Heaven Tonight

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Heaven Tonight
Studio album by Cheap Trick
Released May 1978 (1978-05)
Recorded Record Plant and Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, California, 1977–1978
Genre Hard rock, power pop
Length 43:42
Label Epic
Producer Tom Werman
Cheap Trick chronology
In Color
(1977)
Heaven Tonight
(1978)
Cheap Trick at Budokan
(1979)
Singles from Heaven Tonight
  1. "Surrender / Auf Wiedersehen"
    Released: 1978
  2. "California Man / Stiff Competition"
    Released: 1978
  3. "California Man / I Want You to Want Me (live from Cheap Trick at Budokan)"
    Released: 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[4]

Heaven Tonight is Cheap Trick's third studio album, released in 1978. The album was remastered and released with bonus tracks on Sony's Epic/Legacy imprint in 1998. The album cover features lead singer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson.

Heaven Tonight is considered Cheap Trick's best album by many fans and critics. While their debut album Cheap Trick showed the band's darker, rawer side and In Color showed their lighter, poppier side, Heaven Tonight combined both elements to produce a hook-filled pop-rock album with an attitude. Popular songs from this album include the anthemic "Surrender", "Auf Wiedersehen", the title track, and a cover of The Move's "California Man".

Heaven Tonight is also known as the first album ever recorded with a 12-string electric bass.[5]

Overview[edit]

This was the second Cheap Trick album to feature Robin Zander and Tom Petersson on the front cover and Bun E. Carlos and Rick Nielsen on the back. While the front cover has Zander and Petersson standing in front of a nondescript background, the back cover portion (part of a continuous, wrap-around shot on the original LP) reveals that they are standing inside a public restroom where Nielsen is brushing his teeth and Carlos is fixing his tie in the mirror. Nielsen has a cassette copy of the band's previous album, In Color sticking out of his back pocket. At the suggestion of the record company, the album was originally to be called American Standard; the cover photography was intended to play upon the secondary association with the well-known manufacturer of plumbing fixtures. The band were less pleased with the idea and opted for the release title, but the cover design remained.[6]

"Surrender" was the only song from this album released on the original version of the 1979 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan. On the 1998 reissue At Budokan: The Complete Concert, three additional songs from this album were included - "Auf Wiedersehen", "High Roller" and "California Man".

"Oh Claire" is a one-minute live jam with "Oh, Konnichiwa" as the only lyrics. The title is a pun on Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where the band used to play frequently in their pre-stardom days. Cheap Trick wrote a similarly titled song, "O Claire," for their 2006 album Rockford. "How Are You" contains, in its second verse, the extract of "The Lord's Prayer", sped up 10 times.

"Surrender" is featured as a playable song on the video game Guitar Hero II with the outro from At Budokan used in the game.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Rick Nielsen, except where noted.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Surrender" – 4:16
  2. "On Top of the World" – 4:01
  3. "California Man" (Roy Wood) – 3:44
  4. "High Roller" (Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Robin Zander) – 3:58
  5. "Auf Wiedersehen" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 3:42

Side two[edit]

  1. "Takin' Me Back" – 4:52
  2. "On the Radio" – 4:33
  3. "Heaven Tonight" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 5:25
  4. "Stiff Competition" – 3:40
  5. "How Are You?" (Nielsen, Petersson) – 4:21
  6. "Oh Claire" (Bun E. Carlos, Nielsen, Petersson, Zander) – 1:10 (not listed on LP label or album cover)

Bonus tracks (1998 Reissue)[edit]

  1. "Stiff Competition" (outtake) – 4:03
  2. "Surrender" (outtake) – 4:52

Personnel[edit]

Band members[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Tom Werman - producer
  • Gary Ladinsky - engineer
  • Mike Beiriger - assistant engineer
  • George Marino - mastering
  • Jim Charne, Paula Scher – design
  • Reid Miles - photography

Chart performance[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
Total
weeks
Canadian Albums Chart[7] 41 11
French Albums Chart[8] 28 28
U.S. Billboard 200[9] 48 ?

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1978 "Surrender" Billboard Hot 100[9] 62

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA[10] Gold January 16, 1979
Platinum February 10, 1995
CRIA - Canada[11] Platinum 1979-11-01

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Heaven Tonight - Cheap Trick". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Cheap Trick". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  3. ^ Schneider, Mitchell (10 August 1978). "Heaven Tonight". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 157. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  5. ^ Snyder, Philip (1 June 2008). "Tom Werman and Gary Ladinsky: The First 12-String Bass Recording". The 12-String Bass Website. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  6. ^ Anderson, Philip (1 June 2008). "Interviews - Rick Nielsen". Kaos2000 webzine. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  7. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 30, No. 4, October 21, 1978". Library and Archives Canada. 21 October 1978. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  8. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste - Cheap Trick" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  9. ^ a b "Heaven Tonight Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  10. ^ "RIAA Database Search for Heaven Tonight". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  11. ^ "Gold Platinum Database - Title: Heaven Tonight". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-12-18.