Heaven Tonight

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Heaven Tonight
Cheap Trick Heaven Tonight.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1978 (1978-04)
RecordedRecord Plant and Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, California, 1977–1978
ProducerTom Werman
Cheap Trick chronology
In Color
Heaven Tonight
Cheap Trick at Budokan
Singles from Heaven Tonight
  1. "Surrender / Auf Wiedersehen"
    Released: June 1978
  2. "California Man / I Want You to Want Me (live)"
    Released: December 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[3]
The Village VoiceB+[4]

Heaven Tonight is Cheap Trick's third studio album, produced by Tom Werman and 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 explored a lighter, more pop-oriented persona, 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]


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, konnichi wa" 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 and inserted between the lyrics 'you lie, you lie.'

"Surrender" is featured as a playable song on the video game Guitar Hero II with the outro from At Budokan used in the game. It is also featured in the soundtrack to EA's video game Skate.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Rick Nielsen, except where indicated.

Side one
1."Surrender" 4:16
2."On Top of the World" 4:01
3."California Man"Roy Wood3:44
4."High Roller"Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Robin Zander3:58
5."Auf Wiedersehen"Nielsen, Petersson3:42
Side two
6."Takin' Me Back" 4:52
7."On the Radio" 4:33
8."Heaven Tonight"Nielsen, Petersson5:25
9."Stiff Competition" 3:40
10."How Are You"Nielsen, Petersson4:21
11."Oh Claire" (not listed on LP label or album cover)Nielsen, Petersson, Zander, Bun E. Carlos1:10
Total length:43:42
1998 reissue bonus tracks
12."Stiff Competition" (outtake)4:03
13."Surrender" (outtake)4:52


Cheap Trick[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


Chart performance[edit]


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


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


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


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Heaven Tonight - Cheap Trick". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  2. ^ Schneider, Mitchell (10 August 1978). "Heaven Tonight". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 26, 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  5. ^ Snyder, Philip (1 June 2008). "Tom Werman and Gary Ladinsky: The First 12-String Bass Recording". The 12-String Bass Website. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  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. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2011-12-18.