Heaven Is a Rate on Earth. The Belinda Carlisle Rate. Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? | Page 15 | The Popjustice Forum

Heaven Is a Rate on Earth. The Belinda Carlisle Rate. Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by VivaForever, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. 58. Goodbye Just Go - 6.87
    Extras (The Collection, 2014)

    Highest score: 8.25 (@Seventeen Days)
    Lowest score: 4 (@Cundy)​

    Our lowest remaining high score (by .15 points) leaves now. Goodbye Just Go was written by Ellen Shipley and singer-songwriter Nicky Holland, who also wrote for Oleta Adams, Céline Dion, Tears for Fears, Todd Rundgren, and Cyndi Lauper throughout the 90s. It was the first new song Belinda recorded for Edsel, with it landing on both The Collection and The Anthology and receiving a promo single release in the UK.

    This was a similar strategy to what Belinda had done with Sun for the Universal comp Icon the year before, but unlike the vibrant Sun, Goodbye Just Go was by no means a new classic. It was... fine. I'm not a fan of how Belinda's voice sounds on it, and while I think the chorus is strong (though perhaps more Bonnie or even Céline than Belinda), I can't remember a note of the verses.

    "This didn’t even sound like her for a minute. Meh, its ok, I guess. Not something I’ll even listen to again." I figured this was from one of our perennial low-scorers, but to my surprise, it was @pop3blow2 (6.5)! Luckily, ha fellow high-scorer @bonnieetclyde (8) is here to praise the "stunning vocals [and] lovely arrangement" and says it "builds so well into that beautiful final piano outro."

    "Power ballad Belinda for the win! I love that she’s still got such a gorgeous voice after all of these years," @Seventeen Days (8.25) enthuses. She still has a good voice, I agree, but I wouldn't call it gorgeous at this point, nor do I think this song is the best display of it - I think the acoustic version of Heaven actually does that better. But @CasperFan (8) also thinks "Belinda sounds so good on this, it’s very dramatic and she really sells the song and means every word. A little more theatrical than her usual stuff but a great song."

    And who do you get when you combine "power ballad," "gorgeous voice," and "very dramatic"? Well, @unnameable (7) observes, "This sounds like she was considering a career move – possibly Cher-style power balladeer or possibly a country artist." Now, it seems cheap to be like "she's lucky she still had a career in 2014!" but, well. Anyway, now that he mentions it, I am definitely hearing Cher in that chorus. Fuck, Cher singing this à la You Haven't Seen the Last of Me would be so good, actually.

    Tomorrow, I'll break a couple of hearts before breaking my own, as I'm the top scorer for the first time since Dancing Queen in part of our final, four-way tie.
  2. Oh, I can't even remember how Goodbye Just Go goes. Meh.
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  3. Aww, I really liked that track. I thought Belinda's vocals sounded good.
  4. This got much further than I expected actually. When predicting I had assumed it was already out.
  5. 57. In My Wildest Dreams - 6.88
    Extras (Mannequin, 1987)

    Highest score: 10 (@unnameable)
    Lowest score: 4 (@Robsolete)​

    Okay, maybe "breaking some hearts" was an exaggeration. Hey, this is Popjustice. But, probably because this is Popjustice, people seem to have a lot of love for the movie this comes from.

    Mannequin, released in 1987, starred Andrew McCarthy (WHO?) as a department store stocker who falls in love with a mannequin, who is somehow an ancient Egyptian woman who is frozen in time and can only appear as a real person to him. This ancient Egyptian woman is, for some reason, white and played by Samantha from Sex and the City. The film also stars Sophia from The Golden Girls as the store owner and Anthony from Designing Women as the window dresser.

    Unsurprisingly, given that description, it got savaged even worse than Burglar. Roger Ebert gave it a half a star, while Leonard Maltin described it as "absolute rock-bottom fare, dispiriting for anyone who remembers what movie comedy should be." Insert that gif of one woman pulling another's wig off here. Yet somehow it landed eventual Oscar nominee Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by (Jefferson) Starship, co-written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren and produced by Narada Michael Walden, as its ending theme. The opening theme? In My Wildest Dreams. Why anyone involved with Starship or Belinda thought it was a good idea to entangle themselves in this film, I don't know. A reverse "Clive Davis yanking Ace of Base from GoldenEye" expedition.

    Surprisingly, given how big a hit Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now was, there was never a Mannequin soundtrack, and so In My Wildest Dreams went unreleased. For years it was the holy grail of Belinda tracks - I'd call it her Just Like That, but frankly it was much rarer. A bootleg Mannequin soundtrack appeared, but it apparently ripped In My Wildest Dreams from the movie, meaning that it was cut short and had other sounds from the movie over it. Edsel reportedly couldn't find a master that didn't have the movie sounds, so it wasn't included with the reissue of the debut album. But finally in 2015, Edsel seemingly tracked down a copy and included it on the "rarities" disc of the CD singles box set, and the children rejoiced!

