Belinda Carlisle pursued a solo career after leaving the Go-Go's in 1984. As her solo career progressed, Carlisle removed any of the rough edges remaining in her style, transforming from a new wave rocker to a polished adult contemporary pop singer. The change was evident on her first album, 1986's Belinda. Featuring the number three hit single "Mad About You," the record went gold and established her as a viable hitmaker. The following year, Carlisle released Heaven on Earth, her greatest solo success. Continuing the immaculately produced mainstream pop of Belinda, the record featured the number one title track, the number two single "I Get Weak," and the Top Ten ballad "Circle in the Sand." Runaway Horses, released in 1989, was another successful album, spawning the hit singles "Leave a Light On" and "Summer Rain," yet it showed signs that her audience was shrinking. That suspicion was confirmed by the dismal performance of 1991's Live Your Life Be Free, which failed to make the charts. Real, released in 1993, didn't revive Carlisle's career and she subsequently joined the re-formed Go-Go's in 1994. The Go-Go's reunion was short-lived, even though it was widely praised. Carlisle returned to solo recording in 1996 with A Woman and a Man, which failed to gain much attention. A myriad of collections and compilations followed, as well as another Go-Go's reunion. Carlisle released a new solo album, Voila, in 2007. She appeared on the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars in 2009 and appeared in a London production of Hairspray. After touring with a reunited Go-Go's early in the 2010s, Carlisle released a song called "Sun" as part of the 2013 compilation Icon. Further catalog releases appeared in the next year, including double-disc reissues from Edsel in 2014 and a new compilation called The Collection. Wilder Shores, an all-new collection of pop songs that drew inspiration from Carlisle's interest in Kundalini Yoga, arrived in 2017.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine