It’s not quite right to say that the Go-Go’s' 1981 debut, Beauty and the Beat, is where new wave caught hold in the U.S., but it’s not quite wrong, either. Prior to this, there had certainly been new wave hits – Blondie had been reaching the Top Ten for two years running – but the Go-Go’s ushered in the era of big, bright stylish pop, spending six weeks at the top of the U.S. charts and generating two singles that defined the era: the cool groove of “Our Lips Are Sealed” and the exuberant “We Got the Beat.” So big were these two hits that they sometimes suggested that Beauty and the Beat was a hits-and-filler record, an impression escalated by the boost the Go-Go’s received from the just-launched MTV, yet that’s hardly the case. Beauty and the Beat is sharp, clever, and catchy, explicitly drawing from the well of pre-Beatles ‘60s pop – girl group harmonies, to be sure, but surf-rock echoes throughout – but filtering it through the nervy energy of punk.
A bombastic party courtesy of Legacy Records. The festivities begin with an unedited "Wake Up Everybody" by Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, flows into Isley, Jasper, Isley's "Caravan of Love," and then switches to adult theme ballads, the stature of "Me & Mrs. Jones," "Kiss and Say Goodbye," and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." Brenda & the Tabulations' breezy but despairing "One Girl Too Late" is delightful. The Intruders' "Cowboy to Girls" and Major Lance's calypso-ish "Hey Little Girl" are irresistible. Includes Labelle's potent "Lady Marmalade" and MFSB's contagious, six-plus minute "Love Is the Message."