Tag Archives: Cheap Trick Heaven Tonight

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…..


Back Covers: Cheap Trick-Heaven Tonight (1978)

Man I love those old Cheap Trick back covers from the 70’s. Opening for KISS back in 1977 must have had something to do with the word ‘Gimmick’.

Cheap Trick didn’t really need a gimmick so to speak as those 70’s records of their hold their own musically. Perhaps since there were 1000’s of acts trying to make a name for themselves  back than Cheap Trick did although break through with the Budokan album in 79 and that album my friends is no Gimmick!

But let’s rewind a bit to 1978 when Trick released the Brilliant Heaven Tonight album. ( I will review this album in full down the road). In a first here with my Back Covers segment I need to post a pic of the front cover to get my point across!

As I mentioned earlier the Gimmick involving Cheap Trick was that they had two cool guys in Robin Zander & Tom Petersson.  (pic above) Whereas Rick Neilsen & Bun E Carlos were the nerds of the band!(pic at the top the page)

There ya have it. The two Rock Stars hanging outside while the two Geeks are checking and sprucing themselves up in the Bathroom!

Reid Miles did the photography for this album and captures a band on the rise. The imagery between the front and back cover as a selling point is Awesome! If you notice on the back cover pic Rick has the album cover of 1977’s ‘In Color’ tucked in his back pocket! A little self promotion of your previous record never hurt anyone!

Don’t feel bad though for the two nerds of Cheap Trick as if you spin the classic Budokan Album you will hear a ton of Japanese girls shrieking “Buuuuuuun E!’ while Rick wrote basically all the Cheap Trick songs!

Special mention to Bun E Carlos who is credited as playing ‘Traps’ on the back cover!