Belinda Carlisle

Andy Stevens / 21 August 2015

Big-selling Eighties pop heroine Belinda Carlisle is back behind the mic and ready to blast out her legion of hits for the delight of her many UK fans.

These huge successes for Belinda from that big, brash decade when the pop charts still ruled the airwaves include, you will recall, I Get Weak, Circle In The Sand and, of course, the one with 'global mega hit' written all over it from its very first chorus hook, Heaven Is A Place On Earth - the very definition of big Eighties pop anthems (big hair, wind machine and soft focus video included).

And, as Belinda gets ready to kick off her short national tour in October to promote her latest - and highly comprehensive - CD hits collection, the American singing superstar took time out at her home in France to have a chat with Saga about what still drives her after more than 35 years of success in the music business, first with influential indie girl band The Go-Gos and then as a stellar solo artist:

Saga: Your new release, 'Belinda Carlisle - The CD Singles 1986-2014' sounds pretty self-explanatory. And it's a mammoth 29 CDs long. Why a singles compilation, and why now?

Belinda Carlisle: "This collection has every single on it from that period. Pure and simple. Every single I have recorded as a solo artist. The record company have done a great job in compiling it; everything is covered, and everything has been remastered. Why now? Well, there's no real thinking behind the timing. But this collection, I suppose, is one for the real fans; there are interviews, artwork, extras. The things that real fans love."

Saga: We see that there's a previously unreleased bonus track on the album: In My Wildest Dreams, which featured in the 1987 film, Mannequin.

Belinda Carlisle: "Well, actually that track isn't one of my favourites! But fans have been asking for it, and that's why it's included as a bonus."

Saga: You're out on the road around Britain for a series of gigs. When did you last play in the UK?

Belinda Carlisle: "I have played the Rewind festival at Henley on Thames three times. I love it. It's a great vibe."

Saga: What else is coming up for you on the live front? Any chance of another Go-Gos revival? We still love the band's stuff from the very early Eighties, such as Our Lips Are Sealed.

Belinda Carlisle: "Well, you're in luck! There will be a Go-Gos farewell tour next year, plus for me as a solo artist I'll be doing some 02 gigs and a tour of Japan."

Saga: Any further plans to revive your career in musical theatre? When you performed in Hairspray in London's West End you got some rave reviews.

Belinda Carlisle: "I have had offers, for sure. So you never know. But to be honest, although theatre is great, it does take a big chunk out of your life, every day, for months on end."

Saga: What do you make of the changes in the music industry over the past 30-plus years, since you started out with The Go-Gos in the late Seventies?

Belinda Carlisle: "The changes have been huge. Everything has changed - completely.Record companies are no longer record companies. There was a time when A&R departments nurtured new artists, and there was time for artists to grow. Now we have people running record companies who have no idea, or interest in, music. Digital technology has obviously changed everything, but the industry is simply not about music any more. Everything is disposable artistically."

Saga: After such enduringly successful pop career, what is your philosophy on life these days?

Belinda Carlisle: "My philosophy is simple: live in the now. Stay in the moment."

Saga: Do you have any further message to your UK fans as your tour gets under way?

Belinda Carlisle: "Come and see me play! I am lucky to have such a great fanbase in Britain. I've always found that British fans are the most loyal, and they stay loyal."

* See Belinda Carlisle live on Saturday October 3 - St George's Church, Brighton; Sunday October 4 - Birmingham Town Hall; Tuesday October 6 - Leeds Town Hall; Wednesday October 7 - Colston Hall, Bristol; Friday October 9 - Manchester Albert Hall; Saturday October 10 - Indigo at The 02, Greenwich, London.

* 'Belinda Carlisle - The CD Singles 1986-2014' is out now.

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