The Go-Go’s released “Head over Heels” on February 21, 1984, their first single from their their third album, Talk Show. The single peaked at #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was their next-to-last U.S. Top 40 Hit.
The single was written by lead guitarist/keyboardist Charlotte Caffey and bassist Kathy Valentine. Caffey played piano as well as guitar, and the inspiration for the song started with deciding to try to write a Go-Go’s song with a piano riff.
“Head over Heels” was produced by Martin Rushnet, who had previously worked with, most recently, The Human League, Pete Shelley, and Altered Images.
There was a two-year gap between the Vacation and Talk Show albums. Drummer Schock was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and Caffey struggled with carpal tunnel syndrome with the hand she played guitar with.
Head over Heels 3’37
The music video for “Head over Heels” was directed by Douglas Martin. It has the seizure-inducing flash of colors and band members headshots before it cuts to The Go-Go’s performing in a studio. The multi-colored split-screen of the video was carried over into the design of the Talk Show album cover. It also showcases the band member’s personalities and quirky sense of humor with funny facial expressions and gag bits. There’s also a cool bit toward the end that shows Shock and Valentine playing drums and bass outside while a jet races by behind them.
I remember I first “Head over Heels” on the radio in the Spring of 1984. I was a huge Go-Go’s fan and I taped the song off the radio. I played it over and over until I managed to convince my mom to buy me the Talk Show LP when we were shopping at Target. I was a bit surprised the record sounded more rocky than their previous records. Like their other albums, I played it incessantly. It’s one of my favorite Go-Go’s songs and radio played it regularly clear after school let out at the end of May. The music video received airplay on the music video shows all through the spring and into the summer. I eventually bought the 7″ vinyl single for “Head over Heels,” because I discovered the B-Side, “Good for Gone,” wasn’t included on the album, and my obsession with B-Sides began. I also remember my little sister, Randi, who was not even two years old at the time, running up to the T.V. screen every time the music video came on T.V. She had never shown any interest in television before. I think it might have been the flashing colors at the beginning. She’d laugh and dance and slap her hands against the screen of the T.V.
What are your memories of “Head over Heels by The Go-Go’s?