Beauty and the Beat (1981)
This album changed my life.

Sounds melodramatic, I know. Still, I remember how much it completely rocked my world in the Fall of 1981. I had seen the group lipsynch "Our Lips Are Sealed" on Solid Gold, and from that moment on I was helplessly obsessed.

My first Go-Go's concert, 1982
The Go-Go's were the first all-female band to write their own material, play their own instruments, and hit #1. They became America's sweethearts, although in real life they were giving the guy bands a run for their money in terms of living the hard rock & roll lifestyle. Belinda was hooked on coke, Charlotte was a heroin addict, and all the gals had their fair share of serious partying on the road.  The lifestyle took its toll on the band, and it showed on their 2nd album Vacation (1982), which had its moments but lacked the cohesiveness and powerful punch of Beauty and the Beat.

My original welcome packet from the official fan club.
The Go-Go's came back in '84 with the fantastic Talk Show LP, but failed to maintain the momentum that propelled them to the top back in 1981. Jane was the first to leave the band in '85, and while the Go-Go's tried to continue without her it wasn't long before the rest of the band splintered from the strain. Belinda and Charlotte soon announced their departure, and the Go-Go's were done.  At least for the time being.

My ticket stub from the Vacation tour
The original band reunited in 1990 for a brief 'greatest hits' tour, and again in 1994 in support of their double disc Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's compilation, which featured three brand new tracks.  The band continued to tour and work on new material, and in 2001 released God Bless The Go-Go's, their first all-new full-length disc in 17 years.

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