Single Review: Go-Go’s “Head Over Heels”

Head Over Heels
Album: Talk Show
Year: 1984

Belinda Carlisle, lead singer of the Go-Go’s, is feeling overwhelmed in “Head Over Heels”

She’s been living fast and hard for so long, she can’t recall any memories from those times. It’s a blank and like those years didn’t even exist. (“Been running so long/I’ve nearly lost all track of time”). Her descent to rock bottom has been a long time coming, however, she was unaware of it. She can’t believe it was her when sees pictures of herself or talks to people she knew (“In every direction/I couldn’t see the warning signs/I must be losin’ it/’Cause my mind plays tricks on me”). From afar, getting high and drunk was an effortless, consequence-free lifestyle. She realizes now that it’s false. (“It looked so easy/but you know looks sometime deceive”).

From the start, she’s been into the hardcore rock star life. However, she’s lost her friends because of it. (“Been running so fast/Right from the starting line/No more connections”). She’s confused from the advice she receives from people and wish they would stop. She’s fragile and attempting to get help from people. Yet, she can’t stop giving in to her weaknesses. (“I don’t need any more advice/One hand’s just reaching out/And one’s just hangin’ on/It seems my weaknesses/Just keep going strong”).

She’s in too deep and uncertain of which direction she should go in. She’s addicted and spiraling. Her world is upside down. (“head over heels/where should I go/can’t stop myself/outta control/head over heels/no time to think/looks like/the whole world’s out of sync”).

She needs to get away from her hard partying lifestyle and be alone for awhile. She’s been living impulsive and irrational for too long. She’s disillusioned with her lifeand saw it much differently when she was younger. (“Been running so hard/When what I need is to unwind/The voice of reason/Is one I left so far behind/I’ve waited so long/So long to play this part”). However, in the process, she forgot who she really was (“and just remembered/that I’d forgotten about my heart”).

After the chorus, is the mind-blowing instrumental interlude. Keys are pounded furiously and passionately, stressing the chaos in the lyrics. It’s a memorable, perfect moment in pop music.

Mired in loss and regret, “Head Over Heels,” is the Go-Go’s at their best. Full of incredible depth and emotion, every right note is struck.


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