The Go-Go's write their own songs, and along with the Bangles and The Dixie Chicks, are one of the most successful all-girl bands to do so. This song was written by guitarist Charlotte Caffey, who drew inspiration from some Motown beats, specifically one that mentioned the name of her group. Charlotte told Songfacts: "I thought it would be very clever to do 'Going To A Go-Go.' I thought, Well, let's try working this out as a cover song. Which is really funny when I think about it. I was listening to it a lot one day, and later that night, the song came to me within five minutes. I don't even know if it has anything to do with listening to that song, but this whole idea came to me. It was one of those things that just went right through me and came out my hand; I wrote it down, recorded it a little bit, and then brought it into rehearsal a few days later."
An early version of this song was released as The Go-Go's first single in May 1980. It came out in England on Stiff Records, which was home to The Specials and Madness, both groups The Go-Go's toured with in England. In America, the group was signed to IRS Records by Miles Copeland, who managed The Police. In the US, "Our Lips Are Sealed" was their first single, followed by a new version of "We Got The Beat" in January 1982. This release was The Go-Go's biggest hit, spending three weeks at #2 behind Joan Jett's "I Love Rock And Roll" on the US charts.
This was used in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
When Jane Wiedlin, Kathy Valentine and Belinda Carlisle put a band together in 1978, they didn't know how to play, but figured they could learn on the fly in the LA punk scene, where musicianship was not a priority. Charlotte Caffey was a few years older and knew how to play when Belinda, dressed in a garbage bag, asked her to join this new all-girl band called The Go-Go's. Charlotte took the offer, leaving her band The Eyes and becoming a key songwriter not just for The Go-Go's but for Belinda's solo material. (Get more on the Go-Go's in our interviews with Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin.)
This opens the Broadway musical Head Over Heels, based on the music of The Go-Go's, which premiered in July 2018. When an oracle, played by Peppermint of RuPaul's Drag Race, foresees a beatless future for the Elizabethan-era townsfolk of Arcadia, they respond with the tune.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 23rd 1982, the Go-Go's performed "We Got The Beat" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'... And on that very same day it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on April 4th, 1982 it peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100 (and 9 of those 19 weeks it was on the Top 10)... It reached #3 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart... The three weeks it was at #2, the #1 record during that time was "I Love Rock ‘N Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Guy from Woodinville, WaGreat energy! Interesting that this and Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" Were #1 and #2 at the same time in 1980. You go, girls!