- Go-Go's in England
- Martin Rushent
- Genetic Sound
November 1, 1983
Go-Go's are back in the studio! This time in England with their new producer Martin Rushent.
They spent 10 weeks working with him at his studio in the beautiful Berkshire countryside.
In 1983, Martin Rushent was a wealthy and much in-demand record producer. He had worked with some of the most successful acts of the post punk era such as ex-Buzzcock Pete Shelley (Homosapien), Generation X and The Stranglers. He recently had won a Brit award for his work with Human League.
photo by Erik Pelham
Rushent is credited as one of the pioneers of remixing and was famous with his cut and paste technique. He would dub and overdub and add different layers and effects to beef up the sound. He developed a technique that gave an album a sense of power and urgency with computer driven bass lines and synth drums machines.
Rushent had been approached by Miles Copeland about a year ago. In the summer of 1983 Miles arranged for Martin to meet the girls. They had been searching for a new producer. They hit it off right away. The Go-Go's were the first American band he would produce.
In the 1980's Rushent started his own record label called Genetic. Genetic was a state-of-the-art recording studio at his home in Goring near Reading in Berkshire (7 miles from Reading, 47 from London).
Nearby town of Go Goring England
Genetic Sound was in a pretty remote location in England. The closest little town was Goring. The closest bigger town was Reading. Outside Rushent's home studio there was a tennis court and swimming pool.
Genetic Synth Stuff
Genetic Sound had become one of the top recording studios in the world. It was set in wooded Berkshire countryside.
Rushent was all into the latest electronic synth stuff with multi-layers of melodic lead synths.
Genetic was equipped with all the latest synth equipment including a Fairlight and one of just two Synclaviers in the country.
The Go-Go Talk Show Sessions
The Go-Go's were looking forward to working with Rushent. They liked him immediately. With the new LP, the girls believed they needed a fresh influence. However, they were concerned about his synthesizer fetish and his publicly stated convictions that guitars were likely to be obsolete.
However Martin assured them they he would avoid any temptation to smother their songs with synthesizers.
The Go-Go's say, No-Go to Synths
The GoGo's made it clear they did not want to go in the synth direction at all. They wanted to stay rough and raw. They wanted to put out a rock n' roll LP with some added depth.
The GoGo's were resolute that guitars (not synthesizers) were going to play a central role on Talk Show lp. Kathy especially wanted the new record to be more rock n' roll sounding. She wanted to have guitar solos that sounded like guitar solos. Kathy co-wrote five of the album's 10 tunes and played half the guitar solos on the record.
Martin Rushent worked with each girl individually. They all wanted to sound a little bit tougher. He wanted to include Charlotte's piano playing skills.
The recording sessions took about ten weeks, including the mixing; nine week in the studio and one week of rehearsals. He stated in an interview that the girls were very well rehearsed when they arrived. They were incredibly hard working. Rushent was g enerally impressed with there musical skills.
Gina - Don't You Want Me (and my drums) Baby?
Rushent firmly believed that the critical sounds on a record are the bass drum, bass and snare.
Get those right and the foundations of the song are Okay. You can lay all the fancy stuff on top without it fall over. Rushent said in an interview.
At first he wanted to use the dreaded synth drum machines. Of course, Gina objective.
So instead...Gina's drumming received new prominence in the mix. Gina did the track onto the drums and Rushent added certain effects from the machines. Gina would do her drums first on her own, working with the guide drum track, and then he'd gradually add each individual on to get exactly the right sound for the song.
Kathy takes the Lead
During the Go-Go's recording sessions in England, Charlotte was still feeling pain in her wrist from carpal tunnel syndrome. She was nervous about playing lead. But she didn't want to hold up the album anymore. So - she had Kathy take over on some of the lead guitar parts on the album. Charlotte handled keyboard duties.
Before joining the Go-Go's, Kathy had been a guitarist with the Textones. Guitar was her primary instrument. In fact, she never even played bass until she joined the Go-Go's. However, she worked with Charlotte with coming up with guitar lead ideas. Many of the lead guitar part on on upcoming Talk Show LP were done by Kathy (You Thought, Beneath the Blue Sky and Turn To Your).
Kathy's style of playing is a lot different than Charlotte's. She plays a more classic and fiery rock style compared to Charlotte's twangy Dick Dale style. Charlotte would them have to learn the parts Kathy played when they later went on tour. During the process they learned from each other and gained a lot of confidence in their abilities.
Miller of Mansfield
Bands would often stay at the village pub - the Miller of Mansfield which only had 7 guestrooms. It had an excellent restaurant which attracted the local horse racing set as well as the Williams Formula 1 racing teams. It was located at High Street, Goring, Reading, UK.
Miller of Manfield B & B