Circle in the Sand

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"Circle in the Sand"
Single by Belinda Carlisle
from the album Heaven on Earth
B-side "We Can Change"
Released May 1988
Format 7" single, 12" single, CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop
Length 4:26 (album version)
3:40 (7" version)
3:20 (radio edit)
Label MCA Records
Songwriter(s) Rick Nowels, Ellen Shipley
Producer(s) Rick Nowels
Belinda Carlisle singles chronology
"I Get Weak"
"Circle in the Sand"
"I Feel Free"
"I Get Weak"
"Circle in the Sand"
"I Feel Free"

"Circle in the Sand" is a song recorded by Belinda Carlisle and released in 1988 from her album Heaven on Earth. It was her third consecutive top ten hit in the UK and US reaching No.4 and No.7 respectively. The 12" single contained remixes from producer William Orbit.

Background and writing[edit]

"Circle in the Sand" was written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley, who wrote many of Carlisle's hit singles in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, including her signature song "Heaven Is a Place on Earth". The first known appearance of the song in progress is from the Lost Heaven Demos bootleg which features a solid drum beat, lead keyboard line and simple bass with no guitars present, and completed lyrics. The melody borrows from Mike + The Mechanics' "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)", specifically the "can you hear me calling" section. The final album version of the song features a unique lead keyboard theme provided by Thomas Dolby, combined with a thumping bassline and accentuated with swirling and shimmering guitar including some played in reverse during the bridge. The combined effect has been compared to songs by the Shangri-Las, such as their song "Remember (Walking in the Sand)".[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Peter Care[2] and features Carlisle singing with various beach scenes in the background. The video mirrors the lyrical content of the song with "cold wind", "tide moves in" and "waves crash" throughout. It makes effective use of video editing tricks, by displaying different images of Carlisle and the surf against sheets hanging on a clothes line with another surf behind it. The combined effect gives the resemblance of a video-based collage.

The video uses the single edit version of the song (length 3:40) and was released by MCA in March 1988. Universal Records later posted the video for free viewing on YouTube in March 2007.

In popular culture[edit]

The song is featured in the reissued version of Grand Theft Auto V.

Chart performance[edit]

Track listing[edit]

UK 7" single (VS 1074)
  1. "Circle in the Sand" — 3:40
  2. "Circle in the Sand (Seaside Mood Groove Mix)" — 3:51, remix by William Orbit
UK 12" single (VST 1074)
  1. "Circle in the Sand (Beach Party Mix)" — 7:50, remix by William Orbit
  2. "Circle in the Sand" (edit) — 3:20
  3. "Circle in the Sand (Seaside Mood Groove Mix)" — 3:51, remix by William Orbit
UK CD single (VSCD 1074)
  1. "Circle in the Sand" (7" version) — 3:40
  2. "Circle in the Sand (Seaside Mood Groove Mix)" — 3:51, remix by William Orbit
  3. "Circle in the Sand (Sandblast Multi-mix)" (Including "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" and "I Get Weak") — 5:18, remix by William Orbit
  4. "Circle in the Sand (Beach Party Mix)" — 7:07, remix by William Orbit


Credits for the song include:


External links[edit]