Tuesday, October 6, 2020

"Heaven Is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle

#1 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  3279
Date:  09/26/1987
Debut:  72
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Carlisle's first solo album after the breakup of The Go-Go's, Belinda, was a #13 gold seller thanks to the #3 hit "Mad About You." That album had a retro 60s pop flair that was different from the rock of The Go-Go's. For her second solo disc, Carlisle switched labels from IRS to MCA and started working with producer Rick Nowels, who had produced Stevie Nick's 1985 platinum LP Rock a Little and co-wrote "I Can't Wait" (#16 Pop). For the new album Heaven on Earth, Carlisle skipped the retro sound and dove head first into 80s pop. This first single, written by Nowels and Ellen Shipley, demonstrated Carlisle's new sound and it was warmly greeted by radio and record buyers. It would top the Pop chart for a week while reaching #7 at AC. The hit would help the album match the peak of her debut (#13). The song would earn Carlisle a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

ReduxReview:  Carlisle hit it out of the park with this single. It was pretty much pop perfection. The chorus was unforgettable and it was smart to have it at the top of the song. It immediately established the hook and you just couldn't ignore it. The dreamy mid-section was spot-on and then to top it off, a little guitar section followed by a key change. It was an expertly crafted pop single and there was no doubt it would top the chart. While her rock cred took a hit, she was gaining more fans than losing them. Looking back, it is kind of odd to think that this confection was done by someone who in 1977 got her start as a drummer for the L.A. punk band the Germs under the moniker of Dottie Danger. Carlisle went through quite the metamorphosis.


Trivia:  The associated video for the song was directed by Academy Award winner Diane Keaton. It was Keaton's second directorial effort following a 1982 17-minute documentary short about her sister titled What Does Dorrie Want?" Keaton would also direct the video for Carlisle's follow-up single "I Get Weak" (#2 Pop). Keaton would direct another documentary, 1987's Heaven (nothing in common with Carlisle's song), and then direct a few TV episodes for shows like China Beach and Twin Peaks. The first theatrical film she directed was the 1995 comedy/drama Unstrung Heroes starring Andie MacDowell. Critics were positive about the movie and it did fairly well at the box office. Her second effort, 2000's Hanging Up starring Keaton, Meg Ryan, and Lisa Kudrow did not garner good reviews, but it ended up doing okay at the box office on a worldwide basis.



  1. I believe this is the first time you rated a song a 10/10 twice in a row, for me I give this song a 9/10, this is definitely Belinda's shining moment as a solo artist and she definitely deserved a #1 single with this song.

    1. I believe you are correct. Apparently it was a good release week.