The Go-Go’s:

God Bless The Go-Go’s


My #3 Album

in 2009


in 2001 on

Beyond Music

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   I think the first time I heard the debut song of The Go-Go’s, “Our Lips Are Sealed,” back in the fall of 1981, I was hooked.  I bought the single and played it many times.  I didn’t do annual music awards lists then, so I can’t say how big a favorite it was, but I know I never got tired of the song...I’m still not tired of it.

    In 1982, I bought their debut album, The Beauty and The Beat, as well as their second album, Vacation.  I played both albums a lot, although their first album was definitely the preferred one.  In fact, I considered it to be the first album to top my previous favorite of all time, Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti.

    In 1984, The Go-Go’s released their third album, Talk Show, and I thoroughly enjoyed that one too.  Then, they broke up.  How could they?  They were so awesome!

    In the years that followed, I continued to play The Go-Go’s every summer, like baby boomers play the Beach Boys every summer.  I longed for more of their music.

    In 1994, they released a “vault” album, one of those albums where a group digs out old live songs, unreleased tracks, and include some hits as well.  On this double CD album, Return To The Valley Of The Go-Go’s, they also included three new songs.  Eager for anything new I could get my hands on, I grabbed this album.  It was interesting to hear some of their very early stuff from the 1970s, and to have some songs from the back of my 7” singles together with other songs on a CD.  I was glad to hear new songs from The Go-Go’s, too, but the problem was that the new songs were disappointing.  Yes, they had The Go-Go’s sound, but two of the three songs totally lacked the energy and excitement of their heyday, and even the one energetic one had a taste of staleness to it.  I resigned myself to the fact that they were through.

    Early in the ‘00s, I saw that The Go-Go’s had released a new album, God Bless The Go-Go’s.  I was interested in hearing it, but I was reluctant to buy it, after hearing the disappointing songs on Return To The Valley Of The Go-Go’s.
I mean, by this time it was yet another seven years...wouldn’t it be just old stale stuff too, like all those groups who keep making albums long after their creativity and freshness has faded away?

    But finally, years later, I got around to trying this thing.  After all, a new copy at Amazon was just $3.33 (still is, as of this writing), so why not try it, I thought.

    I am so glad I did!!!  This album is awesome!!!  It has all the energy of their debut album’s song “We Got The Beat,” but with a much stronger and totally current sound.  In fact, while The Beauty And The Beat is a landmark album that will always have a special place in my heart, at the present, God Bless The Go-Go’s is my favorite Go-Go’s album.  By now, almost 30 years later, Beauty And The Beat, as good as it is, sounds dated.  God Bless The Go-Go’s is totally current in sound, yet 100% Go-Go’s. 

    The Randies, Go Betty Go, and The Dollyrots are three pop punk groups that have made my Annual Music Awards list during the ‘00s.  In all three of them, I could hear elements of The Go-Go’s; the influence of their sound was unmistakable, even though those artists wouldn’t sound like a copy of The Go-Go’s next to a Go-Go’s album.  When I heard God Bless The Go-Go’s, it was amazing how The Go-Go’s sounded every bit as current and lively as those fresh new bands.  They weren’t through, after all.  They had rediscovered their life and energy!

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This page was first posted March 21, 2010

The Go-Go’s: the picture on their Twitter page


While The Runaways were the first all-girl punk band (debuting in 1976), The Go-Go’s were the first band of all females to play their own instruments and write their own songs.  They began in 1978, and in 1981 their first album was a smashing success.  To this day, the roots of their sound can be heard in many pop punk bands.

    The opening song on the album seems to say just that -- hey everyone, we’re back, with gusto!  “Hello world, we’re here again, living life in La La Land!”  The song has energy, melody, and tons of fun.

    The next two songs are closer to mid-tempo but still quite peppy; however, the tone is a bit more serious-- “Unforgiven” and “Apology.”  “Apology” takes a lyrical twist at the end, after saying throughout the song, “I’m sorry,” comes a string of phrases, “I’ll be sorry, you’ll be sorry, everybody will be sorry,” so that it ends up sounding more like a threat than an apology.

    On track #4, the full energy is back with the song “Stuck In My Car”--wanting to go somewhere but stuck in a traffic jam, frustrated, “turn my radio on, scream out loud, ‘STUCK IN MY CAR!!’”  In addition to the guitar and the lead vocal energy is the powerful background vocals putting even more fire into the song.  A song with similar power is track #8, “Kissing Asphalt,” with a flamboyant, catchy chorus.  These two songs are among my favorites on the album.

    “Vision of Nowness” is one I like for its lyrical theme.  So much of my life I’ve lived in the future, so to speak, rather than fully appreciating the Now, so I like this reminder to catch a vision of life Now.  After that comes a song with the line, “Wherever you go, there you are,” a saying I have always liked.  I also like this song because it features cello (I used to play the cello).

   “Sonic Superslide” is more fun, just fun for the fun of it, with a soaring chorus that gives the feeling of sliding, perhaps like that on Super Mario Kart’s space roads.

    A song I particularly like on this album, and by the reviews on Amazon, it seems a lot of other people like this song too, is “Throw Me A Curve,” where the band attacks the notion that a woman has to be thin to be beautiful.  “Microthin is way too in, and I’m not so sure...I’d rather just be me.  Seems everybody in the world things x-ray girls are the only way to be.  Girls are shapely by design, exactly what you’ve got is so easy to adore...Throw me a curve, not a straight, narrow line!”  I really like this song because I get tired of girls always complaining about being fat when they are not even remotely fat.  It’s nuts!  The idea that microthin is the only attractiveness is a microthin range of beauty.  The range of beauty is wide, from thin,  to slim, to average, to fat (though I draw the line before obese)...why must girls see themselves as fat when they are not, or assume they’re not attractive if they are?  So I really like this song because it fights back the nonsense, but instead of doing it in a bitter, angry way, does it in a very positive and fun way.  “It’s divine, throw me a curve, look so fine!”

    The album ends with “Daisy Chain,” which is quite different from anything I’ve heard them do before.  In this song they tell the story of their rise to fame, and then their disintegration, and reflect on life from there.  It’s a slow but bright song, with acoustic guitar accompaniment, with a melodic chorus that has a bit of psychedelia touch to it.  It’s a thoughtful closing to a fun album.  “Flowers blooming, made too soon, what happened to our daisy chain?”



    I like the music on EVERY song on this album.  (I often skip “Unforgiven” only because I don’t like the words--forgiveness is a big deal with me, so I don’t like a song that says “You’re unforgiven.”)  This album is loaded with energy, delightful melodies and vocal harmonies, and solid guitar playing.  I am certain that it will be an album that I will play every summer for many years to come.  I am so glad The Go-Go’s released this album!

Click the play button to hear “Stuck In My Car.” You can hear the full-length track of “Throw Me A Curve” on The Go-Go’s MySpace site.