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21
4.4 out of 5 stars
Belinda
Format: Audio CDChange
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 September 2014
"Belinda", Belinda Carlisle's solo debut, emerged in 1986, a year after former band - and America's most successful all-female group - the Go-Go's, were gone-gone. "I have a feeling of starting out again", she said at the time. "I don't know what's going to happen. But the Go-Go's went No. 1 on their first album, so anything's possible." As was proved, it was. Fresh from rehab, and in great contrast to the Go-Go's punk image, for her own image and sound Belinda adopted a more innocent and feminine look, successfully re-introducing and re-launching herself. The album was a promising first effort, which would lead to a fruitful solo career, as subsequent releases attested. Featuring hit singles "Mad about you" and "I feel the magic", the heartbreaking "Stuff and nonsense", and the achingly melancholic "Since you've gone", "Belinda" captured the essence of Belinda, and also many hearts along the way (mine included).

Presented in a fantastic casebound book, this ultimate edition comes along with new sleeve notes, lyrics, bonus tracks, remixes and 2 promo videos. And, for the first time, a 1986 45-minute concert programme with some interview material gets to see an official release. As with all 6 previous re-issues, the loving care put into assembling this release is obvious, from the artwork and musical content, to the actual packaging (even the vibrant pink background of the original cover photo has been tastefully changed to the elegant lilac used for the promotional purposes for the whole re-issues series). "Dancing in the city" from movie Burglar finally gets to be included on a BC album. Sadly, once again the opportunity to include Belinda's other hard-to-find soundtrack song, "In my wildest dreams" from Mannequin, is missed. This complaint aside, this is a must-have for BC fans, and a worthy purchase for casual listeners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2014
It's good to see this album get the same treatment as Belinda's other solo albums.

As an album it is an important step in the career of Belinda as it shows her first inklings of what her solo career would be like. Not all the songs on this album are classics, and I feel she did not really hit her stride as a solo artist until her following album "Heaven on Earth". The songs "Mad About You", "I Feel The Magic" and "Shot in the Dark" are the highlights for me. Her covers of "Band of Gold" and "Stuff and Nonsense" are not a patch on the originals and the rest is fairly standard mid-80's pop.

This new release has a wonderful, clear remaster with some good bonus material.

CD: The remixes are nice to have, but there was a missed opportunity to place two more of her songs from film soundtracks on here ("Dancing in the City" is included, but we are missing "In My Wildest Dreams"). At 64 minutes, these songs could have been added easily to the already there bonus tracks.

DVD: The promo videos from the album are there, unrestored (although "I Feel The Magic" is a rather disappointing effort, showing Belinda sitting there looking glam and holding a lit cigarette) and the 1986 video "Belinda" is included. This a fascinating video as it not only shows Belinda in concert (and conversation) from that time but also highlights the difference between concert video production from the 80's as opposed to today. It's edited heavily between the actual concert, staged dress rehearsals and interviews. Fair to say, that wouldn't be tolerated in a modern concert film. It's sad the producers of this set could not find the masters of this film to perhaps give us a better, more complete version of the show. That being said, they have done the best with the material and it is still enjoyable.

Overall: A couple of missed opportunities on the cd bring the rating down a notch, but it is still a great album and a great package for the Belinda fans out there.

Oh, and how hot does she look on the cover?!?!?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
From the period after the Go-Gos and before mega stardom with Heaven... comes this, Belinda's first solo effort, made for the IRS label in the mid-1980's. No doubt most people wouldn't be aware this even existed as it was out of print for a long time in the UK. So what's it like? Well, its not much like any Go-Gos song you ever heard, this is pitched straight into the pop bucket as evidenced by the cover of Band of Gold (an American single but not in the UK), the only other single off the album is the fabulous Mad About You, which should have been a major hit but didn't even make the radio playlists..
There's a couple of not-quite-there songs on the album (which is possibly to be expected for her first "solo" album), but when it hits the spot it does so with unerring accuracy. You won't find any of the songs on any of the Hits compilations (label disputes) so you'll have to buy/download the album to hear them, if you do you won't be disappointed. Just think of it as the completion of your BC listening experience.
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on 9 June 2015
Belinda Deluxe finally arrives! I have been waiting for this one. It has to be said. This is how it should have been the Standard album with Dancing In The City as a bonus track fully remastered crisp and clear. It doesn't get any better. To feature Band of Gold with Freda Payne is great. All audio on Disc 1 makes for a great Remaster of Belinda's debut album. Belinda most pop moment but she isn't playing around the songs stand the test of time.

My fav songs are: Dancing In The City, Band Of Gold, Since You've Gone, Shot In The Dark, I Feel The Magic & I Need A Disguise. Well, I could list the whole album. A a bonus the DVD has her VHS concert Belinda Live and the 2 Music Videos for Mad About You & I Feel The Magic.

