Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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We Got the Beat

First recorded by The Go-Go’s (DANCE #35 1980).
Hit version by The Go-Go’s (US #2 1982).

From the wiki: “Written by the group’s lead guitarist and keyboardist Charlotte Caffey, and considered to be their signature song, ‘We Got the Beat’ was first recorded in 1980 and released in July as a single in the UK on Stiff Records (available in the US, then, only as an UK import). The song’s single release brought the Go-Go’s underground credibility in the UK. The song climbed to #35 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart due to its popularity in clubs as an import.

“From, Jane Wiedlin remembers, ‘[B]efore we got our record deal with IRS, we actually put out one single in England so that when we toured we had something to sell, and we had like a one single deal with Stiff Records, who were the record company that had signed The Specials and Madness – we also toured with Madness in England. And then that single was a previous version of ‘We Got The Beat’. So, I guess technically that was our first single.’

“The Go-Go’s re-recorded the song for their debut album Beauty and the Beat. Released in January 1982, the song was the album’s second single (after ‘Our Lips Are Sealed‘). ‘We Got the Beat’ became the Go-Go’s biggest hit, spending three weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll’. ‘We Got the Beat’ has since been named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

“Producer Richard Gottehrer recalls, ”Our Lips Are Sealed’ was the song I identified [as a hit] and put the extra effort into. But the real challenge came when I asked them to do a new version of ‘We Got The Beat’. I had to convince them that the song could reach a much wider audience than the version already released on Stiff. We focused on slowing the tempo and simply doubling Gina’s drums which were set up in the store room of the studio to get a more open sound. It worked.'”

The Go-Go’s, “We Got the Beat” (1982):

The Go-Go’s, “We Got the Beat” live performance (1982):

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