Exactly two decades ago, 17 years after their last album, The Go-Go’s surprised a generation of kids raised on “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got The Beat” with God Bless The Go-Go’s, their reunion record. And while it was not their best album to date (it’s hard to imagine most bands trying to compete against the nostalgia tied to Beauty And The Beat), it was a pretty great record on its own.
Eagle Records has just re-released the album digitally, on vinyl for the first time, and via a deluxe CD with bonus tracks. The vinyl version is being pressed on 140gram, blue colored vinyl, while the deluxe CD and digital versions feature new cover art. The record opens on one of the strongest tracks, the earworm “La La Land,” and it’s quickly apparent just how remarkably the five-piece have grown as both musicians and songwriters. While The Go-Go’s started out as a charmingly sloppy punk rock band that were nudged into pop music via their label at the time, by God Bless, the band have fully embraced being a pop band and are revealing in their talents. It’s hard to imagine a song as layered as “Here You Are” coming out from the band in the early 1980s.
The deluxe version of the record includes two new tracks, “I Think I Need Sleep” and “King of Confusion.” Of the bonus tracks, both fit nicely onto the album, though neither would count as stand out tracks and don’t necessarily add too much to the album, but neither do they take away from it. Produced by Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Radiohead, Hole), God Bless includes Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong on “Unforgiven,” The Wallflowers/Foo Fighter’s Rame Jaffee on “Here You Are,” and Jellyfish/Imperial Drag’s Roger Manning on “Daisy Chain,” a beautifully trippy pop song that sounds like it could have come off of one of Manning’s own records. The album drew decent reviews when it was first released 20 years ago. Looking back on the release decades later, the songs have aged remarkably well and fit nicely into the band’s surprisingly small, but solid catalogue.