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This was written by San Francisco songwriter Rick Nowels and New York-based Ellen Shipley. It features Michelle Phillips from the Mamas & The Papas and prolific hit songwriter Diane Warren on backing vocals. Nowels and Shipley also sang backup.
Nowels and Shipley wrote many other hits for Belinda Carlisle. Rick Nowels also wrote and produced Stevie Nicks' first solo single "I Can't Wait."
Rick Nowels recalled in 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, "We started brainstorming concepts. Ellen mentioned the title Heaven On Earth and I thought it was a good concept for Belinda. I started singing 'Heaven is a place on earth,' which I thought was a fresher title and before long we had finished the song." After a month of recording, Rick Nowels was very happy with the hook but was uncomfortable with the verse, so he asked Ellen back to Los Angeles to re-write the song. The new version was played to Belinda who loved it. Belinda said, "'Heaven is a Place on Earth is a kind of hopeful song. I think it's saying you can create your own piece of heaven on your own patch. It's a song about peace of mind and it's also partly a love song."
The video was directed by the American actress Diane Keaton. It created a new, more glamorous image for Carlisle, who was known for her work as lead singer of The Go-Go's. The new look with make-up and fancy clothes was quite a departure from Carlisle's early days with The Go-Go's. They started off as a Punk band and sometimes wore garbage bags onstage.
The video featured an appearance by Morgan Mason, son of the British actor James Mason, whom Carlisle married the previous year. Morgan also made an appearance in Carlisle's video for "Mad About You," which was her solo breakthrough hit in the US. This was her breakthrough hit in the UK.
This topped the charts not only in the US and UK but also several other countries. It was Carlisle's only chart topper with or without The Go-Go's.
Charlie Benante of Anthrax
The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.
The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."