It was March 6, 1982, when The Go-Go’s achieved a significant milestone for women in music when their debut album, “Beauty and the Beat” reached #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. This was the first album by an all-female band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to reach the pinnacle of that chart. It would remain at the top for six consecutive weeks, selling more than 2 million copies. According to Billboard Magazine, only Asia’s self-titled debut album outsold the Go-Go’s in 1982. Looking back, many observers conclude that “Beauty and the Beat” is one of “the cornerstone albums of new wave” music.
The lead single, “Our Lips Are Sealed,” is the opening track on the album. Released in June of 1981, it would eventually reach the top 5 on the pop charts in Canada and Australia. Here in the USA, it peaked at #15 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart, and at #10 on the Billboard Dance chart. On the Billboard Hot 100, it only peaked at #20, but it spent an incredibly long time on that chart, helping it rank at #63 on the 1982 year-end chart. In 2000, Rolling Stone Magazine named “Our Lips Are Sealed” as one of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs of all time.
The follow-up single, “We Got The Beat,” would become the band’s signature song. It was originally released in 1981 as a stand-alone single on Stiff Records and reached #35 on the Billboard Dance Club chart. When it was released as the second single from “Beauty and the Beat,” it rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, spending three weeks in the #2 position behind another female rocker, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts with “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” While the song was in the top 10, the album reached #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The music video was filmed at Palos Verdes High School in L.A. in December 1981.
“We Got The Beat” would then be featured during the opening scenes of the Amy Heckerling film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” released in August 1982.
“We Got The Beat” has been named as one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock And Roll” by the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
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