Rock Music Wiki

"We Got the Beat" is a song recorded by the American rock band The Go-Go's. Written by the group's lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey, the band recorded the song in 1980 and it was released in July as a single in the UK on Stiff Records. The song's single release brought the Go-Go's underground credibility in the UK. The song climbed to number 35 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart due to the popularity of the song in clubs as an import.

Background, composition and release[edit source | editbeta][]

Clocking in at only two-and-a-half-minutes, the song is instantly recognizable by its drumming intro. Lyrically, the song is a simple ode to dancing to a good beat, hanging out, and looking cool. In line with a trend of early 1960s revival also seen in bands like The B-52'sThe Rezillos, and numerous powerpop and ska revival bands,"We Got the Beat" mentions various early 60s dances, such as the Ponythe Watusi, and Go-Go dancing (which could also be interpreted as a self-reference). The song's music video received heavy airplay on MTV at the time and consisted of a simple live concert performance of the song and gained further exposure by being used in the opening sequence of the Amy Heckerling-directed film Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). The following year 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.

Chart performance[edit source | editbeta][]

"We Got the Beat" became the Go-Go's biggest hit, spending three weeks at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, behind Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'n Roll". It was during the song's time in the U.S. top ten that Beauty and the Beat topped the U.S. Billboard 200.

Legacy[edit source | editbeta][]

The song was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[1] The song is playable in games Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80sRock Band 2 and Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party. Also plays during the credits to Romy & Michele's High School Reunion and opening sequence to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In films, "We Got the Beat" was include in Brimstone & Treacle (1982) and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), and in the "The Restraining Order" episode of "Samantha Who?". The song also was used in an episode title of the hit teen show Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Track listing[edit source | editbeta][]

UK 7" Single (1980, Stiff Records)
  1. "We Got the Beat" (Caffey)
  2. "How Much More" (Caffey/Wiedlin)
UK 7" Single (1981, I.R.S. Records)
  1. "We Got the Beat" (Caffey)
  2. "Skidmarks On My Heart" (Caffey, Carlisle)
US 7" Single (1981, I.R.S. Records)
  1. "We Got the Beat" (Caffey) - 2:30
  2. "Can't Stop the World" (Valentine) - 3:22

Charts[edit source | editbeta][]

Chart (1981) Peak


U.S. BillboardHot Dance Club Play 35
Chart (1982) Peak


U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. BillboardMainstream Rock Tracks 7
Canadian Singles Chart 3

Debby Ryan version[edit source | editbeta][]

"We Got the Beat"

"We Got the Beat" cover

Promotional single by Debby Ryan from the album Radio Rebel
Released February 21, 2012
Format Digital download[2]
Recorded 2012
Genre Pop rock
Length 2:22
Label Marvista Entertainment
Writer Charlotte Caffey
Producer Matthew Gerrard, Ali "Dee" Theodore, Matthew Tishler

"We Got the Beat" is a song by American singer-songwriter Debby Ryan. It premiered on February 18, 2012 and was released as a digital download on February 21,[2] as promotional single. The song was included on the soundtrack of the movie Radio Rebel. "We Ended Right" was written by Charlotte Caffey and produced by Matthew Gerrard, Ali "Dee" Theodore, Matthew Tishler.

Background, development and release[edit source | editbeta][]

midtempo pop rock song, "We Got the Beat" exhibits elements of Alternative rock and Pop. Built on a beat, multi-tracked harmonies, the song's instrumentation includes slow-bouncing electric guitar and drums. The song was written by Charlotte Caffey and produced by Matthew Gerrard, Ali "Dee" Theodore, Matthew Tishler.[3]The song was released exclusively for radio premiere in February 11, 2012 on Radio Disney. The song was release for digital download in February 21, 2012[2] only in United States and Canada by Marvista Entertainment. In an interview with Shine On MediaDebby Ryan commented about how she chose the song.[4]

"'We Got the Beat' has been one of my favorite songs for a long time. The song in itself and the vibe is all really really great. I kind of updated it a bit more, put it a little 2011. You hear some stutters and a couple things that are in pop music. We tried to stay really close, not only having old school live instrument grunge rock with a little bit of a 2012 dance beat."[4]

Critical reception[edit source | editbeta][]

This version of the song received mixed reviews from music critics. Anna Peel to BSC Kids said the song is a little disappointed. She commented "I loved the original “We Got The Beat” but I’m kind of lukewarm on Debby Ryan’s version. Debby’s got a lot of talent, but I just can’t get excited about this version".[5]

Music video[edit source | editbeta][]

The music video was directed and produced by Debby Ryan[6] and choreographed by Alyson Stoner.[7] In the video Debby and her friends dance in some places that includes a graffitied wall that reads "Who is Radio Rebel?". The music video for the single premiered on Disney Channel on February 13, 2012.[8]

Track listing[edit source | editbeta][]

  • Digital download single
  1. "We Got the Beat" – 2:22

Release history[edit source | editbeta][]

Country Date Format Label
United States[2] February 21, 2012 Digital download Marvista Entertainment

Other cover versions and parodies[edit source | editbeta][]