On this day in music history: December 5, 1987…

On this day in music history: December 5, 1987 – “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” by Belinda Carlisle hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley, it is the biggest hit for the singer from Thousand Oaks, CA. As the lead singer of The Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle  achieves major success with the band, releasing three albums including the chart topping “Beauty And The Beat”. However, infighting between the five band members including heavy drug use and squabbles over money and media attention cause The Go-Go’s to implode in 1985. Carlisle continues on as a solo act, scoring a hit right out of the box with “Mad About You” (#3 Pop) and her debut solo album “Belinda” in 1986, she leaves IRS Records shortly after, signing a new deal with MCA Records. Paired with producer Rick Nowels (Stevie Nicks, Madonna, Jewel, Nelly Furtado), they begin work on Carlisle’s second album. Nowels collaborates with songwriter Ellen Shipley on two songs for the album including “Circle In The Sand” (#7 Pop) and titled “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”. When Carlisle hears “Heaven”, she loves it immediately and agrees to record it. After it is recorded, Nowels is unhappy with parts of the song, and it is re-written with the original version being scrapped. Once the re-recorded version is complete, all agree that it is a hit. The song is accompanied by a music video directed by actress Diane Keaton. Released as the first single from “Heaven On Earth” early September of 1987, it quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 on September 26, 1987, it climbs to the top of the chart ten weeks later. The success of “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” helps to propel the album “Heaven On Earth” to Platinum status in the US.