When The Runaways broke up, their guitarists with the songwriting chops, Joan Jett and Lita Ford, became the solo stars while their lead singer, Cherie Currie, faded into obscurity. It was a different story for The Go-Go's: lead singer Belinda Carlisle, who wasn't a songwriter and didn't play an instrument, became the huge star. "Mad About You" was a hit, establishing her as a solo artist. Her next album contained "Heaven Is A Place On Earth
," a #1 smash that was one of the biggest hits of the '80s.
Carlisle was well-suited for the era, with a big voice that could make whatever she was singing sound jubilant. She also got lots of help from various producers, songwriters and studio musicians who put her in a position to succeed.
As for the Go-Go's guitarists, Jane Wiedlin had a modestly successful solo career and expanded into acting with roles on Clue
and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
. Charlotte Caffey, happiest out of the spotlight, worked on Carlisle's first two solo albums and formed a group called The Graces in 1989 with Meredith Brooks. That group was supported by much of the team that made Carlisle so successful, but they didn't pan out and split after just one album. Caffey remained active as a songwriter.