Neal Augenstein, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Fifteen years after her last solo U.S. release, and 26 years since “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” topped the charts, Belinda Carlisle is dipping her toes in pop music waters.
The 54-year-old Carlisle, who gained fame in the early 1980s as lead singer of The Go-Go’s, recently released the single “Sun,” which is included on her new CD, “Belinda Carlisle — ICON.”
“I really had no desire to do any more pop music — in English, anyway,” said Carlisle, by Skype from her home in France.
“It would have taken something really good for me to want to do it. My son found the song,” says Carlisle.
Carlisle, whose biggest seller “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” came out when Compact Disc technology was in its first years of popularity, rejoins the pop world in a time when digital downloads have surpassed sales of CDs.
Her last CD, “Voila,” released in 2007, was sung entirely in French, consisting of French pop tunes and chanson standards.
“As far as production, I work with people who know what they’re doing, and are very current. As far as what I sing, I kind of just pay attention to myself and go with what I love,” says Carlisle.
Carlisle, who tours internationally, was asked if she’ll tour to support her new single. She seemed open to the idea.
“As far as the States go, I haven’t done a tour for 15 years, so I’m about due,” Carlisle said.
“It won’t be until next year since I’m so busy with Go-Go’s touring, ” said Carlisle.
Carlisle and The Go-Go’s are scheduled to play Wolf Trap June 13, with The Psychedelic Furs.
Carlisle tweeted recently she’s getting ready for eight weeks of training, preparing for The Go-Go’s summer tour.
Asked what it takes to get ready for the yearly shows by the groundbreaking all- female band, Carlisle admitted with a laugh, “Dieting. Dieting and working out.”
Carlisle wrote openly about her strained relationship with food, including an eating disorder, as well as problems with drugs and alcoholism in her 2010 autobiography, “Lips Unsealed: A Memoir.”
Last month The Go-Go’s announced in a statement they’d parted ways with longtime bassist Kathy Valentine, but Carlisle declined to go into specifics.
“For a band to part ways with a longtime member, there have to be very significant reasons,” says Carlisle.
Contacted by WTOP, Valentine chose not to comment.
Carlisle revealed bassist Abby Travis, who filled-in for the injured Valentine in The Go-Go’s 2012 tour, will perform on the upcoming tour.
Before forming The Go-Go’s, Carlisle briefly played drums with punk band The Germs.
Sober for eight years, and after finding internal peace with meditation and yoga, Carlisle says she still identifies with punk rock.
“I’m a punk rocker at heart. I’ll die a punk rocker. I may not look like one, but it’s in my heart, that’s for sure.”