When the Go-Go's finally reunited to record a full-length album in 2001, I was thrilled with the outcome. Although some of it suffered from a similar problem as Blondie's "No Exit" -- specifically a few of the songs sounded more their respective singers' weaker solo material -- "God Bless the Go-Go's" did give us a few instant classics in "Unforgiven" and "La La Land," and still ranks high on my '80s reunion albums.
What I didn't realize until very recently, however, was that the band seemed to be seriously poised to record that fourth album way back in 1994-95, right after the release of "Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's." In a 1994 interview on "Good Morning America," the gals repeatedly told Charlie Gibson that an album's worth of material had been recorded during the "Valley" sessions, before they settled on three songs to release. (And Jane reiterated this in an interview with Brandy Wine in 1994 outside Food Bar in Chelsea.) As enjoyable as "God Bless the Go-Go's" was, it bombed and drove the band's label, Beyond, into bankruptcy. By comparison, "No Exit" -- which was released on Beyond just two years earlier -- was a big moneymaker for the label, debuting in the American Top 20, boasting a No. 1 single in the U.K. ("Maria") and eventually selling something like 2 million copies worldwide. Given how explicitly Go-Go's sounding "Good Girl," "Beautiful" and "Whole World Lost Its Head" were from "Valley," I can't help but wonder what the reunion album would have sounded like had it been recorded in the mid-'90s as planned and, if it had been a bigger success then, if there would have been an album No. 5. (Just to dream ...)