Our Lips Are Sealed

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"Our Lips Are Sealed"
Single by The Go-Go's
from the album Beauty and the Beat
B-side Surfing and Spying
Released June 12, 1981
Format 7"
Recorded 1981
Genre New wave, post-punk, power pop
Length 2:44
Label IRS
Writer(s) Jane Wiedlin, Terry Hall
Producer(s) Richard Gottehrer, Rob Freeman
The Go-Go's singles chronology
- "Our Lips Are Sealed"
(1981)
"We Got the Beat"
(1982)

"Our Lips Are Sealed" is a song written by The Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin and The Specials and Fun Boy Three singer Terry Hall. It was first recorded by The Go-Go's as the opening track on their 1981 album Beauty and the Beat (see 1981 in music) and served as their debut American single in June 1981. The single eventually reached top 5 in Australia and Canada, and top 20 in the US. Although originally written and performed with three verses, it is an abbreviated version of the song that appears on Beauty and the Beat.

In 1983, Hall's band, Fun Boy Three, released their version of "Our Lips Are Sealed". Issued as a single, the track became top ten hit in the UK, and remains the best known version of "Lips" in that country --the Go's-Go's version, while a hit elsewhere, only made #47 UK.

In 2000, Rolling Stone named "Our Lips Are Sealed" one of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs of all time.

Origins[edit]

The Go-Go's were supporting The Specials on the latter's 1980 US tour. According to Wiedlin she and Hall had an affair despite him having a girlfriend back in England and this led to their co-writing the song. The Go-Go's version is significantly more upbeat than the Fun Boy Three one, which Wiedlin describes as "gloomier" (see http://www.songfacts.com/blog/interviews/jane_wiedlin_from_the_go-go_s/)

Music video[edit]

The video accompanying the Go-Go's recording was an early favorite of the fledgling MTV channel, and helped establish the group's energetic persona. It features sequences of the band members in carefree tableaux (riding around in a convertible, stopping at a lingerie shop and splashing around in a city fountain) interspersed with footage of the band playing a club booking.

Jane Wiedlin says the band was initially unenthusiastic about doing the video when Miles Copeland, president of their label, I.R.S. Records, told them they would be doing it. "We were totally bratty," she recalls. It was funded out of unused funds in The Police's video budget.[1]

The concept was for the band to drive around and be followed by a camera. Belinda Carlisle would sing, and the other members would do cute things. They wanted an older-style convertible and found a 1960 Buick at Rent-A-Wreck. It was, says Wiedlin, the band's idea to end the video by jumping into the Electric Fountain on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvds, Beverly Hills. "I thought, at any minute the cops are gonna come. This is gonna be so cool."[1]

She still looks back on it fondly. "I have horrible '80s poodle hair in [it]", she recalled in a 2011 history of MTV. "But there's a simplicity and innocence to the video that appeals to me."[2] In a sequence of scenes, Belinda Carlisle can be seen trying to hide; she later admitted this was deliberate, as she thought the whole idea of music video was ridiculous and unlikely to catch on.

Chart performance[edit]

The original version peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and 15 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. On the dance chart, the song peaked at number 10.[3] A song of unusual longevity as a hit, it remained on the Billboard charts for much of 1982 as well, long after its peak.[4]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA) 2
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan) 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[5] 23
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 14
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 47
US Billboard Hot 100 20
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 10
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 15

Fun Boy Three version[edit]

"Our Lips Are Sealed"
Single by Fun Boy Three
from the album Waiting
Released 29 April 1983
Format 7", 12", CD single
Recorded 1982–1983
Genre New wave
Label Chrysalis
Producer(s) David Byrne
Fun Boy Three singles chronology
"Tunnel of Love"
(1980)
"Our Lips Are Sealed"
(1983)
"The Farm Yard Connection"
(1983)

The following year, co-writer Terry Hall re-recorded the song with his own band, Fun Boy Three. It was included on their second album Waiting and reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart. June Miles-Kingston was the drummer on this version and made the backing vocals.

Fun Boy Three 12" single (Chrysalis 4V9-42689)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Our Lips Are Sealed" (Special Club Remix) Terry Hall, Jane Wiedlin 6:07
2. "Our Lips Are Sealed" (single version) Hall, Wiedlin 2:51
3. "Our Lips Are Sealed" (Urdu version) Hall, Wiedlin 3:50
Fun Boy Three 12" UK single (Chrysalis FUNBX 1)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Our Lips Are Sealed" (remixed version) Terry Hall, Jane Wiedlin 6:00
2. "Our Lips Are Sealed"   Hall, Wiedlin 2:51
3. "Our Lips Are Sealed" (Urdu version) Hall, Wiedlin 3:50
Chart (1983) Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA) 13
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 7

Hilary and Haylie Duff version[edit]

"Our Lips Are Sealed"
Single by Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff
from the album A Cinderella Story: Original Soundtrack
Released August 23, 2004
Format CD single
Recorded 2004
Genre Pop rock
Length 2:40
Label Hollywood
Producer(s) John Shanks
Hilary Duff singles chronology
"Little Voice"
(2004)
"Our Lips Are Sealed"
(2004)
"Fly"
(2004)

Sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff covered the song for the soundtrack to the 2004 film A Cinderella Story, in which Hilary starred. The cover, recorded as a duet with Duff's sister Haylie and produced by John Shanks, was released as a single in the United States in June 2004. The Duff sisters said in an interview that they had wanted to record together, and Hilary chose "Our Lips Are Sealed" because the "secretive" theme of the song relates to the film A Cinderella Story.[7]

Music video[edit]

The single's music video was directed by Chris Applebaum and filmed in Toronto, Canada in May 2004.[7] Similar to the video for the Go-Go's single, it depicts the Duff sisters driving around town in a car and goofing about, and is interspersed with footage from A Cinderella Story. A second version of the video, that has new scenes and is not interspersed with scenes from A Cinderella Story, can be viewed on the Dignity deluxe edition DVD.

It was released in June 2004 and received medium airplay on MuchMusic in Canada and MTV in the U.S. Though the video was popular on the MTV video chart show Total Request Live, the single itself was less successful than the original Go-Go's song in the U.S., failing to chart on the Hot 100. In Australia it reached number eight. The song was later included on Duff's compilation album, Most Wanted (2005).

This version was also included in the Japanese and Australian editions of Hilary Duff's second compilation album Best of Hilary Duff.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Our Lips Are Sealed" – 2:40
  2. "Our Lips Are Sealed" (music video) – 2:50
  3. A Cinderella Story movie trailer – 1:44

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[8] 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marks, Craig; Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. New York, NY: Dutton. pp. 92–93. ISBN 978-0-525-95230-5. 
  2. ^ I Want My MTV, 104.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 111. 
  4. ^ Top Pop Singles 1955-1999 by Joel Whitburn
  5. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Go Go's – Our Lips Are Sealed". Top 40 Singles.
  6. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Go Go's – Our Lips Are Sealed". Singles Top 60.
  7. ^ a b Moss, Corey. "Hilary And Haylie Give The Go-Go's A Double-Duff Treatment". MTV News. May 20, 2004.
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Hilary Duff & Haylie Duff – Our Lips Are Sealed". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 24, 2013.

External links[edit]