Yesterday was Madonna‘s birthday and she was treated to much feting online. Today, another minted-in-the-’80s female singer, Belinda Carlisle — who, like Madonna, meant an enormous deal to me as a kid — also lights 54 candles on her cake. Though born just a day apart in 1958, Carlisle isn’t shy about her love of sweets (particularly See’s Candies), while I’m sure sugar never dares to touch Madonna’s lips.
I’ve already celebrated my favorite solo track from The Go-Go’s frontwoman, the seasonally appropriate “Summer Rain,” so instead I’m reaching back to “Mad About You,” the first single from Carlisle’s 1986 debut album, Belinda.
As it happens, the carefree “Mad About You” reached its #3 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 26 years ago on August 9, 1986, just behind Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.” Carlisle camped out at #3 for a second week before beginning her descent, while Madonna moved up to rule from the top spot for two. For both women, not a bad position from which to celebrate turning 28.
Happy birthday, Belinda! Glad to see you got some cake. It may be your day, but I’m making a wish for a new solo album. I will happily send you a case of See’s Candies as incentive.
Checking out the liner notes to Belinda, I was surprised to see some names I hadn’t previously noticed. Lindsey Buckingham co-wrote one track (“Since You’ve Gone”), as did The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs (“I Need A Disguise”), who also contributed backing vocals. Future Madonna producer William Orbit mixed and engineered the album at his Guerilla Studios in London, and photographer Matthew Rolston lensed the iconic cover shot featuring a catsuited Carlisle.
In addition to her rendition of Freda Payne’s classic “Band Of Gold,” Carlisle closed out the album with a cover a Split Enz song, “Stuff And Nonsense.” Written by Tim Finn for 1979′s Frenzy, her take is actually my favorite track on Belinda.