Personnel: Belinda Carlisle (vocals); Rick Knowles (acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, drum programming, background vocals); John McCurry (electric guitar); Mike Landau, Tim Pierce (guitar); Charles Judge (piano, keyboards, drum programming); Thomas Dolby (keyboards); Rhett Lawrence (Fairlight synthesizer); John Pierce (bass); Kenny Arnoff, Curly Smith (drums); Jimmy Bralower, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Beth Anderson, Charlotte Caffey, Donna Davidson, Donna Delory, Edie Lehmann, Michelle Phillips, Ellen Shipley (background vocals).
When Belinda Carlisle pursued a solo career, she took more than her share of criticism from rock critics -- who complained that slick pop/rock collections like Belinda and Heaven on Earth lacked the bite of her work with the Go-Go's. But while nothing here packs quite the punch that "How Much More," "We Got the Beat," and "Turn to You" did, such memorable songs as "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," "Should I Let You In?," and "I Get Weak" show that the Angelino still had plenty of spirit. "Circle in the Sand" is in fact a gem -- a haunting Shangri-Las-like song with an early-to-mid-'60s-ish quality that makes you wish you were back in the Summer of '64 on your way to the beach. If one were to own only one solo effort from Carlisle's MCA years, this would be the best choice. ~ Alex Henderson