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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