Carlisle's first solo album Belinda was released in 1986, also on I.R.S. Records. This album was successful in North America and was certified Gold in the U.S. and Platinum in Canada. Her summer hit "Mad About You" peaked at #3 in the U.S., topped the Canadian Singles Chart, and charted in the top 10 in Australia. "Mad About You" was followed by the Motown-influenced single "I Feel the Magic", and by a cover version of the Freda Payne song "Band of Gold". All three songs were included on her debut album. The single "Since You've Gone", co-written by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, was used only for promotion. Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles co-wrote the single "I Need a Disguise". Duran Duran's Andy Taylor played guitar on some album tracks and appeared in her "Mad About You" video clip.
During this time, Carlisle also had songs featured on movie soundtracks, notably "In My Wildest Dreams" from the movie Mannequin, as well as "Dancing in the City" from the Whoopi Go