Beauty and the Beat

Beauty and the Beat

by The Go-Go'sThe Go-Go's

CD

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Overview

It's not quite right to say that the Go-Go's' 1981 debut, Beauty and the Beat, is where new wave caught hold in the U.S., but it's not quite wrong, either. Prior to this, there had certainly been new wave hits -- Blondie had been reaching the Top Ten for two years running -- but the Go-Go's ushered in the era of big, bright stylish pop, spending six weeks at the top of the U.S. charts and generating two singles that defined the era: the cool groove of "Our Lips Are Sealed" and the exuberant "We Got the Beat." So big were these two hits that they sometimes suggested that Beauty and the Beat was a hits-and-filler record, an impression escalated by the boost the Go-Go's received from the just-launched MTV, yet that's hardly the case. Beauty and the Beat is sharp, clever, and catchy, explicitly drawing from the well of pre-Beatles '60s pop -- girl group harmonies, to be sure, but surf-rock echoes throughout -- but filtering it through the nervy energy of punk. With the assistance of Rob Freeman, producer Richard Gottehrer -- a veteran of the Strangeloves ("I Want Candy") who also wrote the girl group standard "My Boyfriend's Back" -- sanded down the band's rougher edges, keeping the emphasis on the hooks and harmonies but giving the Go-Go's enough kick and jangle that at times the group resembles nothing less than early R.E.M., particularly on "How Much More" and "Tonite." But this isn't Murmur; there is nothing murky about Beauty and the Beat at all -- this is infectiously cheerful pop, so hooky it's sometimes easy to overlook how well-written these tunes are, but it's the sturdiness of the songs that makes Beauty and the Beat a new wave classic.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: A&M
UPC: 0044797502125
catalogNumber: 75021
Rank: 5136

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Go-Go's   Primary Artist
Belinda Carlisle   Vocals
Jane Wiedlin   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Charlotte Caffey   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Gina Schock   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Kathy Valentine   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Belinda Carlisle   Composer
Jane Wiedlin   Composer
Charlotte Caffey   Composer
Richard Gottehrer   Producer
Terry Hall   Composer
Kathy Valentine   Composer
Vartan   Art Direction
Mike Doud   Art Direction
Mick Haggerty   Art Direction
Ginger Canzoneri   Art Direction
Rob Freeman   Producer,Engineer
Cindy Marsh   Illustrations

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