Beauty and the Beat (The Go-Go's album)
|Beauty and the Beat|
|Studio album by|
|Released||July 8, 1981|
|Studio||Penny Lane Studios, Record Plant Studios and Sound Mixers Studios, New York City|
|Genre||New wave, pop rock, post-punk|
|Producer||Richard Gottehrer, Rob Freeman|
|The Go-Go's chronology|
|Singles from Beauty and the Beat|
Beauty and the Beat is the debut album from Californian new wave band the Go-Go's. Released in 1981 on the I.R.S. Records label, the album was preceded by the single and signature song "We Got the Beat", which became a 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, ranking second among Billboard's Top 100 albums of 1981. The LP sold in excess of two million copies and reached double platinum status, 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".
In the late 1970s, Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, and Margot Olavarria met while attending punk rock shows in California. The three attended the Sex Pistols final performance in San Francisco in January 1978, and afterwards were inspired to form their own band. Although none of them actually knew how to play instruments, they quickly learned, and began playing in Hollywood nightclubs under the name the Go-Go's. Carlisle was the singer, Wiedlin played rhythm guitar, Olavarria played bass, and the newly added Elissa Bello played drums. A few months later, Charlotte Caffey joined the band as the lead guitarist, as she had experience writing music with other groups such as the Eyes. The Go-Go's developed a reputation within the Hollywood punk scene, and were invited to open for the band Madness on a UK tour. While on tour, the Go-Go's recorded an extended play for Stiff Records.
Tensions between band members resulted in Bello and Olavarria leaving the Go-Go's; they were replaced by drummer Gina Schock and bassist Kathy Valentine. Around this time, the Go-Go's began to move toward a more pop rock driven sound, influenced by the burgeoning new wave genre. Although the band's reputation continued to grow, they were unable to attract attention from major record labels. At a special showcase for A&R representatives at the Starwood, the Go-Go's did not get a single offer. Carlisle believes this was because record executives were sexist, and did not want to sign an all-female band. The only label that expressed interest was the indie label I.R.S. Records. In a 1982 Rolling Stone interview, Valentine said: "IRS was where you went if you couldn't get a deal with a real label." On April 1, 1981, I.R.S. cofounder Miles Copeland III signed the Go-Go's.
|The Irish Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||10/10|
|The Village Voice||B+|
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. while Jon Pareles in Rolling Stone called it a "solid, likable debut". The album placed 10th on the annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll in The Village Voice for 1981.
The album has since gained in regard. AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Beauty and the Beat "one of the cornerstone albums of new wave" and praised its "catchy hooks and an exuberant sense of fun", while Rolling Stone's Warren Zanes wrote that the band "showed that elemental pop rock & roll remained as viable as ever".
Eric Allen of American Songwriter, reviewing the 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition in 2008, 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".
"When I was about seven, I discovered the Go-Go's," said American actress and author Drew Barrymore in an interview published by 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!"
In 2012, the album was ranked number 414 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album opener, "Our Lips Are Sealed," has been covered over the years by numerous artists, and remains a staple of 1980s playlists. It is frequently cited as one of the Top 100 and Top 50 songs of the 1980s. Rolling Stone magazine has named it one of the Top 100 Pop Singles of all time. "We Got the Beat" has been named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
The album gained a deluxe remastered compact disc when EMI released the Beauty and the Beat 30th Anniversary Edition on May 17, 2008. 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.
|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|
|6.||"We Got the Beat"||Caffey||2:36|
|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|
|30th Anniversary Bonus Disc: Metro Club, Boston – August 20, 1981|
|1.||"Skidmarks on My Heart"||Caffey, Carlisle||3:00|
|2.||"How Much More"||Caffey, Wiedlin||2:55|
|3.||"Tonite"||Caffey, Weidlin, Case||3:45|
|5.||"London Boys"||Wiedlin, Don Bolles||2:31|
|6.||"Cool Jerk"||Donald Storball||3:21|
|8.||"Lust to Love"||Caffey, Wiedlin||3:48|
|9.||"Can't Stop the World"||Valentine||4:05|
|10.||"This Town"||Caffey, Wiedlin||2:02|
|11.||"You Can't Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can't Sleep)"||Caffey, Wiedlin||3:14|
|12.||"Our Lips Are Sealed"||Wiedlin, Hall||3:17|
|13.||"Let's Have a Party"||Jessie Mae Robinson||1:26|
|14.||"We Got the Beat"||Caffey||3:06|
|15.||"Surfing And Spying / Beatnik Beach"||Caffey; Carlisle, Caffey||4:10|
|16.||"Remember (Walking in the Sand)"||Shadow Morton||3:17|
|17.||"Vacation"||Valentine, Caffey, Wiedlin||3:06|
- Belinda Carlisle – lead vocals
- Charlotte Caffey – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
- Gina Schock – drums, percussion
- Kathy Valentine – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Jane Wiedlin – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Richard Gottehrer – producer
- Rob Freeman – producer, engineer, and mixing
- James A. Ball – assistant engineer and mixing assistant
- Ted Blechta, Darroll Gustamachio, Gray Russell, John Terelle – assistant engineers
- Stuart Furusho, David Leonard – mixing assistants
- Doug Schwartz – remixing
- Greg Calbi – mastering
- Ginger Canzoneri, Mike Doud, Mick Haggerty, Vartan – art direction
- Mike Fink, Mick Haggerty – design
- George DuBose, Mick Haggerty, Cindy Marsh – photography
- Cindy Marsh – illustrations
|United States||RIAA||1981||Double Platinum (+ 2,000,000)|
|Canada||CRIA||1981||Platinum (+ 100,000)|
|The Village Voice||US||The 1981 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll||1982||10|
|Rolling Stone||Germany||Albums of the Year||1982||No order|
|Spin||US||100 Alternative Albums||1990||91|
|Rolling Stone||US||50 Essential Female Albums||2002||36|
|KCPR DJs||US||Top 100 Records from the 80s ||2002||59|
|Rolling Stone||US||The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time||2003||414|
|Blender||US||500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die||2003||No order|
|1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die||US||||2005||No order|
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