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Byron Shire
June 3, 2023

Belinda stands the test of time

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Belinda Carlisle was and occasionally still is the lead vocalist for the pop-rock band The Go-Gos and also a phenomenally successful solo artist who still tours and records to this day.

Belinda’s first venture into music was as the drummer for the LA punk band The Germs, under the name Dottie Danger. It didn’t last long, what with drumming not being her natural forte, and also she left and joined The Go-Gos.

After the initial breakup of The Go-Gos in 1985 Belinda picked herself up, dusted herself off and embarked upon a solo career. Her first solo album, Belinda, was released in 1986 and it was also that year Belinda married Morgan Mason, son of the British actor James Mason.

Belinda flaunted her glamorous image on the cover of her second album, 1987’s Heaven on Earth, her second solo album. Critics and fans noticed that not only was Belinda’s image more glamorous than during her time with the Go-Gos, but also her solo music was more polished and ‘professional’. The new sound was certainly due in part to producer Rick Nowels, who had previously worked with Stevie Nicks and would later work with Madonna amongst many others.

The first release from Heaven on Earth was Heaven is a Place on Earth, an enormous international hit, topping the charts not only in the US but also in the UK and several other countries. It is to this day probably her best-known song.

Belinda’s next album after Heaven on Earth was 1989’s Runaway Horses. This album hit number four in the UK and number three in the US, so proving that she was still much in demand. The first single Leave a Light On just missed the top 10 in the US, peaking at 11, but in the UK it hit the top five. The second single, Summer Rain, missed the top 20 (#23) in spring 1990, but spent a long time in the top 75 and was, perhaps surprisingly, one of the biggest-selling singles that year.

Belinda’s fifth solo album, Real, was released after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and after the turmoil of the riots shortly beforehand, Belinda, Mason and Dukey moved to the South of France.

Belinda returned to the recording studio and in 1996, she released her sixth solo album, A Woman and A Man, and she returned to the spotlight in 2006, with the release of her long-awaited seventh album, Voilà, her first studio album in 10 years.

Belinda is currently touring Australia and you can see her on Saturday at Twin Towns.


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