Thursday, November 3, 2016

"Head Over Heels" by The Go-Go's

Song#:  1838
Date:  03/17/1984
Debut:  58
Peak:  11
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's second album, Vacation, did fine and went Top 10 and gold thanks to the #8 title-track, but it was a bit of a sophomore slump after their multi-platinum #1 debut Beauty and the Beat. It didn't help that health issues sidelined the band after the album was released, which resulted in a lot less promotion than anticipated. After a short hiatus, they regrouped to record their third album titled Talk Show. This first single was issued and it ended up peaking at the dreaded #11 on the Pop chart. It was a minor entry at Rock getting to #33. Although the song barely missed the Top 10, it still performed a bit below expectation and that affected initial album sales. The LP could only manage to get to #18 and it failed to go gold.

ReduxReviewBeauty and the Beat  will always remain their classic album, but I really loved Talk Show. In the course of just a few years, they had all grown as songwriters and I think it was their most mature effort. The problem might have been that audiences just loved the bubbly fun girl band and when they issued songs that had more emotional depth, it just didn't work. The first two albums had party written all over them, but Talk Show tried to move the band forward. This first blast definitely signaled that something was changing with the addition of a piano. It's a solid rock song and the production was beefier than their other albums thanks to producer Martin Rushent. It just sounded damn good, as did the album. I've always though this song and the album were vastly underrated.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The Go-Go's chose Martin Rushent as their producer for Talk Show, but it wasn't without reservations. Although Rushent's résumé was full of engineering and production credits for rock artists, including punk bands like the Buzzcocks and Generation X (Billy Idol's first band), he had been getting more involved with synths and electronic music. His most famous work was when he produced Human League's Dare album, which won him a BRIT award for Best Producer. He even went so far to say at one point that he though guitars would end up being obsolete. This came at a time when The Go-Go's wanted a tougher, guitar driven album, which mean no synths. Rushent agreed and recording commenced. Not long after the album was released, Rushent decided to step away from the music industry and even sold his studio. He would later return to doing production work in the 2000's, but it was cut short when he passed away in 2011.


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