On this day in music history: July 23, 1982 – “Vacation”, the second album by The Go-Go’s is released. Produced by Richard Gottherer, it is recorded at Studio 55, Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA and Indigo Ranch in Malibu, CA from March – May 1982. Making chart history when their debut album “Beauty And The Beat” hits the top of the Billboard Top 200, the band head right back into the studio to begin recording the follow up. But with their new found fame and success, drugs, drinking, excessive partying along with swelling egos and infighting cause the ties between the once unified quintet to begin fraying. All of these issues have a noticeable effect on the creative process. Working once again with producer Richard Gottherer, they record the album in just over two months, with Jane Wiedlin writing or co-writing eight of the twelve songs on the finished record. With Charlotte Caffey’s heroin addiction beginning to escalate, her presence in the studio is minimal. The title track “Vacation” (#8 Pop) originates as a song written by bassist Kathy Valentine prior to joining The Go-Go’s. Caffey and Wiedlin help re-tool it for the band. When it is issued in late June of 1982, it is one of the first released as a cassette single as well as on 7" vinyl. The song is also incorporated into the album’s cover artwork. The initial idea comes from band manager Ginger Canzoneri, who relays it to A&M Records art director Mick Haggerty (Supertramp, Styx, Split Enz). Showing him a vintage postcard with female water skiers on it, Haggerty decides to create a similar image for The Go-Go’s cover. He finds out about a water skiing show at Cypress Gardens in Florida, and goes on location to shoot both still images for the LP and also film footage for the music video. Once the images are collected, Haggerty cleverly superimposes the faces of the five Go-Go’s (taken at another photo shoot) on to the bodies of the water skiers. The video for “Vacation” is shot on the Chaplin Stage at A&M Studios in a single day, with the water skiing sequences using the footage being rear projected with close ups of the band inter cut with the real water skiers. Once released, the album receives largely mixed reviews and sells far less than the double-Platinum plus predecessor. It spins off a second single with “Get Up And Go” (#50 Pop) in the Fall of 1982. The track “Speeding” (the B-side of “Get Up”) also recorded during the “Vacation” sessions, is left off of the album and instead is included on the soundtrack to the film “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” released in August of 1982. “Vacation” also earns a Grammy nomination for Best Album Package (for Haggerty) in 1983. Originally released on CD in 1987, it is remastered and reissued in 1999. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is reissued in 2017 by Universal/UMe. “Vacation” peaks at number eight on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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