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Pretty and Belle
on 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.