Classic Album From The Rockbrat Collection: Heaven – Where Angels Fear To Tread

Heaven – one of the toughest bands to ever come out of Australia. Forming in Adelaide in the late 70’s, lead vocalist Allan Fryer had served time in several S.A bands (Soldier, Fat Lip) before forming Heaven and eventually relocating with the band to Sydney. Signed to the Deluxe label (home of a young INXS) Heaven received limited amounts of TV and press coverage, and big things were being touted for this hard rockin’ unit. Recorded back in 1983 at Cherokee Studios in L.A, Heaven’s second release ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ is one tough, rock album that’s full of guts and has a lot of balls. I remember at the time, reading comparisons to Bon era AC/DC and also to the Tatts when this album was released and indeed there are large doses of both bands etched on this record. Heaven were an exciting hard rock band who successfully trod the heavy boogie/blues path that AC/DC and the Tatts had churned out before them. Fryer’s vocals are at times reminiscent of Bon’s, and that can only ever be complimentary. The clear stand out for me on this album was the stomping single ‘Rock School’, a nasty, blues infested effort containing a killer riff and some smokin’ sax. To be played very loud or not at all. When gun guitarist Mick Cocks joined the ranks of Heaven, he brought with him that killer Tatts sound, and it is most noticeable on tracks like ‘Hard Life’, ‘Don’t Mean Nothin’, and ‘Rock School’. Cocks and lead guitarist Kelly Haese (also ex-Fat Lip) together formed one deadly duo. ‘Scream For Me’ would not be outta place on AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ (former AC/DC bass player Mark Evans was at one stage a member of Heaven) whilst the power riffed ‘Madness’ features back-up vocals from Lita Ford and Glen Hughes (ex-Deep Purple). The storming Saxon-sounding title track deserves mention as does the old Diana Ross and the Supremes hit ‘Love Child’, thumped out the Heaven way – and about as solid a slice of heavy rock that you will find. Their first album ‘Twilight Of Mischief’ is well worth chasing down and includes the head bangin’ stomper ‘In The Beginning’ – a cleverly written song that pays homage to their rock heroes. Producer/Engineer George Tutko later went on and produced the Quireboys, and has also done engineering work with Kiss, Dylan and Rod Stewart. Heaven later based themselves in the U.S and had limited success, trying to crack the tough American market. They released one further album ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ in 1986 and it’s worth owning, if only for their stunning interpretation of Dylan’s title track – eclipsing all other attempts. ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ is one heavy, sweat soaked, boogie laced, Australian sounding record that deserved more airplay…I’ll leave ya with an appropriate lyric from the bitchin’ ‘Rock School’……”who needs to be an Einstein to know that rock will last” – indeed !