Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Beauty and the Beat, the debut album by The Go-Go’s.
The album spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200, making The Go-Go’s the only all-female band whose members played their own instruments to ever top that chart.
Beauty and the Beat featured two of the group’s biggest hits, “Our Lips Are Sealed,” which peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “We Got the Beat,” considered the band’s signature tune, which reached #2.
Go-Go’s keyboardist/guitarist Charlotte Caffey, who wrote or co-wrote eight of the album’s 11 tracks, including “We Got the Beat,” tells ABC Audio that she’s extremely proud of Beauty and the Beat‘s success.
“The fact that it really stayed [at #1] for six weeks…Wow, come on,” she gushes. “I mean, from where we started, we were girls. No one wanted to hear from girls, did they? — I guess they did — But yeah, that was a whole overwhelming moment.”
The album was co-produced by Richard Gottehrer, who also produced Blondie‘s first two records and co-wrote such classic ’60s pop hits as “Hang On Sloopy,” “I Want Candy” and “My Boyfriend’s Back.”
Caffey says working with Gottehrer “was like being in a master class,” and credits his pop sensibilities for helping to make the album sound great.
Charlotte recalls that Gottehrer “wanted us to do slower tempos than what we were playing live, so we could really understand the lyrics and let the melodies…come through.”
Caffey says the band members initially were angry that the recordings didn’t capture the group’s live sound, but she notes that when she heard “how those songs sparkled on the radio, then I understood.”
Here’s the Beauty and the Beat track list:
“Our Lips Are Sealed”
“How Much More”
“Lust to Love”
“We Got the Beat”
“You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)”
“Skidmarks on My Heart”
“Can’t Stop the World”