40 Years Of "We Got The Beat" And The Influence The Go-Go's Had On 90s Music
Following up my last post about female artists in the 90s, I had to write a piece about The Go-Go's today. This is a site about 90s music and culture, but everything comes from somewhere else, doesn't it? That being said, today, January 16th, 2022 is the 40th anniversary of the release of the iconic track, "We Got The Beat", which appeared on the band's debut album, Beauty and the Beat, in July of 1981.
This massively catchy, hypnotic song (written by guitarist Charlotte Caffey) was first recorded in 1980 for a UK single and brought some well-deserved attention to the band. It wasn't until they re-recorded the track a year later for their debut album however, that the song really took form. The original version was more of a demo than a radio ready produced song but even more importantly, it didn't include the drum intro.
Courtesy of drummer Gina Schock, that groove and gallup start to the song, made so much difference in this new version, one might argue it wouldn't have become the beast it did without it. Along with better production and cleaner vocals, the album version of "We Got The Beat" propelled the song and the band towards superstardom.
The Go-Go's were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October of 2021, cementing their legacy and influence forever. So many bands have pointed to The Go-Go's as major influences, including some of the biggest bands of the 90s. Bikini Kill, Hole, Green Day, and Nirvana all cite the all-female group as being tremendously impactful on their respective careers.
Here's the original version followed by the album version. Listen back to back you'll hear just how important that drum intro was.