The Go-Go's: Charlotte Caffey (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Kathy Valentine
(vocals, guitar, bass); Jane Wiedlin (vocals, guitar); Belinda Carlisle (vocals); Gina Schock (drums).
Digitally remastered by Doug Schwartz (Audio Mechanics, Los Angeles, California).
Personnel: Kathy Valentine (vocals, guitar, bass guitar); Jane Wiedlin (vocals); Gina Schock (drums).
Recording information: Devonshire Studios, Los Angeles; Genetic Sound, England; Red Zone, Los Angeles.
Photographer: Chris Craymer.
By the time their third album, TALK SHOW, was released in 1984, the Go-Go's had fallen victim to drugs and serious personal conflicts. Nevertheless, with a few adjustments in the songwriting partnerships (the band's guitarists Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin were writing fewer tracks together, while bass player Kathy Valentine was both writing more and playing lead guitar on several tracks), the formula was refreshed, and TALK SHOW emerged as a vastly more subtle record than either of its predecessors. It employs style and skill where enthusiasm used to suffice, is rife with more personal lyrics, and, in retrospect, defined the parameters of Belinda Carlisle's subsequent solo career.
Among the standout tracks are the hit single "Head Over Heels," complete with hand claps and Carlisle's occasional unexpected growls underneath Valentine's twisting bass line; "Turn to You," with singalong backing vocals, a propulsive beat, and swaggering guitar; and "Mercenary," a somber tale of a deteriorating relationship with martial drumming and shimmering acoustic guitars. Perhaps the best song, though, is "Beneath the Blue Sky," another of example of the band's revamping of the classic '60s girl-group sound. Oh, and the hairstyles sported by the band on the sleeve are something to behold.