Beauty and the Beat

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Beauty and the Beat
Studio album by The Go-Go's
Released July 8, 1981
Recorded Penny Lane Studios, Record Plant Studios and Sound Mixers Studios, New York City, 1980–1981
Genre New Wave, pop rock, post-punk
Length 32:17
Label I.R.S.
Producer Richard Gottehrer, Rob Freeman
The Go-Go's chronology
Beauty and the Beat
(1981)
Vacation
(1982)
Singles from Beauty and the Beat
  1. "We Got the Beat" / "How Much More"
    Released: May 1980 (UK)
  2. "Our Lips Are Sealed" / "Surfing and Spying"
    Released: July 1981
  3. "We Got the Beat" / "Skidmarks on My Heart"
    Released: November 1981
  4. "We Got the Beat" / "Can't Stop the World"
    Released: 1981
  5. "We Got the Beat" / "Our Lips Are Sealed"
    Released: 1981 (Japan)
  6. "Automatic" / "Tonite"
    Released: February 1982 (UK)
  7. "Our Lips Are Sealed" / "We Got the Beat"
    Released: April 1982 (UK)

Beauty and the Beat is the debut album from Californian all-female band The Go-Go's. Released in 1981 on the IRS Records label, the album was preceded by the single and signature song "We Got the Beat", which became a massive club hit in Europe and, later, the United States. When the album was eventually released, it steadily climbed the Billboard 200 chart, ultimately peaking at number one, where it remained for six consecutive weeks.[1] The LP sold in excess of two million copies and reached double platinum status,[2] making it one of the most successful debut albums of all time. Critically acclaimed, it has been described as one of the "cornerstone albums of American new wave".[3]

The title is a play on the European fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (B+)[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars (2004)[7]
Common Sense Media 4/5 stars[8]
American Songwriter 4/5 stars[3]

Beauty and the Beat was released to reviews that while positive were not outstanding, especially in light of its eventual summit of the album charts. Robert Christgau found the album good and wrote "this one's got hooks" in his column in The Village Voice.[5] while Jon Pareles in Rolling Stone called it a "solid, likable debut".[6] The album placed 10th on the annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll in The Village Voice for 1981.[9]

The album has since gained in regard. Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it "one of the cornerstone albums of new wave" and praising its "catchy hooks and an exuberant sense of fun" on Allmusic.[4] Blair Jackson, who reviewed positively the album for the non-profit organization Common Sense Media, remarked that "the Go-Go's' music has a light power-pop quality" and the lyrics content "is downright innocent when compared to current pop music", making it enjoyable and safe for very young people.[8] Eric Allen of American Songwriter, reviewing the 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition in 2011, wrote that Beauty and the Beat is "one of the 1980s cornerstone albums of American new wave" and the "album still holds up surprisingly well thirty years later, which is a testament to the energetic spirit captured in this musical Zeitgeist of the 80s"; on the other hand, it is also "a reminder that the Go-Go’s were never able to equal or surpass the success of this landmark debut".[3]

"When I was about seven, I discovered the Go-Go's", said American actress and author Drew Barrymore in an interview to the magazine V. "I went out and bought their album Beauty and the Beat and, as the vinyl twirled, my whole world changed. I stared at the girls on the cover like they were a gateway to cool. The fact that they were girls made me feel not only invited but more important – like I could be a badass too. I looked over to my Pippi Longstocking poster on the wall and thought, Yes! I like girls who rock!"[10]

Legacy[edit]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 414 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[11] The album opener, "Our Lips Are Sealed," has been covered over the years by numerous artists, and remains a staple of '80s playlists. It is frequently cited as one of the Top 100 and Top 50 songs of the '80s. Rolling Stone magazine has named it one of the Top 100 Pop Singles of all time.[12] "We Got the Beat" has been named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[13]

