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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Belinda Carlisle

(Credit: Bill Photography)

Name  Belinda Carlisle

Best known for  Having a huge head. my nickname used to be Bighead when I had really short hair in the punk rock days. Everybody called me Head or Bighead.

I guess that’s the one thing I can think of. I’m known for swearing. I have a filthy mouth, too.

Current city  Mexico City. The most exciting city on the planet, I’d say, right now.

Really want to be in  I’m craving India right now. I used to go to India a couple of times a year and I haven’t been since the beginning of the pandemic. I really miss Old Delhi. Not New Delhi, Old Delhi. Because I love the smells and the chaos, and I definitely have weird past-life connections there. If you believe in that kind of stuff, and I do, I absolutely, absolutely have something, a weird connection with Old Delhi.

Excited about  I’m excited about my new EP, Kismet. It’s called Kismetbecause… It’s all happenstance, the whole project. My son ran into Diane Warren at a coffee shop in LA. I was just slowing down and living a nice, quiet life in Mexico, and maybe working occasionally. My son ran into her and she said, “What is your mom doing? Let’s call her.”

She said, “Come to the studio, I have some great songs for you.” I was like, well…I didn’t say it to her, but I was just thinking, “Do I really, really want to open this door, because it’s a big commitment out of my life.” It’s a year and a half or two years. I just had to really think about it. Then I went to the studio and I was like, “Are you kidding me, you’re giving me these songs? They’re amazing.” It [would’ve been] stupid for me to say no, because it was like a gift from the universe. This kind of thing has never happened to me before. Everything has been contrived with a short-term plan or long-term plan. Anyway, that’s why it’s called Kismet. It’s fitting for the way this all came about.

My current music collection has a lot of  I have a lot of Roxy Music. I have The Clash, Krishna Das, Radha Krishna Temple, which is Kirtan–I’m really into Kirtan. Crowded House. It’s pretty all over the place, but I love call and response and Kirtan, so I have a ton of that on my playlist.

And a little bit of  I’d say a little bit of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. I have a little bit of country and they’re great classic country.

 Preferred format  I was really resistant to streaming because I was like…I need to have something in my hands to look at, and I do miss looking at artwork and looking at the booklet inside and seeing credits…but that being said, I resisted streaming and then I thought, “Okay, there was something I wanted to listen to,” and I joined one of the big streaming services. I love it so much–just to be able to have everything at the touch of my finger on a button.



5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:

Violator,  Depeche Mode


It’s one of my favorite albums ever. Every song is just amazing, and I love the production. I love the melodies. I love how danceable it is. When that album came out, I was just totally obsessed and it’s one of my go-to albums always, and it has been for years and years.

Country Life,  Roxy Music


It’s the weirdest album, but I love it. Once I bought Country Life,  I bought everything [Roxy Music]…you had the amazing covers of these beautiful girls and it just had such an amazing aesthetic, and the songs were just super weird. Roxy Music and Iggy Pop changed everything for me. I discovered it in high school art class.

Pet Sounds
,  Beach Boys


Growing up in Southern California, they’re part of my DNA, and it was the first album that I owned, I won it at a baseball tournament when I was 10. For me, it’s still one of my favorite albums, so ahead of its time, and so many good tracks on it and really beautiful. Brian Wilson has a great voice, but Carl Wilson, for me, his voice is on par with a Karen Carpenter or a Tracey Thorn, where it’s pure voice with no BS. There’s something about it. It may not be the best voice, but there’s something…I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s something that comes from the soul…there is something really deep about it that you can’t put your finger on. The album is a masterpiece, considered a masterpiece by a lot of people.

La Divina,  Maria Callas


Maria Callas’ La Divina, was my introduction actually into opera. For me, discovering opera was like discovering punk rock, and I became completely obsessed with it. La Divina is all of the classic Maria Callas tracks, and it is going back to pure voice, her voice. It does something to you. It’s a really primal reaction that I get to [her] voice, and plus it’s a really sad voice, and probably the most beautiful voice to have ever existed, I think.

The Clash
,  The Clash


They were probably my favorite punk band because it was driving rock, punk rock, but also very melodic, and I loved the lyrics. They were of a time, they were angry, political. It really captured a moment, that moment in the late ’70s in the UK, which was a lot of stuff going on politically and economically. It inspired me to go to London for the very first time in 1977. I went with my friend Lorna Doom, who was in the Germs, and we went and saw The Clash, and Sham 69 and all these early punk bands. It was an incredible experience. I’ve seen The Clash live four or five times, and they were really something to see.