(Debuted September 30, 1989, Peaked #11, 17 Weeks on the Chart)
To be honest, I was never really a big fan of Belinda Carlisle's solo material when her songs "Mad About You" and the hits from her album Heaven on Earth were in constant rotation on the radio. While her work was destined to be compared to what she did with The Go-Gos, that was probably unfortunate since it was a manifestation of a different direction in her life from her admittedly wild days as a Go-Go. Ironically, at the same moment I began to really get into her new material, her audience began to dwindle.
Another person who found her music interesting was ex-Beatle George Harrison. He provided his distinctive slide guitar to the instrumental bridge. That was a real compliment, and Harrison was happy to help because he was a fan of Carlisle's singing. His solo isn't the only interesting non-vocal performance in the song, either...check out that drum fill as Carlisle shifts back into the chorus for the fade-out.
"Leave a Light On" was written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley, who had also written Carlisle's earlier hits "Heaven is a Place on Earth" and "Circle in the Sand." The lyrics touch on a subject that most singers are intimately familiar with: leaving home for long stretches of time. The chorus is a reminder that it's only a matter of time before she comes back, and she's definitely coming back.