Sunday, June 20, 2010

THE FIRST TIME: PART FOUR

This latest installment is dedicated to the first time we heard these ladies who rock:

THE GO-GO'S - "BEAUTY AND THE BEAT" - (1981)


This all-girl group started as a punk-rock band in 1978 that included Belinda Carlisle on vocals and Jane Wiedlin on guitar and vocals. Later, Charlotte Caffey joined the band on lead guitar and keyboards. Drummer, Gina Schock and bassist, Kathy Valentine soon followed, replacing original band members.

This current line-up moved to a new wave rock sound and signed with I.R.S. Records in 1981 where they released their debut album. "Beauty & The Beat" was a surprise hit and it topped the U.S. charts for six weeks and sold over two million copies. The Go-Go's were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

The band went on to record two more albums, "Vacation" (1982) and "Talk Show" (1984) before breaking up due to personality conflicts, creative differences and drug addiction.

The Go-Go's reunited in 1990, released one more studio album, "God Bless The Go-Go's" (2001) and has continued to tour together many times over the years.

The Go-Go's are considered to one of the most successful all-female bands of all time.

This was the song that kicked things off:

Our Lips Are Sealed.mp3

THE BANGLES - "DIFFERENT LIGHT" - (1986)

The Bangles were the other successful all-female band in the 1980's. The group formed in 1981 and was called The Bangs with Susanna Hoffs on vocals and guitar, Annette Zilinskas on bass and sisters, Vicki and Debbie Peterson on guitar and drums respectively.

A legal issue forced the band to change their name and they became The Bangles and released an EP in 1982. Shortly after, Ms Zilinskas left to focus on her own project and was replaced by Michael Steele.

In 1984, the band signed with Columbia Records and released, "All Over the Place". It featured the singles, "Hero Takes the Fall" and "Going Down To Liverpool" which got good reviews and created some buzz but not a lot of radio play.

It did catch the attention of another artist, Prince who was inspired to give them a song for their next album, "Different Light". That song took them to number two on the U.S. charts but their next single, "Walk Like An Egyptian" took them to number one around the world.

Despite all four band members equally contributing songs and singing lead on their albums, it was perceived that Ms Hoffs was the lead singer of the band. This was the direct result of the choice of singles released by the record label and it did cause friction amongst the group. They released one more hit album, "Everything" (1988) before putting an end to the Bangles and going their separate ways.

The Bangles got back to together in 1999 for a song on the soundtrack of "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" which was directed by Jay Roach, who was now Ms Hoffs's husband. The band went on tour and later released another album, "Doll Revolution (W/Dvd)" (2003). Ms Steele left the group in 2005 but the Bangles still continue to tour with an unofficial band replacement, Abby Travis.

This was the song that the Purple One gave the group under the pseudonym, "Christopher":

Manic Monday.mp3


BELINDA CARLISLE - "BELINDA" - (1986)


Belinda Carlisle was born in Hollywood, California and raised in Thousand Oaks. She was a cheerleader in high school and at the age of nineteen, she left home determined to become a star.

She started off as drummer in the punk band, The Germs and calling herself, "Dottie Danger" before leaving to form her own band, The Go-Go's.

After leaving The Go-Go's in 1985, Belinda Carlisle decided to embark on a solo career. With the assistance of Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles and former Go-Go's member, Charlotte Caffey, she released her debut album. "Belinda" was successful, selling over a half a million copies in the U.S. and the first single went to number three on the charts.

Ms Carlisle had many more top ten hits and went on to releasing a total of seven albums which includes her last, "Voila (Bonus CD)" (2007). It has the very American artist singing French chansons and pop standards.

She has been married to Morgan Mason, son of the actor, James Mason, since 1986 and they have a son. Ms Carlisle has just written her autobiography," Lips Unsealed: A Memoir"  that came out this June.

This was her first hit song as a solo artist:

Mad About You.mp3

Here is the music video for the song:

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