Chart Beat

Rewinding the Charts: In 1982, The Go-Go's Got the 'Beat' to a Historic No. 1

The Go-Go's
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From left: Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Charlotte Caffey (in front) of the Go-Go's in 1982.

The pioneering group scored Billboard 200 honors yet to be matched.

On March 6, 1982, the Go-Go's topped the Billboard 200 with their new wave debut, Beauty and the Beat, making the act the first all-female rock band to notch a No. 1 album. Today, it's an achievement that has yet to be matched.

"Our manager, Ginger [Canzoneri], would tell us our number on the charts, and it was unbelievably exciting to listen to the number get higher and higher every week," guitarist/backing vocalist Jane Wiedlin told Billboard in 2011. "The week we went to No. 1, we were on tour opening for The Police, and they gave us champagne and congratulated us."

The album, released in July 1981, debuted at No. 186 a month later on the Billboard 200 dated Aug. 1, then took a leisurely seven-month climb to No. 1. While the album's first single, "Our Lips Are Sealed," reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was the group's second hit, "We Got the Beat," written by guitarist Charlotte Caffey, that blew the pop doors open for the quintet. (All 11 tracks on the album were written or co-written by the band's members.)

The act would release two more studio albums in the early '80s before going on hiatus in 1990. Since then, the band has issued one additional studio LP, 2001's God Bless the Go-Go's. In 2018 the stage musical Head Over Heels, set to the group's song catalog, debuted on Broadway, and a documentary simply titled The Go-Go's was acquired by Showtime in February and will premiere later this year.