Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fables of the Deconstruction: Go-Go's Edition

During Fables of the Deconstruction, we take a listen to a demo or early recording and put it up against the final version to gauge the evolution of a great work. This installment is a fine example of how a song can change from a minor hit to a major one.

By 1980, the Go-Go's were making a bit of a name for themselves on both sides of the pond, especially in the UK and in their hometown of Los Angeles. Stiff Records took notice and, with a little prodding, published the 7" of a catchy post-punk song called "We Got the Beat". As we can see from the art on the 7" sleeve above, Belinda, Jane and the rest of the gals were far from the polished group we would come to love just a bit more than a year later when the song was rerecorded on I.R.S. Records for the band's debut album, 'Beauty and the Beat'.

Did the transformation from punks to happy-go-lucky gals next door work? The power-pop version of "We Got the Beat" went to No. 2 on the Billboard charts, and 'Beauty and the Beat' became I.R.S. Records' first No. 1 album. As we can see from the art to the left, the aesthetic changes made to the 7" single sleeve are eye popping. Mom wouldn't protest you listening to these sweet girls. Here are both versions of an absolute classic. As a bonus, I'm including a live version of the song taken from the concert movie 'Urgh! A Music War'. It was filmed in 1980 and released in 1981. If you haven't seen it, find it!!

The Go-Go's - We Got the Beat (Original Version) (mp3)
The Go-Go's - We Got the Beat (Final Version) (mp3)
The Go-Go's - We Got the Beat (From Urgh!) (mp3)

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