Sunday, May 2, 2010

413. Beauty and the Beat. My New favourite Girl Group.

Album: Beauty and the Beat.
Artist: The Go Go's.
Year: 1981
Genre: Pop

  1. Our Lips Are Sealed
  2. How Much More
  3. Tonite
  4. Lust to Love
  5. This Town
  6. We Got the Beat
  7. Fading Fast
  8. Automatic
  9. You Can't Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can't Sleep)
  10. Skidmarks on My Heart
  11. Can't Stop the World

I can honestly say that I now have a new favourite Girl group. Not that there was a previous holder of the title, it was a vacant position waiting to be filled. I've always been a big fan of the Indigo Girls (who I think should be on this list somewhere btw) but I wouldn't call them a girl group. Belinda Carlisle and friends are definitely a girl group of some description and so I'm happy to award them the title of 500 Horizons favourite girl group- I bet they'll be thrilled.

I have to own up to a bit of blatant sexism here. I made some assumptions when I was listening to this album and I'm not especially proud of my line of thinking. When I first put this Beauty and the Beat on I couldn't help but wonder who was playing the instruments and writing the songs. I know, I know, it's an awful thing to think. Just because the voices are female you immediately assume that there must be some men behind them doing all the hard work that is too tricky for the women folk. The problem was that the Go Go's are described as a girl group and that title immediately conjures images of bands like the Spice Girls- manufactured outfits who never played or wrote a note of their own music. I assumed that everything on Beauty and the Beat was created by a corporate entity who auditioned for attractive girls to cavort in video clips for the songs they'd already had written. Shame on me, shame.

The truth is that The Go Go's are a band like any other on this countdown. They're musicians who met and decided to play music together. They wrote their own material and played their own instruments. Belinda Carlisle, who went on to enjoy the most successful solo career, is the lead singer and the rest of the group went on to various careers that met with limited success after they stopped being Go Go's and became Went Went's. Whether being all girls (and all fairly attractive girls) gave them a head start or held them back (or both) is something you can debate endlessly amongst your friends. The fact is that they've written an album full of catchy tunes and they promoted girl power before we'd even heard the term. Their songs sort of bounce along with a pop sensibility but a post punk attitude.

If you like your music to pop and your girls to have attitude then The Go Go's could be for you. They're not going to get another turn on my MP3 player but they can be marked down on the "Pleasant surprise" column of my 500 horizons ledger.

Influenced by:
Punk and Tina Turner.
Influenced: The Spice Girls.

Highlight: Our Lips are Sealed
Lowlight: Automatic

Favourite amazon customer review quote: "Beauty And The Beat Has To Go Down In History as one of the greatest Offerings in Music. It Is not the Cheesy Pop Singles that makes this album great but the outstanding lyrics, melodies and music on the other tracks which make this album a great work of art."

I think that might be overstating the case slightly.

So is this album a thing of beauty or do you wish it would just beat it? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. Democracy is a great thing. Its the only way an album like this would make it. Mind you, Our lips are sealed is a fun song.