The Go-Go’s signed to I.R.S. Records in April 1981. The following year, they toured with The Police on the Ghost in the Machine Tour. Their debut album, Beauty and the Beat, was a surprise hit: it topped the U.S. charts for six weeks in 1982 and eventually received a double platinum certification. The album was also a success outside the U.S. charting at No. 2 in Canada, where it received a platinum certification, and No. 27 in Australia. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 413 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. “Our Lips Are Sealed” and a new version of “We Got the Beat” were popular singles in North America in early 1982. During this period, the Go-Go’s started building a fanbase.
The follow-up album, Vacation, received mixed reviews and sold less than Beauty and the Beat. However, the album was certified gold in the U.S. and spawned another Top 10 U.S. hit with the title track. Other singles released from the album were “Get Up and Go” and “This Old Feeling”, neither of which made it into the Top 40. In 1983, Vacation was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Packaging. During the album’s promotion, the group went on hiatus when Schock underwent surgery for a congenital heart defect.