Circle in the Sand

Circle in the Sand
"Circle in the Sand"
Single by Belinda Carlisle
from the album Heaven on Earth
Released 1988
Format 7" Single, 12" Single, CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop
Length 4:26 (Album Version)
3:40 (7" Version)
3:20 (Edit)
Label MCA Records
Writer(s) Rick Nowels, Ellen Shipley
Producer Rick Nowels
Belinda Carlisle singles chronology
"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.


Background and writing

"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. 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 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 effects. The combined effect has been compared to songs by the Shangri-Las, such as their song "Remember (Walking in the Sand)".[1]

Music video

The memorable 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"-ing 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. Carlisle's look in this video is the same long, red hair look she features on the back cover of the Heaven on Earth album.

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


Chart (1988) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 75
Austrian Singles Chart 26
Canadian Singles Chart 5
Dutch Singles Chart[3] 22
Italian Singles Chart 23
South African Singles Chart 12
UK Singles Chart[4] 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 7
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[5] 5

Track listing

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:


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