Best of all...the original artwork is on the cover. Done right. Don't miss this one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
From the moment I first heard Mad About You, I was a Belinda Carlisle fan for life. It is one of the quintessential songs of the 1980s, yet it still remains fresh and vibrant today. I have more memories invested in that song than any other from my teenaged years. While there is a significant amount of collaboration with Charlotte Caffey on the album as a whole, this music is distinctly superior from that of the Go-Go's. Belinda's style and sound would continue to grow and mature over time, but clearly the public connected most strongly with this and the subsequent Heaven on Earth releases. While Mad About You was a pretty big hit, the only other track to achieve any success was the catchy, feel-good song I Feel the Magic. However, there are some other real gems on this album that I think could have been big hits. Gotta Get To You is a pretty rocking song that does have an air of the Go-Go's to it, but it surpasses even the best song from the old group. I love Belinda's voice; every word she sings sounds sincere and heartfelt. Her voice also has a unique undercurrent of passion to it at times that makes her slower, sadder songs much more appealing and emotional. Without a doubt, the most powerful song on this album is Since You've Gone; mixing verses of soft regret and heartache with pumping choruses of forceful anguish, it's a song to treasure and seek comfort in. I Never Wanted a Rich Man and From the Heart are two slow, beautiful songs, but even they cannot compete with Stuff and Nonsense. Belinda had a habit of including a slow, melancholy ballad at the end of her early albums that differed significantly from the more beat-driven songs leading up to it. Stuff and Nonsense showcases the wonderful, passionate, underappreciated voice of this singer; the sound is far removed from the often meaningless lyrical stylings of the late Go-Go's period. Belinda Carlisle can sing love ballads with the very best of them.
With less than 38 minutes of music, the album may seem relatively short now, but 38 minutes was a typical running time for albums released in the mid-1980s. I cannot help picture Belinda Carlisle as she appeared in the two videos for this album whenever I listen to these tracks--blonde, beautiful, and happy. In a pretty short period of time after the breakup of the troubled Go-Go's, she had turned her life completely around, and the obvious happiness she felt comes through clearly in her singing. I think this CD captures the essence of Belinda Carlisle better than any other (although I don't consider this her best album). As one song says, "it's all from the heart," and I can say that Belinda definitely captured my own heart with this wonderful album.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 May 2010
This album is Belinda's début and came out a whole year before "Heaven on Earth". "Belinda" is a bold statement of pop culture and good tunes. It gave us a feel of what was to follow after it. It features some stand-out tunes which are now classics. For example there's 'Mad About You' which was the first single from the album. It became a big hit in the charts. Contributors to this album were former Go-Go's band mates Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey.

I have a couple of favourites on this album which are 'Mad About You', 'I Feel the Magic' and 'Stuff and Nonsense'. The statement that Belinda made with this effort gave evidence for which her next albums provided that this singer had real character and presence for the charts and also her material was radio friendly. This album also states that she has got real talent and her songs have possibly inspired a few of today's generation of singers to take up the profession.

A very bold statement this album is then. A promising and fruitful career her singing has given her. A very good and inspirational début album from the singer who has provided hits such as 'Leave A Light On' and 'Live Your Life Be Free'.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2009
Like most people the first Belinda album I purchased was Heaven on Earth, but I did pick this up on vinyl not long after out of curiosity and at the time liked it but not nearly as much as Heaven on Earth and the albums that followed.

After digging out my record player and listening to some albums that haven't see the light of day in quite a while now, it is most interesting to find that some records stand the test of time and others you simply can't figure out what possessed you to buy the thing the first place. But after playing this album I was taken back by quite how good it is, I guess I just didn't see it at the time, but this is a great album. Ok perhaps not in the sense that it was revolutionary or a stand out album for the time, but just a good selection of catchy pop tracks that you find yourself singing along to.

So it wasn't long before I was browsing the interest in search of a CD version for convenience, because lets face it vinyl isn't the most practical medium although I still love to show the kids what they are missing.

The CD album is remastered with a few extra tracks which I don't personally care for, but all the original songs are there in their full glory.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Belinda Carlisle has a great voice, and this album is mostly light hearted love songs. Some songs are fast paced (I Need A Disguise, I Feel The Magic, Band Of Gold etc), others are more relaxed (I Never Wanted A Rich Man etc), but her voice makes all these songs a winner.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2014
This reissue is long overdue but there is one small problem. Edsel needs to look at their packaging for this cd and the Belinda Carlisle reissues. The problem is the pocket where the cds are held are all have a split at the bottom and they are too tight to pull the cd out. Otherwise keep up the good work Edsel.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2012
this album was purchased after i found a cassette in my loft when having a clear out. i listened to it with my wife because it was what we used to listen to when we were courting back in the 80's. it was so memerable with proper pop songs you can sing along to we just had to find it again on cd.
it still sounds great after 25 years.
a must for anyone who liked belinda back then but might not have this album because it was released before the famous heaven on earth.
go on treat yourself!
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