Cheap Trick: Heaven Tonight(1978)


Folk’s! Since I’m smashing out some KISS reviews this month. How about a review from the opening act on the KISS Can/Am 1977 North American Tour the one and only the  friggin brilliant  ‘Cheap Trick’!

If you want to talk about stellar albums look no further than Cheap Trick’s  1978 release ‘Heaven Tonight.’

This album is chock full of all kinds of Hooks N Classics! Look no further than this track listing!

Heaven Tonight:
1. Surrender
2. On Top of the World
3. California Man
4. High Roller
5. Auf Wiedersehen
6. Takin’ Me Back
7. On the Radio
8. Heaven Tonight
9. Stiff Competition
10. How Are You?
11. Oh Claire

This being the Third album, CT continue the path of what has no become Classic Rock Nuggets! I mean look no further than opener Surrender which has a ton of power pop included to kick the Trick Party off in style!

The 5 Songs that makeup Side 1 are all brilliant! Not a Dud among them and how about Tom Petersson and that Killer 4 or 8 or 12 String Bass that makes up Auf Wiedersehen! (Posted a killer live clip from 78 of Trick laying waste to Auf! Hmmm wonder where Rick got that guitar from??)

What an opening and belter of a track as Lead Vocalist Robin Zander proving without a doubt that if it makes the song that much better he will toss up a lung if he has too! Gotta love Bun E Carlos straight ahead driving drums that propel this track into orbit!

Side 2 is no dip whatsoever in the album. Perhaps not as rocking as Side 1 but these tunes hold their own as give the band credit as the title track is basically a psychedelic slow groove about drug use and how high can ya go?! Zander goes from almost losing his lungs at the end of Side 1 to digesting a huge Chill pill on the title track!

Rick Nielsen who had a hand in 10 of the 11 tracks (California Man being a cover tune written by Roy Wood) steps his writing game up 10 fold and man  what a writing binge that had Rick going on from the self titled debut in 1977 to basically 1982 and the One on One album before the wheels came of creatively  for a while…

Heaven Tonight is huge Rock Record which didn’t really start to sell in North America until after 1979’s Budokan! Better late than never right?!

But back in 78 you knew these Guys were going places…..


30 thoughts on “Cheap Trick: Heaven Tonight(1978)”

      1. I think anyway… I think I said to Mike once that I bought the Sex America box first but I made a mistake there. Would have got this first. Remember reading an article in a guitar mag about it and thinking it was worth a listen.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That Trick box set could have been so much better..It’s kind of bizarre watching them now with Zanders and Neilsen’s kids both in the band now..
      Kinda like a quirky episode of the Partridge Family…


      1. The Sex America set? I thought it was great. Loads of rare tracks on there.

        There was the Epic Collection too, I got that but not much extras there so that could have been better for sure.

        I’ve not been that fussed about any Trick since the S/T. The odd moment here and there but meh.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I meant the Epic Collection. I agree the moments since 1997 have been few and far between but I still stand my ground saying that last studio album was there best in years…haha

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Might try it again at some point but I’m just kinda done with them.

        I got the Epic Collection pretty cheap so was a good way of getting all that stuff but wasn’t a great set. The Coop Warner box was the same. Not a lot of thought put in.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Budokan was my introduction to the band thanks to my brother having the vinyl (that exact vinyl is in my position now). Because of that one, I explored them back in the day with CDs and I am getting back into them. Still don’t have this one on vinyl, but will grab it when I see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not familiar with this one. The Budoken was my first hit of Cheap Trick and it didn’t move me, but I wasn’t put off too long. Dream Police was the one that hooked me… and I’ve heard a couple of others since (self titled albums and that one from a couple of years ago being highlights, I reckon). Still plenty for me to dig into… including this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dream Police is a fantastic album as well J!
      Actually me and Tbone were listening to that album at his house a few Fridays back and we talked about how good the Bass sounded on the Dream Police album from 1979!
      We compared the sound of Tom’s Bass to VH 2 which came out in 1979 and sounds more like an executed fart more than anything which is a shame as the Bass could have sounded huge on VH2

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, is agree there’s a great bass sound on there… in fact, I think the whole album sounds great.

        It’s funny you mention VH2, cause I was listening to that and thinking it could do with a remix. Make it sound a bit fuller. Same with a few of those VH albums, actually.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Still going strong is CT which is amazing. But man some of the stuff n fluff they put out in the 80’s I had a hard time listening too but I still bought it…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My plan is to get the early ones from the first to Next Position Please. I’m not to familiar with much past that. The last one was good, We’re All Alright. I wasn’t a fan of that Elvis cover they used to play all the time. Let me know if there is anything else I should be looking for.


    1. As far as the 80’s stuff. One on One is a great rock album and that’s about it as far as I’m concerned in regards to the 80s.
      The 90s were pretty bleak as well except for the self- titled Trick album from 1997. Other than the sap ballad on the 97 album the rest of it is phenomenal.
      They ramped it up big time on that one. I don’t think it was ever issued on vinyl though.
      Your right though the We’re All Alright was a great bounceback!

      Liked by 1 person

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