Go-Go's bass player Kathy Valentine
wrote this song in 1978 when she moved from Texas to Los Angeles to pursue music. She was living in a ramshackle apartment with dim prospects when she took out the guitar and came up with the song, which is about not giving up. It was the first song she ever wrote.
Valentine ended up in a band called The Textones, but the chemistry wasn't right, so she quit the band. In December 1980, the Go-Go's enlisted her to play bass at a run of shows at the Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood as a fill-in for their original bassist, Margot Olavarria, who was dealing with health problems. After the run, she joined the band full time.
The group got a record deal with Miles Copeland's IRS Records and worked on their first album with producer Richard Gottehrer. The band had plenty of songs written from before Valentine got there, but Gottehrer wanted them to include one that wasn't in their set, perhaps a cover song. Valentine presented "Can't Stop The World," and it made the album, giving her a songwriting credit on the set. That album, Beauty And The Beat
, ended up going to #1 in America, making the Go-Go's the first all-girl band to top the albums chart.