Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mad About Her

Talk about living in someone’s shadow. Madonna not only had a monster career right on top of Belinda Carlisle’s, but she was born one day before Belinda in 1958.

I’m sure no one is surprised that today’s post is dedicated to Belinda and a handful of you were just sitting there waiting for it. Well, predictability be damned. Here it is. I’ve decided to focus solely on her videos, so the entire last half of her career is missing from this post.

I was just going to post the four videos that are most well-known (which is still almost not at all by most people), but when I was searching for them I found a few more that I really love – two of which I had never seen before. Happy 53rd birthday Belinda! See you tomorrow night!

8. I Feel the Magic (1986) -- The main reason that I was surprised that Belinda didn’t have a bigger career is because she was tailor-made for the video era. Once the Go-Go’s broke up and she changed her look, it was virtually impossible to take a bad shot of her. Even when the song isn’t great, I find her totally compelling. For years I believed she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen (and when I watch these old videos I have no trouble remembering why).

7. Since You’ve Gone (1986) -- This is one of the two videos I’d never seen before. This is a live version of this song, which I’d forgotten how much I loved when this album came out. I’ve seen her live (solo and with the Go-Go’s) four or five times now and I have to say that one of the things I’ve always loved about her is her raspy and imperfect voice. The imperfections and rasp are all over this song. It’s wonderful.

6. Vision of You (1990) -- This is the other video I’d never seen. It’s another song I’d forgotten I like. The best part of this video is that you get to see both of her dance moves in it. Once you’ve seen this video, you can visualize what every song looks like when she’s singing them in concert.

5. Summer Rain (1990) -- This is last Belinda song that hit the top 40 in the US. Only one more single even charted (Do You Feel Like I Fee peaked at 73). Wikipedia states that she said this was the most difficult song she’d ever song to that point in her career. I never read that before, but I have heard her say in concert that this is her favorite of her songs. It’s one of mine too.

4. I Get Weak (1988) -- This is her second-biggest hit but I think one of her two most durable songs. I can still listen to this song whenever it comes on the radio or my iPod. In fact, it was when I realized I could no longer sing along with this song word for word that I declared an all-Belinda weekend and listened to nothing but Belinda Carlisle and Go-Go’s songs for three days. What a great weekend that was.

3. Leave a Light On (1989) -- There’s nothing I can say that can do this video justice. You just have to watch it. I will say two words: Audrey Hepburn. *Update: For some reason the regular video is no longer on Youtube. This is her singing live, with the video on the right side of the screen.*

2. Heaven Is a Place on Earth (1987) -- I wrote yesterday that this was for a time my favorite pop song of all time, so you are probably wondering why it’s number two on this list. I love love love this song. I only like the video. I did love the video in 1987. It just doesn’t hold up that well for me.

1. Mad About You (1986) -- Best Belinda Carlisle video ever. And one of my five favorite videos of all time. This was her debut single after The Go-Go’s fell apart and it was such an incredible makeover I almost decided maybe I wasn’t gay after all. If I had the opportunity and a time machine, I’d still marry 1986 Belinda.

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