Welcome to what I hope will become a regular feature here on the Analog Kid blog. We’ll take two (or perhaps even more) versions of the same song and attempt to decide, once and for all, WHO WORE IT BEST?
TODAY’S SONG: “Our Lips Are Sealed”
“Our Lips Are Sealed” is a fascinating song for WHO WORE IT BEST, as both famous versions can claim to be definitive. The song was co-written by Jane Wiedlin and Terry Hall, and each one recorded the song with their own band. The Go-Go’s version certainly received more airplay than Fun Boy Three’s, and it also had the advantage of coming out first. But is it the better version of “Our Lips Are Sealed?” Did Belinda & Charlotte & Kathy & Jane & Gina truly wear it best?
The Go-Go’s: “Our Lips Are Sealed” (Hall/Wiedlin)
From the album Beauty And The Beat
I.R.S. Records, 1981
A pure slice of pop perfection, with perhaps the best bridge I’ve ever heard (made even better by the Who-like trick of having Wiedlin herself take over the vocal):
Hush my darling, don’t you cry/Quiet angel, forget their lies
“Our Lips Are Sealed” was the lead single from Beauty And The Beat, the Go-Go’s debut album. It topped out at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the album spent six weeks at #1 and made the Go-Go’s into overnight stars.
The Fun Boy Three: “Our Lips Are Sealed” [Single Version] (Hall/Wiedlin)
From the 7″ single Our Lips Are Sealed
Original version from the album Waiting
Chrysalis Records, 1983
David Byrne produced this melancholy version of “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and it just might be the perfect song for a rainy Sunday morning. In contrast to the peppy Go-Go’s version, the Fun Boy Three’s take sounds downright gloomy. Terry Hall’s vocal expresses a sense of longing completely absent from the Go-Go’s version, and transforms the song into something completely new. If the long-standing rumors of a failed relationhship between Hall and Wiedlin are true, it’s not hard to figure out whose heart was broken when the (supposed) fling ended.
The Fun Boy Three’s version didn’t chart in the United States, but it did go to #7 in the UK.
THE VERDICT: This is a tough one, because both versions are so different and yet so perfect in their own way. But in the end, I have to go with the Go-Go’s. Remember the video, with the band riding around Los Angeles in a convertible? Every time I hear “Our Lips Are Sealed,” I feel like I’m in the back seat. The Go-Go’s definitely wore it best.
Which version do you like better? Am I right, or am I crazy insane? Let me know what you think in the comments section!