All Hail The Go-Go’s Countdown!

After the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (RRHOF) announced their Class of 2021 Inductees, I found myself more excited than I ever expected. With some of my very favorite artists, such as Prince, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Springsteen, R.E.M. and Hall & Oates, I felt more vindication than excitement with those inductions. And, don’t get me wrong, and I love Todd Rundgren’s career, but, once again, I just feel like he should be there. And I feel exactly the same way about all of the other inductees, save one. That one inductee that cut through my cynical exterior was The Go-Go’s.

Why is that? I am not totally certain, but I do have a few reasons as to why this has elicited such an emotional response. First, The Go-Go’s began to bubbling just under the mainstream shortly after I started my college career. During the fall of 1981, you could go to various parties around campus and hear “Our Lips Are Sealed” or “We Got the Beat” mixed in with new or re-vitalized artists like Prince, Squeeze, Joan Jett, Ramones and The J. Geils Band. The Go-Go’s punk sound was tempered with strong pop melodies, so those two songs fit in well on a college student’s mixtape. So, I guess I really do have a nostalgic streak.

1981

Next, there’s the fact that The Go-Go’s were the first all-female band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to have a number one album here in the U.S.A. Surprisingly, and frustratingly, The Go-Go’s remain the only all-female band to have accomplished this feat. Seriously! And, it’s been almost 40 years since they broke down that glass ceiling. And this band did this within a decade of the commercial arrival of two all-female bands Fanny and The Runaways, as well as prominent women finding success in the punk and hard rock realms, most prominently Patti Smith and Pat Benatar. So, now we can move into an equal rights era in order to get over ourselves. In other words, I hope this is a conscious effort by the Hall to induct more females and people of color than it had over the past decade or so.

1982

Finally, I hope The Go-Go’s induction represents some movement to induct more alternative and hip hop artists from the Eighties and Nineties. Honestly, I see a clearer path for those artists than metal and prog artists right now. The Hall needs to get over itself and begin a more than obligatory evaluation of artists from those four genres. Maybe, the RRHOF ought to induct ten artists a year for the next decade in an attempt to break up this logjam. Unlike sports Halls, which honor the immortals of those sports, the RRHOF should be as inclusive as the music itself. Let HBO, MTV and radio worry about ratings, while the Hall worries about the music of people, not just the critics and musicians.

1984

And, although those are my three reasons for my excitement concerning the impending induction of The Go-Go’s, I have to say that nostalgia may be the predominant driving force. I have so many great college memories tied to their music that I could never be able to describe them all in this space. Yet, The Go-Go’s allowed girls to enter Ball State Air Jam contests all over campus. No longer would they be lip syncing ballads by Olivia Newton-John, attempting some flowing lace twirling of Stevie Nicks or taking on a tough girl persona of Pat Benatar. With The Go-Go’s, young ladies could channel their inner effervescence to emphasize their bubbly personalities while performing to one of The Go-Go’s pop punk tunes. By 1981, all-female teams were rocking as hard as all-male groups miming Ramones, Cheap Trick, Adam Ant and The Time.

2002

Yet, now 40 years on, with the help of the stellar documentary of the band’s history that was shown on Showtime over the winter, it is obvious to see how these women (Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Charlotte Caffey) actually influenced future punk bands to incorporate pop melodies in their songs every bit as much as the Buzzcocks or Ramones did. Hell, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong continues to sing the praises of this group of L.A. punks.

2020

So, to honor The Go-Go’s, I have decided to rank all the songs they have released on their four studio albums, included in their compilations and various B-Sides during the Eighties. On with the countdown!

55. “Surfing and Spying” (B-Side of “Our Lips Are Sealed,” 1981)

54. “He’s So Strange” (Vacation, 1982)

53. “Girl of 100 Lists” (Vacation, 1982)

52. “Speeding” (Fast Times at Ridgemont High OST, 1982)

51. “I Think It’s Me” (Vacation, 1982)

50. “We Don’t Get Along” (Vacation, 1982)

49. “It’s Everything but Partytime” (Vacation, 1982)

48. “The Way You Dance” (Vacation, 1982)

47. “Kissing Asphalt” (God Save The Go-Go’s (Deluxe Edition), 2001)

46. “Beatnik Beach” (Vacation, 1982)

45. “Capture the Light” (Talk Show, 1984)

44. “King of Confusion” (God Save The Go-Go’s (Deluxe Edition), 2001)

43. “Good for Gone” (B-Side of “Head over Heels,” 1984)

42. “Insincere” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

41. “Automatic Rainy Day” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

40. “Vision of Nowness” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

39. “This Old Feeling” (Vacation, 1982)

38. “Good Girl” (Return to the Valley of The Go-Go’s, 1994)

37. “Daisy Chain” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

36. “Sonic Superslide” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

35. “Apology” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

34. “World’s Away” (Vacation, 1982)

33. “Skidmarks on My Heart” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

32. “Here You Are” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

31. “I’m with You” (Talk Show, 1984)

30. “I Think I Need to Sleep” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

29. “Cool Jerk” (Vacation, 1982)

28. “Can’t Stop the World” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

27. “Talking Myself Down” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

26. “Fading Fast” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

25. “Get Up and Go” (Vacation, 1982)

24. “La La Land” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

23. “You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

22. “Throw Me a Curve” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

21. “Beautiful” (Return to the Valley of The Go-Go’s, 1994)

20. “Tonite” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

19. “This Town” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

18. “Beneath the Blue Sky” (Talk Show, 1984)

17. “I’m the Only One” (Talk Show, 1984)

16. “Yes or No” (Talk Show, 1984)

15. “Automatic” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

14. “Forget That Day” (Talk Show, 1984)

13. “Stuck in My Car” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

12. “Mercenary” (Talk Show, 1984)

11. “Club Zero” (Non-Album single, 2020)

10. “Turn to You” (Talk Show, 1984)

9. “The Whole World Lost Its Head” (Return to the Valley of The Go-Go’s, 1994)

8. “Unforgiven” (God Save The Go-Go’s, 2002)

7. “How Much More” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

6. “Vacation” (Vacation, 1982)

5. “You Thought” (Talk Show, 1984)

4. “Head over Heels” (Talk Show, 1984)

3. “We Got the Beat” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

2. “Lust to Love” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

1. “Our Lips Are Sealed” (Beauty and the Beat, 1981)

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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