    Up until they actually played the thing and heard how low-quality it was. It was seemingly taken from a cassette source, but the only information Edsel offered was that they received a .wav file of it from Belinda's management. Womp womp.

    Luckily for me, I can barely abide the thing. For some reason I gave it a 5, but it's just too... sickly sweet soap opera song for me. And yet for some reason, the Internet is full of Belinda stans who think it's absolutely incredible. Perhaps it's the Just Like That/One in a Million effect, which Vas described well in this post (referring to Jacquie O'Bananarama):
    I could swear there was a similar discussion once about Just Like That in particular, but the forum search engine won't let me find it.

    Anyway, here's some commentary.

    "I gotta say, this is my first time hearing this and I kind of see why it's so sought after. An adorable 80's bop. I'd pay for another compilation (I have a few already) to get this in HQ. Hopefully one day!" Good luck with that, @tylerc904 (7).

    "Pity we don’t have a decent copy of this because I like it a lot - just wish it was in better quality." Don't we all, @CasperFan (7.5).

    And now, some Mannequin stans:

    "I mean, I probably don’t really think this is really an 8, but the nostalgia of Mannequin added some oomph to my score here." Choices, @pop3blow2 (8).

    "And now a soundtrack song that’s actually quite enjoyable! Somehow I never realized this was in the movie ‘Mannequin’, and now I want to go back and watch it just to hear this in it." If you wish, @Seventeen Days (7).

    And finally, our high scorer. "Mannequin is one of my favourite movies, and I regularly rewatch it. Belinda singing this over the opening credits really makes me happy." I'm... happy you're happy, @unnameable (10).

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  6. Mannequin 2 was better, but they were cheapskates and used the Starship song again.
  7. 53. Feels Like I've Known You Forever - 6.92
    Extras (A Place on Earth, 1999)

    Highest score: 8.6 (@pop3blow2)
    Lowest score: 5 (@Cundy)​

    We open our second and final tie of the rate - a four-way tie, have I mentioned that lately? - with one of the three new songs recorded for 1999's A Place on Earth: The Greatest Hits, back when Belinda didn't release another best-of every other month. These three caused a little confusion time-wise with some voters, so let me explain now. Although they were recorded in 1999, i.e., after A Woman and a Man, they were included on the Real reissue as at the time Edsel had only licensed Belinda's material from Virgin, of which Real was the final full album. They didn't license A Woman and a Man from Chrysalis (once Virgin's sister label under EMI, but now part of Warner's Parlophone umbrella while Virgin operates under Universal's Capitol umbrella) until the following year.

    Feels Like I've Etc. was the only one of the three not to be released as a single (commercial or otherwise), and was the only one not produced by Metro. Instead, it was produced by Johnny Douglas, who Discogs tells me was quite the accomplished lad in the disparate fields of dance music and classical music, as well as film and TV. It was written by:
    • Steve Booker, who at the time had recently co-written Natalie Imbruglia's Left of the Middle and Boyzone's That's How Love Goes, and would soon work on two of my favorite albums of the time, Heather Small's Proud and Jennifer Paige's Positively Somewhere
    • David Munday, who also co-wrote Valentine, I Plead Insanity, and You Came Out of Nowhere, as well as Kim Wilde's Heart Over Mind from her famously Belinda-aping album Love Is, and various songs by Tina Turner, Etienne "Did That Song with Saint Etienne" Daho, Natalie Imbruglia, Gregg Alexander, Bryan Adams, and Dame Melanie C
    • and Munday's Blue Yonder (IDKH) bandmate Sandy Stewart, who also co-wrote Valentine, Heart Over Mind, If Anyone Falls by Belinda's pal Stevie Nicks, and Seven Wonders by Fleetwood Mac.
    Personally, I think it was a bit of a missed trick to choose A Prayer for Everyone as a promo single over this one, as Prayer treads roughly the same territory as All God's Children but not as well. This was a bit of a rate discovery for me, as I'd never paid any attention to it, but it's a lovely smooth adult contemporary midtempo about the sense of comfort in a new relationship while, er, feeling like you've known them forever. "And it all feels so familiar as you led me to your door" is a great example of Belegenda's vocal prowess as well as a good lyric, despite the tense shift.

    Yeah, I'm talking about tense shifts. Once an English major, always an English major. They are my one big grammar bugaboo!

    "This song feels even more Californian than the actual song California. Those guitars and the melody just make me picture Belinda singing it on a sunny beach." A great observation from @Seventeen Days (7.25) - I might not call it California specifically, but it's very summery and breezy and lovely.

    @unnameable (6) calls it "an enjoyable love song [that] doesn’t really stand out," which frankly is fair. @bonnieetclyde (7.6) thinks it's "Really nice, could have fit well on the [Real] album." Similarly, @CasperFan (7) says it's "Not a bad song, nice bonus track on the Greatest Hits."

