By Mike Pingel
Belinda Carlisle is the angelic songbird who first hit the music scene in the girl-power band The Go-Go’s. Later Carlisle embarked on a very successful solo career in 1986 with the gold-certified album Belinda, which featured such chart-toppers as “Mad About You” and “Feel the Magic.” In 1987 she released Heaven on Earth, which produced the classic songs “I Get Weak," “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Circle in the Sand.” Carlisle continued dominating the charts with songs like "Leave a Light On," "Summer Rain” and “Live Your Life Be Free.”
Now Carlisle has recently returned from the studio where she recorded “Sun,” a new single just released as ICON, an album of her greatest hits, has been shining bright, charting on both iTunes and Amazon.com. Here we chat with this '80s icon, who makes heaven on earth true for all of us listening.
How was it getting back in to the studio to do the new song “Sun?"
Great, but it took something really special to get me back in to the studio. My son really wanted me to do another pop song, which is really not my speed anymore. He found the song by Gabe Lopez and brought it to me. The song needed a little bit of lyrical tweaking, so I asked Jane Wiedlin (of The Go-Go’s) to help out. So the three of us worked on the song, and I think it’s turned out great.
It was just a single, so it wasn’t work-intense, which is what I like. It was pretty much instant gratification. I have no expectations, which is the best way to be, so I’m having a lot of fun with it.
I recently meet Gabe Lopez, and he told me he had a blast working with you, too.
Gabe is really enthusiastic, really confident and has an amazing vibe. He has really fresh energy. It was really fun to work with him on it. For me, because I like the song so much, it was a pretty easy song to sing. It’s not easy live—that’s another thing—but it was easy to do it in the studio.
Have you performed the song in concert?
Yeah I have. I toured Austria last year, and I sang it live there and last fall at a show in London. The song has been around for about a year. We were just deciding what kind of format we were going to release it in. As it happens, it became a part of the compilation that Universal was going to put out anyway, so it just worked out really nicely.
Did you choose the songs on the new complication ICON?
Yes, I had a good hand in it. With every territory there have been different hits. I was given the list from Universal to pick from, and I asked, Where is "Summer Rain"? Where’s "La Luna"? Yet those were hits in other territories, such as Europe, Australia and Japan. These are the songs that had chart positions in the U.S.
It was odd working with different set lists and ones I normally would not do in other countries. A lot of things played into the choices of songs I had to work from, with a lot of licensing issues between certain record and publishing companies, but I did have a big hand in it for sure.
Any plans for a new album?
I don’t know. Doing another full-on album takes a big time commitment. I’m not so sure I want to do that, but you can never say never. It just depends.
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