Tuesday, February 21, 2023

"Leave a Light On" by Belinda Carlisle

Song#:  4056
Date:  09/30/1989
Debut:  78
Peak:  11
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Carlisle's first two solo albums both peaked at #13 and were gold/platinum sellers. The albums would spawn a total of four Pop Top 10 hits including the #1 "Heaven Is a Place on Earth." For her third effort, Carlisle expanded her collaboration with that song's writers/producers Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley. The pair would work up six tracks that would appear on Runaway Horses including this first single. The song would leisurely climb up the chart and finally peak just outside of the Top 10 at the dreaded #11 spot. It would do a bit better at AC getting to #8. With the single not becoming a smash hit, the album would then halt at #37, which was definitely not keeping pace with her previous two LPs. A second single, "Summer Rain," would make it to #30 Pop/#29 AC in '90. The song would be Carlisle's last to make the Pop Top 40. Runaway Horses would be certified gold by the end of '89. It would be Carlisle's last charting solo album in the US.

ReduxReview:  This was a good track that wouldn't have been out of place on Carlisle's Heaven on Earth album. However, that may not have been a plus as the song sounded a bit familiar and wasn't as memorable as her previous hits. The only unique thing about the track is that through connections, Carlisle got George Harrison to provide the guitar solo. While it may not have been as single-worthy, the follow up "Summer Rain" was more interesting with its chuggin' dark chorus and nicely done string arrangement. Overall, Runaway Horses just didn't have that one big memorable hit that would help sustain Carlisle's solo career. Sadly, listeners in the US quickly lost interest in Carlisle and moved on.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Carlisle's next album, '91's Live Your Life Be Free, would not chart in the US. It contained her last Pop chart single, the #73 "Do You Feel Like I Feel." While her chart fortunes dried up in the US, Carlisle remained popular in the UK and around Europe. Live Your Life Be Free and its follow up, '93's Real would both reach the UK Top 10. Her '96 album A Man and a Woman would get to #12 in the UK and go gold. That LP would spawn to UK Top 10 singles, "In Too Deep" (#6) and "Always Breaking My Heart" (#8). After that album, Carlisle would reunite with The Go-Go's for a tour and an album. She would return to solo work in 2007 with Voila, a collection of French chansons. While it would fail to chart anywhere, it received some positive critical notices. For her next album, Carlisle would move even further away from her pop/rock roots. Having become a teacher of Kundalini yoga, Carlisle chose to do an album of Sikh chants done in Gurmukhi and mainly co-written by Carlisle and Gabe Lopez. It would end up reaching #4 on the Billboard World Albums chart.


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