A Chat with Belinda Carlisle

Sometimes an interview opportunity comes along that you simply can’t resist. This is one of those occasions.

Belinda Carlisle added a delightful infusion of cuteness to the early days of MTV as the frontwoman for the Go-Go’s, then succeeded in departing the ranks of the band a few years later and forging an impressive solo career. Alas, she’s spent more time on the road than in the studio in recent years, bouncing back and forth between Go-Go’s tours and solo shows, releasing records with decided infrequency. Indeed, she hasn’t released a new album since 2007′s Voila, and given that the record in question consists of covers of her favorite French songs, it’s not exactly what you’d call representative of her usual work.

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2013, however, marks the release of a new best-of set, Icon, and while it might not ordinarily be a major event, given that it’s the fourth such compilation of her solo work to be released since 1992, fans will be thrilled to know that it actually includes a new single, “Sun.”

It’s such a momentous event, in fact, that Carlisle opted to do a bit of press for the collection’s release, and when the opportunity to chat with her was pitched to Bullz-Eye…well, like we said, sometimes an interview opportunity comes along that you simply can’t resist.

Bullz-Eye: Icon isn’t your first best-of collection, but how much input did you have in selecting the contents of this one?

Belinda Carlisle: Oh, I did a lot, actually. The contents of the different collections have been predicated on the different countries who’ve had different singles, so when Icon was first presented to me… A lot of it had to do with catalog and a lot of the different “this music group signed with that music group” stuff, what was available and what wasn’t, so the track list went through a few different changes, because I wanted to include some of the stuff that maybe they didn’t include originally. So I had a big part, a big hand in it, actually.

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BE: You revisit your old material whenever you do a show, but how is the experience of going back through the records to consider which songs needed a bit more of a shot at the spotlight?

BC: Well, because I work all the time, and especially in Europe, with all of the solo stuff, it’s not, like, “Oh, wow, I remember this song,” because I probably just did the song a few months ago…or even a week ago! [Laughs.] It’s fun for me to go through the catalog, but there’s no real surprises or anything. But it was interesting doing different track listings for different countries, because…well, for instance, for Russia, the song “California,” which is totally obscure here, was a big hit there. So you kind of go through the territories and change things around a little bit.

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Friday Video: Something by The Beatles

Long before the video revolution, The Beatles put out promotional videos and obviously made movies, so we have a ton of great footage of the band. Here’s the promo video for “Something” written by George Harrison featuring the band and all their gal pals. With the London Olympics starting today we had to give you something from an English band – right?

For more Beatles stuff from Bullz-Eye, check out The Beatles: Rock Band review, our discussions about The Beatles Reissues, and our Beatles Deep Cuts.

  

Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae

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There are some artists who transcend their musical genre, and given how many people have a copy of Legend in their CD collection without having a single other reggae disc to accompany it, it's fair to say that Bob Marley is one of those artists. If you're a fan, then you may be interested to learn that Titan Books has just released "Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae," a collection of photographs of Mr. Marley and many of his musical peers, all taken by Kim Gottlieb Walker during 1975 and 1976.

Here's what Titan's press release on the tome has to say:

During 1975 and 1976, renowned underground photo-journalist Kim Gottlieb, and her husband, Island publicity head Jeff Walker, documented what is now widely recognized as the Golden Age of Reggae. Over two years of historic trips to Jamaica and exclusive meetings in Los Angeles, Kim took iconic photographs of the artists who would go on to define the genre and captivate a generation. Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae features candid and intimate photographs of all of the musicians, artists and producers who brought the reggae sound to the international stage, including Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer,Toots Hibbert, Burning Spear, Jacob Miller, Third World, Lee Scratch Perry and, of course, Bob Marley. Kim's photographs include never-before-seen performance shots, candid behind-the-scenes footage of Bobs home in Jamaica, and exclusive records of key moments in reggae history, such as Bob's first US television appearance, the historical Dream Concert with Stevie Wonder in Jamaica, and Bob meeting George Harrison backstage at the Roxy in 1975.

Acclaimed rock journalist and director Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous") introduces this volume with a rousing foreword describing the time he accompanied Jeff and Kim to Jamaica to witness the burgeoning music scene there. Reggae historian Roger Steffens writes lucidly about the significance of those early years in reggae, and describes the pivotal moments documented in Kims photographs, many of which have not been seen in over 30 years, and many more of which have never been released to the public. Intimate and revealing, Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae is a rare and beautiful record of one of the most exciting moments in music history, told through the photographs of a true artist.

Titan kindly provided us with several shots from the book for your viewing pleasure. Don't be surprised if you're tempted afterward to click here and order a copy for yourself.

  

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