ROCK FLIX: Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat”


We Got the Beat” is a song recorded by the American rock band The Go-Go’s. Written by the group’s lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey, the band recorded the song in 1980 and it was released in May as a single in the UK on Stiff Records. The song’s single release brought the Go-Go’s underground credibility in the UK. The song climbed to number 35 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart due to the popularity of the song in clubs as an import.

The following year the Go-Go’s re-recorded the song for their debut album Beauty and the Beat. Released in January 1982 as the album’s second single, “We Got the Beat” became the Go-Go’s biggest hit, spending three weeks at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, behind Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’I Love Rock ‘n Roll“. It was during the song’s time in the U.S. top ten that Beauty and the Beat topped the U.S. Billboard 200.

Clocking in at only two-and-a-half-minutes, the song is instantly recognizable by its drumming intro. Lyrically, the song is a simple ode to dancing to a good beat, hanging out, and looking cool. In line with a trend of early 1960s revival also seen in bands like The B-52’s, The Rezillos, and numerous powerpop and ska revival bands,”We Got the Beat” mentions various early 60s dances, such as the Pony, the Watusi, and Go-Go dancing (which could also be interpreted as a self-reference). The song’s music video received heavy airplay on MTV at the time and consisted of a simple live concert performance of the song and gained further exposure by being used in the opening sequence of the Cameron Crowe film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

“We Got the Beat” was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

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