    Finally, @pop3blow2 (8.6) finds it "a bit MOR department store sounding. So basically right up my alley." Queen of self-awareness.

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  8. 53. Love Revolution - 6.92
    Live Your Life Be Free

    Highest score: 9 x 2 (me, @pop3blow2)
    Lowest score: 3 (@unnameable)​

    "Breaking my own heart" was also a bit of an exaggeration - again, it's Popjustice - but I am certainly sad to see this one go, especially before a lot of the stuff that's still in! Love Revolution was written and produced by Rick Nowels, who also provided backing vocals alongside several others, including the aforementioned David Munday. It's another sweet, light midtempo that just calls to mind sitting in the soft breeze in early June for me.

    Let's have a little pyramid of commentary, from the most negative to the most positive.

    @unnameable (3) calls it "one of the duller moments of her discography," to which I say, have you listened to the debut lately?

    "Even with the strings being a bit more prominent in this track, it’s still kind of a middler for me. Not one of her top tracks, but it’s good." 'Not one of her top tracks' still isn't bad, so I'll excuse @Seventeen Days (6) for this.

    "Not much to say about this - nice pop song, definitely an album track!" I'll agree with @CasperFan (7.5) that this could never have been a single, but it's more an issue of sound than of quality.

    @bonnieetclyde (8) deems it "another track which, as it builds, becomes more and more compelling. Gorgeous backing vocals on the chorus. Very summery vibe. A little too long though."

    And what does my fellow high-scorer @pop3blow2 (9) like about it? "Oooh, that intro. It’s my fave part, but the rest of the song is pretty good. Interesting production." That little squiggle noise after the chorus is the primary reason it's a 9 and not a 10 from me. Actually, if I were being honest it probably would've been an 8, but I don't mind bumping up my scores from the Live Your Life album to combat those of you who don't properly appreciate it as - yes, I'll say it - Belinda's best album.

    Tomorrow, I get my revenge, as I'm the lowest scorer for both songs in the second half of our tie. Ha!
  9. HEATHEN! Andrew McCarthy, aka Molly Ringwald's crush in "Pretty in Pink", star of "Mannequin", "St Elmo's fire" and er...."Weekend at Bernie's"? *checks IMDB* Oh, these days he's apparently more famous for directing episodes of "Orange is the new black".

    Anyway, Andrew was a screen icon back in the 80s. Kim Cattrall, on the other hand, is that woman who appears on a thousand movie posters and VHS boxes advertising cheaply made B-movies. Kim's face on the box was a guarantee of a trashy pleasure down the video rental place. I have seen many a Kim Cattrall movie and they're damn entertaining.

    Luckily we're on PopJustice, if there was a site called psychedelia justice or we had a subforum for 60s music there would be people calling for blood if you mislabel Starship as (Jefferson) Starship. One of my best friends can't watch Mannequin as he is allergic to Starship and all their spawned-from-a-lawsuit-between-Jefferson-Starship-members horror.
    MixmasterRemix likes this.
  10. My hot take for today is that Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship are all the same band.
  11. Mannequin is a shit movie, but I fancied Kim Cattrall like mad at the time (after Big Trouble In Little China) and I was still in my wishing-I-was-Andrew McCarthy-phase which began with St Elmo's Fire and peaked with Pretty In Pink.
    unnameable likes this.
  12. YES! I'm glad to see it's not just me who wished I could be Andrew McCarthy.
    Eric Generic likes this.
  13. It didn't help that I looked like him. I never got Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy or Kim Cattrall!
    unnameable likes this.
  14. May your dreams forever be haunted by people who can't tell S Club 7 and S Club Juniors apart.
    MixmasterRemix and Eric Generic like this.
  15. Starship were great though! I bought three of their singles in a row (We Built This City, Sara and Nothing...).
  16. That’s a different situation though. The Starship thing was more like if each generation of the Sugababes had had a different name. Oh wait...

    (It could also be argued that it was a bit of an S Club 7/S Club situation, and I use those interchangeably, so.)
  17. "No Protection" and "Knee Deep In The Hoopla" are excellent albums. "Love Among the Cannibals" isn't.

    At least Belinda at her Go-gos wildest never quite got as outrageous as Grace Slick.
    Eric Generic likes this.
  18. As much as I love Belinda, I don't think sis could ever get up on stage drunk and shout at a bunch of Germans "WHO WON THE WAR?" Grace Slick was an iconic mess.

    (although that video of the Go-Go's high on coke watching their roadie jerk off was pretty wild)
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    unnameable and MixmasterRemix like this.
  19. I failed to vote in this rate, but I'm enjoying these eliminations a lot. If nothing else, this rate is reminding me of how many top-tier songwriters she worked with during her imperial phase. Class!
  20. Sadly true.
    unnameable likes this.
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