Real (Belinda Carlisle album)

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Belinda Carlisle - Real.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1993
ProducerMarsha Burns, Charlotte Caffey, Thomas Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Carrie McConkey, Ralph Schuckett
Belinda Carlisle chronology
The Best of Belinda, Volume 1
A Woman and a Man
Singles from Real
  1. "Big Scary Animal"
    Released: September 13, 1993
  2. "Lay Down Your Arms"
    Released: November 15, 1993

Real is the fifth studio album by American singer Belinda Carlisle, first released on September 29, 1993. The album has a genre of mainly pop songs written by Charlotte Caffey, Thomas Caffey, Ralph Schuckett and half co-written by Carlisle. It was the second Belinda Carlisle album where Rick Nowels had no writing or producing credits and was also Carlisle's first album where she contributed to the producing. The album cover was designed by Tom Dolan and is a departure for Carlisle, who presented a glamorous look on all her previous covers, choosing a "jeans and tee shirt" look instead this time without make-up. The album features a cover version of The Graces pop rock song "Lay Down Your Arms".

Reception and chart performance[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[2][3]
Randy Krbechek's Metronews(favorable)[4]

AllMusic reviewed the album as suffering from a lack of memorable songs and while the record sounded good, it had nothing to support the state-of-the-art production.[1] It was also a departure from her previous solo albums, it has more in common with Carlisle's The Go-Go's sound rather than her own, typical, solo pop themes. Dealing with what Carlisle termed the 'dark side of relationships,' the album is mature and intentionally lacks the slick production of her other solo albums. Carlisle won over many critics who had previously reviewed her for her sensed lack of progression and willingness to take a chance with some edgier material.[5]

Randy Krbechek wrote "Belinda may not be the deepest songwriter in the world, but she delivers her tunes with conviction, and puts real meaning into her songs of love, life, and heartache. In fact, Real is one of the best albums addressing a woman's perspective on relationships".

The album made its debut in the UK Albums Chart at number 9 on October 18, 1993, making Real Carlisle's fifth consecutive Top Ten album there. In the second week it dropped down 11 places to number 20 and spent only five weeks in the Top 75. In Sweden the album became her fifth top 30 album, peaking at number 23, spending only two weeks in the top 50. Australia was the last place the album charted, where it charted at number 61 and spent four weeks in the top 100.

Released in September 1993, the single "Big Scary Animal" (also known as "It's Too Real (Big Scary Animal)") reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Carlisle's seventh top 20 single, and a top 60 hit in Australia. This is also the most successful song co-written by Belinda Carlisle. "Lay Down Your Arms" was released as the second single in November 1993 and failed to gain much success, peaking at number 27 in the UK.

Real was re-released by Edsel Recording on August 26th, 2013 as a two CD plus DVD casebook. It features the original album re-mastered, the single versions, demos, remixes, and live tracks. The DVD features the videos from the album and an exclusive interview with Carlisle, discussing the album.[6]

Track listing[edit]

1."Goodbye Day"Charlotte Caffey, Thomas Caffey, Jeff McDonald, Steve McDonald4:39
2."Big Scary Animal"Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Ralph Schuckett4:08
3."Too Much Water"Caffey, Caffey, Richard Caffey, Carlisle5:16
4."Lay Down Your Arms"Caffey, Schuckett, Ellen Shipley4:38
5."Where Love Hides"Schuckett4:57
6."One with You"Caffey, Schuckett, Shipley5:11
7."Wrap My Arms"Caffey, Caffey, Carlisle4:27
8."Tell Me"Caffey, Caffey, Carlisle5:32
9."Windows of the World"Caffey, Caffey, Carlisle3:26
10."Here Comes My Baby"Gregg Alexander, Caffey, Carlisle4:37

2013 Remastered Deluxe version[edit]


Chart (1993) Peak
Japanese Albums Chart[7] 26
Swedish Albums Chart[8] 23
UK Albums Chart[9] 9

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Japan September 29, 1993 Toshiba Records CD, Cassette VJCP-28185[10]
United States October 5, 1993 Virgin Records V2-39102[11]
United Kingdom October 11, 1993 CD, Vinyl CDV2725[12]
Australia November 14, 1993 CD 839102-2


  1. ^ a b AllMusic review
  2. ^ Thigpen, David (1993-10-15). "Real Review". Entertainment Weekly. p. 76. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  3. ^ Entertainment Weekly review on CD Universe
  4. ^ Randy Krbecheks Metronews review
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on April 24, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Japan Chart Position". Retrieved November 6, 2007.
  8. ^ "Sweden Chart Position". Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  9. ^ "UK Chart Position". Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  10. ^ - Japan release information. Oricon. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  11. ^ Real - U.S. release information. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
  12. ^ Real - UK release information. Retrieved June 19, 2007.