Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Cage Match: Cheap Trick vs. Belinda Carlisle


Well, what did we learn during last week's battle royale? We learned that a whole lotta people LOVE "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran, and not nearly as many are affectionate towards Def Leppard and "Rock of Ages." I was kinda surprised.

This week, we've got a battle pending that is sure to cause debate and plenty of name-calling.

In the left corner, we've got Cheap Trick, hanging out with a little ditty called "Tonight It's You."

In the opposite corner, Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle, who taught us all in 1987 that "Heaven Is A Place On Earth."

Allow me a bit of personal reflection:

I hold a bit of a grudge against Carlisle, for the night that I spent watching her perform at a casino in Milwaukee in early 2003. On that same night, Eric Johnson was also playing in a venue in town. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band were in town, and there were a few other shows playing as well. My friend was working at the local ticket broker, and had a leftover pair of tickets for Carlisle, so off we went to check out the show.

I was kind of stoked at the chance to see Carlisle run through her 80s solo hits, and Go-Go's material. But then that didn't happen - Carlisle came out and performed with instrumental backing tracks (and perhaps a keyboard player on stage as well) and did a bunch of new material, and very few hits, and maybe ONE Go-Go's song. My one evening in Milwaukee, totally wasted.

But that's okay, because later that same year, she got some nice payback from those same backing tracks when there was a little problem with the tapes.

Justice is mine!

Still, in 1987 - I was all about "Heaven Is A Place On Earth," "I Get Weak," "Circle In The Sand," and I think you get the picture.

Carlisle came to mind, because there is an anniversary legacy edition thingamabob on tap for Heaven On Earth, paired with a concert video re-release from the Heaven on Earth tour, on DVD for the first time.

Now, about Cheap Trick - who can say a bad word about Cheap Trick? "Tonight It's You" is a favorite - and I saw them play it live last summer when they were on tour with Journey and Heart. Journey keyboard player/vocalist Jonathan Cain came out to play keys on the track.

You can probably imagine how great it was. But hey, let's get to it, shall we?

The choice is up to you - Cheap Trick vs. Belinda Carlisle - what's your pick? Lemme know in the comments!

Here's the original video for "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" since embedding is disabled.


An interview with Belinda about "Heaven Is A Place On Earth"

  • Ann

    Not a fan of either, but I’ve gotta go with Cheap Trick on this. Great hook on the chorus.

  • CB

    Cheap Trick Forever!!!!!

  • Laura Faeth

    There isn’t any contest here. As I used to write on my high school homeroom desk… Cheap Trick Rules!

  • ferris

    These cage matches are hard, sir. 1980s Belinda is the hottest woman that ever lived. So she wins. And this is coming from someone who paid for Cheap Trick downloads this weekend.

    If you think Rick & Robin are more worthy of getting worked up about, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. As Mike Damone said, “”Can you honestly tell me that you forgot? Forgot the magnetism of Robin Zander or the charisma of Rick Nielsen?”

  • Brian

    This is a tough one…. Cheap Trick.

  • Dave C.

    Not trying to be mean, but what happened to Belinda Carlisle’s face? She used to be a chubby cheeked cutie. Now it’s gaunt and overly sculpted. Yikes! That said, “Heaven is a place of Earth” is near the pinacle of a spotty solo career, a pretty solid pop hit. But that said, you can’t go against Cheap Trick. That’s silly.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Dave – I thought she certainly hit it with the Heaven on Earth album – nice run of singles from that album.

    And then that damn Jane Wiedlin came around with a song (Rush Hour) that was cooler than all of the singles on Heaven on Earth!

  • Bear

    I agree with D.X.. She was hot in the 80’s and that will always get my vote plus I actually kinda liked her music. Okay Matt I have to come clean, I am a closet Go-Go’s fan.

  • Stereo Dictator

    Cheap Trick without a doubt. Real musicians writing good material and playing real music.

    The screwup with Belinda’s audio/video as shown on You Tube is such great payback for her bitchiness. The next night of the “tour”, the crew should have shown her hissy fit to the audience.

    As for her comment about technology sucking and feeling like it is 1973, if it were 1973, she would paying a real band to back her up, not complaining about her karoaoke presentation not working. Go away crybaby!

  • KAP

    Journey, Cheap Trick and Heart, huh? That’d be a fun show to see!

    I gotta go with Cheap Trick on this one. But man, I did love Heaven is a Place on Earth.

    I actually didn’t get into Cheap Trick until college… my roommate and her boyfriend were HUGE Cheap Trick fans, so I got to hear all their music… ALL the time.

  • mycool44

    This battle is an easy one. Heaven was only a place on earth when that song was over and the DJ started speaking. One of the worst songs to ever make it to #1, along with “Ghostbusters”, “Footloose”, and “Wind Beneath My Wings”. As for the hotness factor, I would have taken Toni Basil’s co*ksucker lips over Belinda’s chubby cheeks any day of the week. Love Cheap Trick, even though I prefer “Can’t Stop Falling Into Love” as a lesser-known 80’s CT song – and I know Matt really loves that song, as well. lol

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