The album gained a deluxe remastered compact disc when EMI released the Beauty and the Beat 30th Anniversary Edition on May 17, 2011. Disc one features the remastered original album while disc two offers an entire live show, recorded at the Metro Club in Boston on August 20, 1981. Both Vacation (1982) and Talk Show (1984) were previously issued in remastered CD form in 1999.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Our Lips Are Sealed"   Jane Wiedlin, Terry Hall 2:45
2. "How Much More"   Charlotte Caffey, Wiedlin 3:06
3. "Tonite"   Caffey, Wiedlin, Peter Case 3:35
4. "Lust to Love"   Caffey, Wiedlin 4:04
5. "This Town"   Caffey, Wiedlin 3:20
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "We Got the Beat"   Caffey 2:36
7. "Fading Fast"   Caffey 3:41
8. "Automatic"   Wiedlin 3:07
9. "You Can't Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can't Sleep)"   Caffey, Wiedlin 2:54
10. "Skidmarks on My Heart"   Caffey, Belinda Carlisle 3:06
11. "Can't Stop the World"   Kathy Valentine 3:20

Personnel[edit]

Band members
Production
  • Ginger Canzoneri, Mike Doud, Mick Haggerty, Vartan – art direction
  • Mike Fink, Mick Haggerty – design
  • George DuBose, Mick Haggerty, Cindy Marsh – photography
  • Cindy Marsh – illustrations

Charts[edit]

Preceded by
Freeze Frame by The J. Geils Band
Billboard 200 number-one album
March 6, 1982 – April 10, 1982
Succeeded by
Chariots of Fire (soundtrack) by Vangelis

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1982 Double Platinum (+ 2,000,000)[2]
Canada CRIA 1982 Platinum (+ 100,000)[21]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
The Village Voice US The 1981 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll[9] 1982 10
Rolling Stone Germany Albums of the Year[22] 1982 No order
Spin US 100 Alternative Albums[22] 1995 91
Rolling Stone US 50 Essential Female Albums[22] 2002 36
KCPR DJs US Top 100 Records from the 80s [22] 2002 59
Rolling Stone US The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time[11] 2003 414
Blender US 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die[22] 2003 No order
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die US [23] 2005 No order

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Beauty and the Beat Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  2. ^ a b "RIAA Searchable Database - search for "Go Go's"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  3. ^ a b c Allen, Eric (22 May 2011). "Go-Go’s: Beauty and the Beat (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (October 5, 1981). "Consumer Guide: The Go-Go's: Beauty and the Beat". The Village Voice. Retrieved 9 December 2011.  Also posted at "The Go-Go's: Beauty and the Beat > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 25 February 2006. 
  6. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (October 29, 1981). "Beauty and the Beat Go-Go's > Album Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Zanes, Warren (May 13, 2004). "The Rolling Stone Hall of Fame: Go-Go's: Beauty and the Beat". Rolling Stone (948). p. 77. Archived from the original on 4 November 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Jackson, Blair. "Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go's". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  9. ^ a b "The 1981 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. February 1, 1982. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  10. ^ V, 2012
  11. ^ a b "500 Greatest Albums of All Time - The Go-Go's, 'Beauty and the Beast'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  12. ^ "Go-Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed". Acclaimed Music.net. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  13. ^ "Experience The Music: One Hit Wonders and The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  14. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 36, No. 5, March 13, 1982". Library and Archives Canada. 13 March 1982. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  15. ^ "Go-Go's – Baeuty and the Beat (album)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  16. ^ "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - ALBUMS PRE 1989". ARIA Charts. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Beauty and the Beat Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  18. ^ "Go-Gos". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  19. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 35, No. 25, January 30, 1982". Library and Archives Canada. 30 January 1982. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  20. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 36, No. 10, April 17, 1982". Library and Archives Canada. 17 April 1982. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  21. ^ "Gold Platinum Search for Beauty and the Beat". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  22. ^ a b c d e "Go-Go's - Beauty and the Beat". Acclaimed Music.net. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  23. ^ AA.VV. (7 February 2006). Robert Dimery, ed. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Universe Publishing. ISBN 978-1844033928. 

External links[edit]