Single Review: Belinda Carlisle “Love Never Dies”

Love Never Dies
Album: Heaven on Earth
Year: 1988

Belinda Carlisle cannot move on from a former lover in the aching “Love Never Dies.”

Glum strings and a wistful flute open the single, setting a reflective tone. Carlisle remembers the day they broke up. It was a frigid afternoon in winter. Despite the tension between them, she hoped it wouldn’t lead to a break-up. But she saw gray shadows in the distance and felt the winter air shoot through her bones. She knew it was over. (“I never knew how long a day could be/It was winter and the sun was shining/Beyond the shadows I could see/It was winter and the wind was blowing.”)

In the chorus, she comments that the feelings of love do not dissipate. It lingers on as the flowers begin to bloom and the months pass. (“Love never dies/I know that true love never dies/The seasons end/And time moves on/But true love never dies.”)

She kept a Polaroid of him that she took a couple weeks earlier before they broke up. She feels a chill throughout her body as it takes her back to the winter day. She’s tried getting past the relationship but nothing has worked. She still loves him. (“I look at a picture I took of you/Now it’s winter and the color’s fading/I just sit here while the wind blows through me/No matter how hard I try/Can’t stop this feeling.”)

The chorus has a slight change. She notes days instead seasons as a passage of time. (“Love never dies…A day comes to end/And time moves on…never dies.”)

Three years have passed and she cannot stop weeping at the thought of him. (“Now I don’t want to be wanting you/It’s been three winters and my heart’s still crying.”)

The chorus ends the single.

Carlisle’s vocals are top-notch. She is downhearted without being melodramatic. During the chorus, she uses the roughness in her voice to convey her pain. The searching “Love Never Dies” finds Carlisle clinging to whatever she can (a photo, memories) to keep her belief alive. Without her belief about love, she would fall apart.

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