Friday, April 1, 2011

Misplaced Songs - 4/1/11 "Unforgiven"

This week's Misplaced Song promises to go to any length to unforgive you.

The Go-Gos are an all-girl group formed in 1978. Their story is fairly well documented. They had a huge debut album, Beauty And The Beat, featuring "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "We Got The Beat." Their second album was rushed featuring the excellent title track "Vacation" but not much else.  Their third album was probably their best, featuring "Head Over Heels" among other excellent songs.  That album didn't sell as well as the previous two and the group soon disbanded due to conflicts and addiction issues.

The band was gone-gone for most of the 90s reuniting in 1990 for a reunion concert and to record a bad cover of "Cool Jerk" for a greatest hits compilation then recording 3 new songs in 1994 for another compilation. Two of those songs really stand out. "Good Girl" is a mid-tempo rocker about the pressure to uphold one's image while "The Whole World Lost Its Head" is an outstanding song about how crazy the world is.

Finally, in 2001, 17 years after their last release, they released an album of completely new material. God Bless The Go-Gos is a really good collection. Featuring many good songs the best of these is "Unforgiven." It's about one of my favorite topics, an ex-love. In this case it's apparently someone the singer had forgiven but now decided to rescind that forgiveness.

This is a typical uptempo Go-Gos song. Co-written by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day it's not surprisingly a hard rocker. The harmonies by Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey and Kathy Valentine sound great while Belinda Carlisle provides her usual stellar vocal. Caffey's does a great job on lead guitar. Gina Schock's drumming shows a bit more depth than most are used to hearing.

This song did fairly well on the adult charts, hitting number 57, especially considering I didn't hear it on the radio until 2009. That was on an episode of Little Steven's Underground Garage. God Bless The Go-Gos was their last release and it appears the group is no more - announcing a farewell tour last year that was cancelled due a knee injury sustained by Wiedlin. Since the world definitely isn't losing its head over them that's probably a good decision for them but a bad one for me since I enjoy their music.

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