A Brief History of The Go-Go's
The Go-Go's formed in the Los Angeles punk scene, famed for bands such as The Bags, The Germs, X, The Dickies, The Weirdos, The Dils, The Zeros, and The Motels. Aspiring singer Belinda Carlisle and guitarist/songwriter Jane Wiedlin joined with bassist Margot Olavarria and drummer Elissa Bello, debuting at the beloved L.A. dive the Masque club. Their live sets were initially chaotic and amateruish, but began to develop as the band became more experienced and had the good sense to hire guitarist Charlotte Caffey. Bello and Olavarria were let go along the way, replaced by drummer Gina Schock, and guitarist-turned-bassist Kathy Valentine. After a grueling period of touring the band was finally signed by Miles Copeland to I.R.S. Records, gaining further exposure by touring with labelmates The Police.

On their debut album the band's tougher, punk-influenced sound was smoothed out in the studio by veteran producer Richard Gottehrer, resulting the the period classic Beauty and the Beat, released in July, 1981. It featured the singles Our Lips Are Sealed and We Got the Beat, and became the only album by an all-female band to top the Billboard 200 chart.

The band's second album, Vacation, was released in August, 1982. It yielded further hits, especially the title track, along with Get Up and Go, among a host of solid album tracks.

The strain of touring and recording was beginning to take a toll on the band. Their third album, Talk Show, released in March of 1984, promoted by the "Prime Time" tour, would be their last of the 1980s. The album included the singles Head Over Heels, Turn To You, and Yes or No.

Jane Wiedlin made the difficult decision to leave the group in 1984, and they disbanded in early 1985, leading to a variety of solo projects (see Solo Go-Go's).

In 1990 the Go-Go's reformed for a benefit concert, which led to a series of tours in subsequent years, accompanied by the collections Greatest and Return to the Valley of The Go-Go's, as well as VH1 Music First: Behind the Music, which accompanied the VH1 video profile of the band. They released their fourth album, God Bless the Go-Go's, in May of 2001, featuring the single Unforgiven, co-written with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.

The individual members of the band have released a number of solo projects, and the Go-Go's continued to perform through the August, 2016 GOing GOing GONE farewell tour. God Bless the Go-Go's!



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