Belinda Carlisle

REVIEW: ‘Gold’ – Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle – “Gold” (2019)

by Christopher Smith

How many greatest hits albums does one person need? Especially since the output of new material has been so low over the last twenty years. First there was “The Best of Belinda Vol.1” in 1992. Great. That was a celebration of all that success achieved since 1987. You would think, eventually, “Vol.2” would follow. Well, it kinda did, just not called “volume 2”. “A Place On Earth: The Greatest Hits” was what did come in 1999, but that only took in the two studio albums released in between and four (very welcome) new tracks. Since then a veritable ‘barrage’ of hits collections and best of’s have been set upon us. “The Collection” in 2002, “Icon” in 2013 and “The Collection” (inventive title!) in 2014, together with the US released “The Anthology” that very same year!

Belinda doesn’t have to do this. We’ve all bought the ‘hits’ many times over, on single, studio album and just how many ‘greatest hits’ albums do you have before, during and since?! All of the albums have been mild chart hits around the globe but the UK remains by far, her biggest market for greatest hits collections. The first one topped the UK chart in 1992 selling over 600,000 copies. The second (the 1999 one) is Gold certified (100,000+ copies). And the 2014 one gave Bel her highest charted UK album since, well since the last one! So what can we expect from “Gold”? Well its sub title is “The Super Deluxe Edition”! 56, yes, FIFTY SIX tracks! Once again, all the usual suspects are present. “Heaven”, “Leave A Light On”, “Mad About You”, “The Same Thing”, “Circle”, all the biggies and more.

It’s beefed up with album tracks (did you know “Runaway Horses” is thirty years old next month?) including “Shades Of Michelangelo”, “I Plead Insanity” (which SHOULD of been a single!), “You Came Out Of Nowhere” and “Valentine” to name but so many. It’s good to see tracks from her French language album “Voila” (2007) present with “Bonnie Et Clyde” most prominent as well as recent recordings, the awesome “Sun” and the emotional “Goodbye, Just Go”, all very welcome indeed. The ‘newie’s’ from the 1999 collection are also here, gratefully. “All God’s Children” and “A Prayer For Everyone” show up, but…hang on…where is “Feel’s Like I’ve Known You Forever”? What a tune! Belinda – why oh why is it not here…? Travesty! That aside, Belinda does include tracks from her most recent album “Wilder Shores”. “Humee Hum Brahm Hum” and “Adi Shakti” are ‘slotted’ in between the likes of “Always Breaking My Heart” and “Too Much Water” as all total, definitive hits collections dictate.

There are some pure fan and absolute classic and all time fav’s here as well including the epic “Should I let You In?”, “Fool For Love”, “Love Revolution” and “We Can Change”, among some of her 90’s smash hits, the unforgettable “Live Your Life Be Free”, “In Too Deep”, “Summer Rain” and the beautiful “Half The World”. One of my personal all time Belinda bests is “World Without You”, and thankfully, it’s here, along with the other Diane Warren penned super hit “I Get Weak”. We muss not forget her “Real” album of 1993. “Big Scary Animal” and “Lay Down Your Arms” have to be and are very much present and correct. “Here we go, some things are inevitable”. They are Belinda and they are also much loved and cherished! Back at the beginning of her solo career, her 1986 self-titled debut included her version of Freda Payne’s 1970 classic “Band Of Gold”, which Belinda re-recorded with Freda and released as a single. It makes a rare and welcome appearance here, the first time of a Belinda best of album! So maybe this isn’t all bad after all!

“Gold” is issued in a 3-disc CD set and a double LP version (only 20 tracks on this format) and would perhaps be better titled a “Very Best Of Belinda’s Greatest Hits And More”, or maybe even using that controversial word “Definitive” or even “Complete Collection”. Whatever, this album celebrates thirty three years of one of our best loved and eternally youthful and beautiful singers and performers. Having seen her perform live on countless occasions over the past five years, I am more than looking forward to this year’s 30th Anniversary tour for “Runaway Horses” starting next month (for which a special retrospective review of the album will be published) and seeing Bel once again, perhaps bare-footed as ever(!), take to the stage and belt out all six singles from the album and their fellow, accompanying tracks. Let’s all sing “Hey, hey, hey” as we dream the same dream, “woooah” as the horses runaway and “aah, la luna la luna” – that was the night we fell under the spell of the moon. Somewhere in my heart I am ALWAYS dancing with Belinda Carlisle, and this album will keep that flame burning ever more, just as it has since the 1980’s. “Cause when the world takes me away, you are still the air that I breathe”!

Stay in touch with Belinda through her FACEBOOK page and follow her on TWITTER

If you enjoy what you read on this site – feel free to donate and show your support…click to donate any amount you like, every little helps – and don’t forget to download the App!

Looking for the perfect gift for a music lover like you – check out My First Record for a poptastic present!

Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
%d bloggers like this: