Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Video - The Go-Gos' "Our Lips Are Sealed"

Can you see them? See right through them? They have no shield; no secrets to reveal.

A classic slice of 80's new wave/ pop here. Still as delicious and addictive as ever, all these decades later

Written by Jane Wiedlin (with no small help from Terry Hall, then of The Specials), this turned out to be the Go-Go's first hit back in '81.

The subject matter deals with the Wiedlin /Hall relationship; a thing that developed while the bands were on a US tour together in 1980. It was a somewhat scandal amongst the groups and entourages as Terry already a girlfriend back in England and so led to a lot of tittle-tattle flying around ("can you hear them, talk about us, telling lies?") Rumours that were never then confirmed by the couple ("there's a weapon we must use in our defense; silence.")

File:The Go-Go'sBeautyandtheBeatalbumcover.jpg"Our Lips Are Sealed" was the opening track on the band's 1981 album Beauty and the Beat - one of the most successful debut albums of all time (selling in excess of two million copies and reaching double platinum status.)

In 1983, Hall's later band, Fun Boy Three, released a great version of the song, which was a hit in the UK.

And here's the wonderful exuberant vid (mmm, Belinda was so hot back when she was 'curvaceous Belinda'! .... I must dig out that old Playboy spread she did!)

Yap, featuring sequences of the chicks hanging out and having fun (riding around in a convertible, stopping at a lingerie shop and splashing around in a city fountain), cut with footage of the band playing a club, the seminal video really helped establish the group's persona.

The vid was funded out of unused funds in The Police's massive video budget, as Police-man Miles Copeland was then president of their label, I.R.S. Records.

Jane Wiedlin says the band was initially very unenthusiastic about doing the video when Copeland told them they needed to make one, but when they committed to doing it, they tried to have as much fun as possible with the thing.


The high concept was for the band to drive around and be followed by a camera, with Belinda Carlisle singing and the other members doing cutesy things. They wanted an older-style convertible and found the perfect thing - a 1960 Buick - at Rent A Wreck!

Wiedlin said it was the band's idea to end the video by jumping into the Electric Fountain on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvds, Beverly Hills. "I thought, at any minute the cops are gonna come. This is gonna be so cool."

Jane still looks back on it fondly. "I have horrible '80s poodle hair in [it]", she recalled in a 2011 history of MTV. "But there's a simplicity and innocence to the video that appeals to me."

In a sequence of scenes, Belinda can be seen trying to hide; she later admitted this was deliberate, as she thought the whole idea of music video was ridiculous and unlikely to catch on. Well done Nostradamus Carlisle!

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