Belinda Carlisle has revealed details of her first pop album since the 1990s in an exclusive Retro Pop cover feature.
The Go-Go’s legend released her most-recent English-language pop record, ‘A Woman and A Man’, in 1996, before hitting pause on her recording career while focussing on her live shows.
In the years since, she’s released music sporadically, including the French-language ‘Voila’ in 2007 and Sikh chant album ‘Wilder Shores’ a decade later, but now she’s back with a series of brand new projects, due for release over 2023 and 2024.
“It’s so weird, because I was going to retire. Just work occasionally and live a nice life. Then my son ran into [songwriter] Diane Warren at Starbucks and she goes, ‘What is your mom doing?’ He says, ‘I don’t know,’ and she goes, ‘Oh, then let’s call her!’. She has the foulest language in the business and she goes, ‘Bitch, what are you doing? I have some hits for you’,” Belinda tells Retro Pop’s January 2023 cover feature.
“I was like, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ Because it’s a big commitment when you do something like that. But I went to the studio and I don’t even know what to say – it was so good. There are about three singles on the EP and they’re incredible.”
The EP is due in the spring via BMG with its lead single, Big Big Love, out in February.
While Belinda has “no expectations” when it comes to the performance of the material, another of her ventures – an all-star collaboration with Dolly Parton, Debbie Harry, Gloria Estefan and Cyndi Lauper, from the soundtrack to the forthcoming ‘80 for Brady’ movie, starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda – is sure to be a hit. The film arrives in cinemas in February while Belinda’s on the road, after which she’s planning to return to the studio to finish work on her new record with writer and producer Gabe Lopez.
“The working title is ‘Once Upon a Time in California’, because that’s really where it all began for me. Everything’s done, all the artwork – I just have to finish the songs,” she smiles. “After I made ‘Wilder Shores’, people were complaining like, ‘Why don’t you do something in English?’ And I said, ‘Well, whatever I do has to really mean something’.
“After I got sober, ‘Voila’ was the first time I was able to work from the heart and just love what I was doing. I have to really love it; I can’t just put out an English-language pop album for the sake of it. So that’s why this is a surprise. I didn’t really expect to get excited about the classic pop songs until I was given the most amazing songs from Diane.”
Alongside the new material, Belinda will return to the stage in the UK during the spring to celebrate her solo legacy with a run of ‘Decades’ shows, which were postponed due to the pandemic. Teasing what fans can expect, she hints: “I have so many songs to choose from and a lot of my favourites are some of the deeper cuts.
“I’m so lucky to work with some of the most amazing songwriters in the world and the songs are great quality pop songs. It’s a blessing, but it’s actually really, really hard trying to put a setlist together and wanting to include everything – I can only sing for an hour and a half and or my voice will go!”
Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Decades Tour’ kicks off at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on February 3.
Read the full interview in the January 2023 edition of Retro Pop, out now. Order yours or subscribe via our Online Store, use our Store Finder to locate your nearest stockist, or get Digital Copies delivered direct to your devices.