Our Blog

Gogo’s “Beauty and the Beat” (1981)

The Go-Go’s’ 1981 debut LP Beauty and the Beat is as aptly titled as it is underrated. Few shiny power pop records are as dark as this one. The record is known primarily for its two big-beat hits “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat,” two of the early 1980s’ greatest songs. The rest of the album, though, with few exceptions, is much different. After the Shangri-Las’ sounding “How Much More,” Side One takes a darker turn, focusing on the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles nightlife. As such, “Tonite,” “Lust to Love,” and “This Town” succinctly capture the exhaustion of being a scenester and the psychological toll it can take, especially in the superficial world of Hollywood. This tone is maintained on Side Two with “Fading Fast” and “Automatic,” probably the two most morose tracks on the record. From there on out, they return to catchy, bubbly pop in the form of “You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep” and the irresistible closer “Can’t Stop the World.” The reputation of Beauty and the Beat is dampened to a certain extent by outside forces, like the decline in the quality of the Go-Go’s’ music after this album, Belinda Carlisle’s weak solo career, and Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, which articulates these themes in a far more gritty, blunt manner. Nevertheless, Beauty and the Beat should not be slept on, and is a great early 80s’ power pop record. —Yerblues

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *