Belinda Carlisle was born on August 17, 1958, in Hollywood, California. After her father left, her word was turned upside down. Carlisle began to rebel in her teens. Once she started listening to the 1970s Los Angeles punk scene, she knew she wanted to pursue music and not college. Her first group was the Germs, who used the stage name Dottie Danger and became the drummer. In 1978, she formed the Misfits with Jane Wiedlin, Margot Olavarria, and Elissa Bello. Later, they added Charlotte Caffey. After replacing Bello with Gina Schock in 1979, they changed their name to the GoGos. The group became the first all-girl group to hit number one on the charts playing their own music. However, the group was constantly trying to keep up with male groups of the day; this led them down a dark path of addiction. In the end, drugs and drama caused the group to split up in 1985.
A year later, Carlisle began to turn her life around and break away from the grunge scene into a pop career. She married Morgan Mason, a former aide to President Ronald Regan. The same year, she released her first solo album, Belinda, which went gold. Her second album was even more successful and even garnered a Grammy nomination. She released Runaway Horses in 1989, which had several more successful singles. However, her 1991 album Live Your Life Be Free was a dismal failure. In 1992, she gave birth to her son James who gave her a new purpose. However, her music career seemed to be ending. Several years later, Mason, Carlisle, and their son moved to France. Even though everything seemed idyllic, Carlise struggled with cocaine addiction, so it was hard to keep her career going. In 1994, she briefly joined the re-formed Go-Gos, but the reunion only lasted a while before the group split again.
Carlisle released another solo album in 1996, A Woman and A Man, but it was unsuccessful and didn’t produce any greatest hits. Trying desperately to save it, she posed for playboy magazine in 2000. Yet, she was still abusing drugs and couldn’t keep herself together. Five years later, Carlisle actively began to work on sobriety. She joined Alcoholics Anonymous and started a yoga practice. In 2007, Carlisle released the French album Voila, her first project in a decade. In 2009, she appeared in the London production of hairspray and was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Her last album was 2017s wilder Shores, pop songs that Carlisle wrote about her love of Kundalini Yoga. Carlisle has reinvented herself and kept going through adversity, thriving as part of the Go-Gos and as a solo artist. These are the ten best Belinda Carlisle songs of all time.
10. I Feel Free
This was the first song recorded by the British Rock Band Cream. Later, Carlisle recorded it on her second album, Heaven on Earth, in 1987. It peaked at number 88 on the Billboard Hot 100.
9. Fool For Love
According to Classic Pop Magazine, this song was a nod to the Bruce Springsteen song Dancing in the Dancing. After Carlisle left the Go-Gos, she searched for her own sound; this song was a massive departure from her previous work.
8. (We Want) The Same Thing
This is the last single on Carlisle’s 1989 album Runaway Horses. It never reached the success of some of her other songs, only peaking at number 6 in the United Kingdom.
7. I Get Weak
Diane Warren has written some of the biggest hits for well-known artists like Aerosmith (I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing) and Celine Dion (It’s All Coming Back To Me Now). Most of the songs she writes are about the heady emotions we feel when we fall in love. Carlisle was a newlywed at the time. Undoubtedly, she had much of the same emotions contained in the song’s lyrics. Academy award-winning actress and director Diane Keaton directed the song’s video.
6. Mad About You
This was her first single after leaving the Go-Gos, even though it was written when the group was still together. Carlisle remained with the same record company, and several of the Go-Gos, including Paula Gene Brown and Charlotte Caffey, worked on the album with her.
5. Leave A Light On
When we’re in relationships, we can lose ourselves because we are committed to the other person. Even though this can be one of the hardest things to admit, this song remains uptempo, illuminating the potential of making this difficult decision. The song’s title is a request to not give up because the character will be back after she sorts things out within herself. Beatles guitarist George Harrison played slide guitar on the song as well as one other on the album. This was a rarity for Harrison, but Olivia told Carlisle he agreed to do the song because he loved her voice.
4. Circle In The Sand
According to Songfacts, Rick Nowels co-wrote the song with Ellen Shipley. A line from the song, “you complete the heart of me,” inspired the line Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) said to Jerry Macguire (Tom Cruise) in the 1996 movie Jerry Macguire. This song was also Carlisle’s biggest hit peaking at number five on the Adult Contemporary chart.
3. La Luna
This song was never released as a single in the United States. The title is Spanish for the moon. The instrumentation in the song has a flamenco feel. Jimmy Haskell played accordion on the track, and Sid Page added the violin. Carlisle just moved to France when she sang the song. The last verse of the song mentions her new city. However, she did not have the same emotions as the woman in the song at the time.
2. Summer Rain
This song was written by Robbie Seidman and Maria Vidal and produced by Rick Nowels, and featured on Carlisle’s third album, Runaway Horses. It’s a power ballad about a man who leaves his woman behind and goes to war. The song has a particular storyline, yet the lyrics translate to anyone who has to leave without wanting to and promises to remain faithful.
1. Heaven Is Place Earth
Much of Carlisle’s catalog was written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley, including this song, one of the singers most well-recognized. Shipley was the leading writer of the song. She was inspired after she saw a greeting card at a gas station that said Heaven on Earth. When the pair were writing the song, she wrote the phrase on a blackboard to inspire her. Mama’s and Papa’s singer Michelle Phillips provide the backing vocals.