Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Go-Go's - Talk Show

Today (March 16th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Talk Show, the third studio album from the all-female American rock band the Go-Go's. The 1984 release, their final before a break-up, spent thirty-two weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 18. It also went to number 64 in Canada.

Side one begins with "Head Over Heels". As the debut single, it went to number 60 in Australia, number 35 in Canada, number 33 on the US Mainstream Rock chart and number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100. I like the energetic keyboards that open it which set the foundation for the rest of the track. This song about falling madly in love was a crowd pleaser for dancing back in college.

"Turn to You", the second single, went to number 95 in Canada and number 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was written about Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Bob Welch who dated briefly one of the girls in the band. Along with the opening track, this up-temp tune contributes to a solid one-two-punch that kicks the record off squarely.

"You Thought" has cascading synths, a very 80's new-wave sound. The lyrics are full of angst as a victim of love makes the decision to stand up for herself.

"Beneath the Blue Sky" is another track about love-life drama.

The first half closes with "Forget That Day", a song about trying to dispel the memories firmly etched in one's mind.

Side two opens with "I'm the Only One"; it rocks hard with a strong guitars and a solid beat. It kind of reminds me of a 60's rock track from someone like the Beatles or the Kinks.

"Yes or No", co-written by Jane Wiedlin and the Mael brothers (Ron and Russell) of Sparks, was released as the third single; they had collaborated previously on the Sparks track "Cool Places". This propositional single stalled at number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The encouraging "Capture the Light" is up next. It reminds us that perspective and outlook can have a big effect on how our lives go.

The B-side to the second single was "I'm With You".

"Mercenary", the closing track, was also the B-side to the third single. It details a romantic break-up with sharp military precision, complete with a marching drumbeat.

Of course, I was very familiar with the singles from Talk Show back in the day, thanks to radio airplay and music videos. I filled in with the rest of the album a number of years back, when I was completing my collection of the 80's Go-Go's music. For me, this one is my least favorite of the group's early output. It is heavier and serious, which was definitely not the type of stuff I gravitated towards back in 1984. Back then, if you wanted to give me a message you needed to wrap it in a high energy dance package.

For their 1981 debut Beauty and the Beat, click here.

For 1982's Vacation, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Love the two opening tracks on this one. A LOT. Rest of the album? Not so much. So I guess we're in sync once again.

Still listen to Beauty and the Beat in its entirety quite regularly.