Video Review: The Go-Go’s “Head Over Heels”

In between flashes of a rosy pink and ocean blue, Gina and Jane smile. Charlotte and Kathy give professional grins. After Belinda smiles, the colors flash again. Gina plays the drums. Charlotte, as she plays the keyboards, plasters a wide smile on her face.

By the a pink oval, Belinda dances and snaps her fingers. Jane plays her guitar, still smiling. Kathy stares down the camera as she concentrates. Belinda dances her way to Gina. The stage fades to black as Belinda twirls.

Belinda claps on the left side of the stage. One by one, the band members are spotlighted. Then, the color returns. Belinda dances past the band to the right side of the stage.

Against a turquoise background, Jane plays her guitar with Belinda next to her. It changes into a mauve background as she stands near Gina. A panoramic view of the band begins, starting with Jane, Belinda,  Charlotte, Kathy and Gina. It leads to a television screen, where Jane is reading from a book. A couple in silhouette kiss.

Belinda leans on Charlotte’s keyboard and then dances beside Kathy. Jane sneaks up behind Gina. Gina smiles, thinking she has no idea what to do with Jane.

The keys on Charlotte’s keyboard pop out. Charlotte’s eyes bulge. Cars drive in traffic. A A city’s skyline is shown. Jane bobs her head from left to right. Kathy darts her eyes from left to right as skyscrapers fill with digital neon bars. A ring is put on someone’s finger, then a spider. Charlotte pretends to be scared and then scoffs.

The skyscrapers shake out of their foundation. Belinda looks up to the sky. Jane claps with the music. On an airplane runway, the band plays in slow motion.

Against a turquiose background, Belinda sings. It mixed with Charlotte’s mauve. Jane’s butterscotch yellow is then added. The background switches to Jane being in the center, Charlotte with the turquiose and Gina with the butterscotch yellow. After several other changes, it finally ends with each band member getting a color and forming what would be the band’s album cover for Talk Show. The band is gradually added into the center. Belinda jumps and the screen gets fuzzy.

Rating: 4/5

The Go-Go’s, polished and ladylike, rein in their rebellious charm in the video and trade it in for chalky pastels and a well-behaved performance on stage.  At this point in their careers, they seem to have realized videos are inevitable and it’s what they have to do in order to sell records.

The video primes the band for the mainstream, giving them a softer look. However, they are able to remain their expressive selves. It is the band’s inability to hide what is going inside their heads, whether they are over it or actually enjoying it, that makes their videos stand out.

Belinda is perhaps the most put together. She is at her most glossy and mature, taking her job seriously as the leader of the group. Jane plays innocent after she sneaks up on Gina. Gina tries to hide her enjoyment of Jane’s silliness. Charlotte, though, grins and bears it as she tries not to unravel. Kathy, though, is the lone holdout. She dares the camera at one point to turn away and keeps her lips tight when she smiles. She is the one who seems to be the most burned out.

Director: Douglas Martin  Year: 1984

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