Great Rock Albums of 1987: Belinda Carlisle- Heaven on Earth

This is one album which came out of nowhere for me in 1987. One night, when watching “Top of the Pops” with my then wife, after loads of bubble gum pop songs, it was announced that number one in the charts was Belinda Carlisle with “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” It would be a lie if I said that it totally rocked my world but there was enough guitar on the song to make me think it was pretty good. It would have been better if there had been a guitar solo on it and with the army of musicians she had play on the “Heaven on Earth” album, (I am officially convinced that was the thing in that year), there would have been someone to deliver one. Actually, there were two guitarists who played on the album who could have obliged a solo, John McCurry and Michael Landau.

“Heaven is a Place on Earth” not only went number one in the UK, it was number one worldwide! That’s quite an accomplishment for anyone, including the ex Go-Go. However, the song basically sums up the entire album. For the most part, I would not call it a total rock out. It’s nowhere near the heavy metal I was listening to then or now but there is enough fuzzy electric guitar to generate interest from metalheads such as myself. Of course, some songs rock more than others. One example is Belinda’s cover of the Cream song, “I Feel Free.” This song is a bit out there but it does rock a bit. Maybe Eric Clapton should have played a guitar solo on it. Another song in that vein is the following track, “Should I Let You In?” This could be the rockingest song on the entire album. There are some good guitar hooks on this and it goes out on a cool guitar solo. Hell, fuzz up the guitars a little and you could have a metal tune. Definitely gets my vote for hidden gem.

The middle tracks are a bit softer, more commercial soft rock. That’s one good thing about “Heaven on Earth,” Belinda can’t be accused of going synth pop. The guitar solo on the otherwise pop/rock track, “We Can Change,” points to that. However, she does rock out on “Fool For Love” and the penultimate track, “Nobody Owns Me.” Maybe she was trying to make some sort of statement. If so, the music does help her do that, especially as the latter contains the best guitar solo on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Heaven is a Place on Earth
  2. Circle in the Sand
  3. I Feel Free
  4. Should I Let You In?
  5. World Without You
  6. I Get Weak
  7. We Can Change
  8. Fool For Love
  9. Nobody Owns Me
  10. Love Never Dies
Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle- lead and backing vocals, air guitar

Like Cher and Richard Marx, there are too many musicians on the album to name individually. So. I’ll list some of the more well known names.

John McCurry- guitar

Mike Landau- guitar

Thomas Dolby- keyboards

John Pierce- bass

Kenny Aronoff- drums

Charlotte Caffey- backing vocals

Michelle Phillips- backing vocals

Of all The Go-Gos, Belinda Carlisle was the most successful after the split and definitely made records most appealing to me. Sorry, I couldn’t get into Jane Weidlin’s “Rush Hour.” On “Heaven on Earth,” she proved that she could be all things to all people. There are some good rock tunes for the likes of me and commercial friendly songs which made her an icon in 1987.

Next post: Loverboy- Wildside

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29 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1987: Belinda Carlisle- Heaven on Earth”

  1. I immediately thought of You Give Love A Bad Name when I heard this Chorus.

    Great start to the album but that’s about as rock as it gets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those fellow Go-Go’s must have been pissed at her at the time when she went and did her own thing and it took off. Belinda has a great voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked a lot of her songs. She did really well for herself. The Go-Go’s just announced a new tour. I bet that would interesting to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did so like her. Certainly part of the soundtrack of my youth

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I think rock, I do not think Belinda Carlisle lol. Pop, yes. Dentist office piped-in muzak? Yes. Shaking my childhood image of her in Playboy magazine (so I’ve heard)? Yes. Are you really making me revisit this stuff? I think yes?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I was in grade six we brought in our own cassettes to listen to for the last day of class before Christmas break. I brought this album and was floored when all of the girls started buzzing around me. They all had it on their Christmas wish list. Thing is, at the time all of my music was on vinyl, so I just grabbed one of my Mom’s cassettes. I failed to mention that to any of the ladies.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This came out around the time I was 13. I never bought any Belinda back in the day…but I did sing along to her catchy tunes – Mad About You…Heaven is a place on earth…My sis and I also would joke that her voice sounded a little like a goat, lmao. Jane Weidlin? No way, did not like that Rush Hour song.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heaven is a Place on Earth is a crackin’ song. In fact, there are quite a few great songs on here… well crafted, catchy… just really great tunes.

    Liked by 1 person

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