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The Record Vault – Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle’s debut album got some traction in Australia. It for the ball rolling.

For album number 2, “Heaven On Earth” a roster of songwriters was on hand again to deliver the songs and stellar musicians to record.

Dan Huff and John McCurry did most of the guitars.

Huff was well known as a session player and then he got a recoding contract with Giant. Huff even appeared on “Here I Go Again” from Whitesnake as John Kalodner wanted a radio friendly version as well.

For those who don’t know, McCurry wrote and played on a few songs on “Trash” with Alice Copper, played on albums for Cher, Bonnie Tyler, Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel and Taylor Dayne. And Kenny Aronoff did most of the drums. Many more contributed who also appeared on albums from other artists.

The Jovi like “You Give Love A Bad Name” renamed as “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” kicks off the album. And this song was huge in Australia. I guess we like to hear the same thing over and over and over again, with some subtle changes.

It’s written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley and there is a chance you’ve heard there songs before if you’ve listened to Santana, Stevie Nicks, Kim Wilde, Celine Dion, Madonna and Lana Del Rey. And you know how I said that “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” sounds like a Jovi cut, well, Rick Nowels is married to Maria Vidal who was with Desmond Child in The Rouge and remained friends with Desmond long after. Connections everywhere.

“Circle In The Sand” is also written by Nowels and Shipley and it has this Police “King Of Pain” vibe which Gotye would use to great affect many years later with “Somebody That I Used To Know”.

“World Without You” and “I Get Weak” are written by Diane Warren.

“Fool For Love” has this “Dancing In The Dark” vibe and its written by Robbie Seidman who would write the song “Summer Rain” for her next album, with Maria Vidal.

“Nobody Owns Me” is a hard melodic rock song to rival Lita Ford and as a fan, I would have liked if Carlisle explored this style a little bit more. This one is written by Charlotte Caffey who played guitar in The Go Go’s and was one of the bands songwriters, along with Aussie, Mark Holden and Clyde Lieberman. In Hard Rock circles, Lieberman would write the song “Shout” on Hurricane’s “Over The Edge” album plus a range of other artists outside of hard rock and he also managed Rock Star Supernova, which had Tommy Lee on drums, Gilby Clarke on guitar, Jason Newsted / Johnny Colt on bass and Lukas Rossi on vocals.

The next album, “Summers Rain” also went crazy in sales in Australia and around the world and then Carlisle disappeared. She got no more promo in Australia and that was that.

“The Collection” released in 2002 and not to be confused with the other releases known as “The Collection” which came after, more or less, has all of the songs that charted and like all of her albums a who’s who of songwriters.

If you own this, there is no need to own anything else.


13 thoughts on “The Record Vault – Belinda Carlisle

  1. Interesting article. The second album I brought (after Kick by INXS) was her third album, Runaway horses, because of the track ‘leave a light on’. This has an awesome slide solo by George Harrison on it, worth checking out!

  2. Good backstory as I had heard the name McCurry and that was indeed from Trash. Have you watched the GoGo’s doc yet? If not do watch it was well done.

  3. Pingback: Visiting The Record Vault – Belinda Carlisle — destroyerofharmony | steveluffradio

  4. Henrik says:

    Wow, Belinda Carlisle was some sort of guilty pleasure back in the late 1980s. Plenty of hooks and almost hair metal style arrangements. Still recall our trip to Canary Islands. Carried a cassette player but only 1 or 2 cassettes to playe. One of them was mix tapae: Side-1 Disneyland After Dark “No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims and Side-2 Belinda C “Heaven on Earth”. Opposites attract.

    • Even my Venom loving friends like Belinda Carlisle. You sum it up perfectly, with the hair metal arrangements.

      They resonated.

      And how cool to hear of another D-A-D fan. Thats a pretty cool album. It got reviewed and promoted as AC/DC meets The Cult and people in Australia lapped it up.

      • Henrik says:

        Yes, No Fuel… is probably their best, though Riskin’ It All is a close second. Too bad neither is available on streaming services.

        D-A-D is (still) quite popular in Scandinavia due to excessive touring – mainly club scene – and regular appearances on summer festivals. Kinda safe bet to include them into a lineup, guaranteed good vibes + plenty of pints sold. And no strict genre boundaries as they appeal very wide audience, from headbangers to punk rockers – and everyone in between.

        BTW, what do you think ot Kings of the Sun? Their debut is flawless and reminiscent of D-A-D. Hardrock meets punk with hints of AC/DC flavor.

      • Kings Of The Sun had a pretty good following in Australia. They had some traction with their debut but it wasn’t until they got added to GNR 88 tour of Australia that they really got noticed, mainly for bad mouthing GNR which got em kicked off the tour. Lol.

        The “Full Frontal Attack” and “Resurrection” albums came after and by 1994 I never heard of em again.

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