HEAVEN – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door [remastered +7]
Here’s another request from one of you, HEAVEN‘s album “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door“, remastered plus bonus tracks. This Australian act should be one most underappreciated hard rock bands of all time. Their albums were always hard to find, much sought after by fans of classic ’80s sharp edged hard rock.
There was two remastered versions of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” with different bonus tracks. The more recent (I never heard it) includes as bonus the band’s ’88 demo, but I am happily stick with this first remaster because it’s done in the old fashioned way: just a proper digital transfer enhanced avoiding brickwall / compression distortion.
And I said ‘was’, as both remastered reissues seems out of print now – Heaven albums seems to be destined to be hard to find…
A remaining copy (check below) of this version is being sold at £406… crazy.
Additionally, I prefer this release as the bonus tracks are more representative to the “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” era.
These are a previously unreleased studio track, plus a live recording (well captured) of tracks from Heaven previous albums, hence, no tracks repeated on this disc.
Speaking about “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, originally appeared in 1985 this record represented a slightly change of sound in favor to the more commercial, melodic trend of the mid-Eighties.
Recorded in the USA at Record Plant, N.Y.C. and co-produced by John Jansen (Meat Loaf, Eric Clapton), the aim for the Aussie band was to enter into the profitable American market, thus, reaching world-wide audiences.
In terms of sound, I always found this album similar to Helix at the time (mid-Eighties) and several other influences, of course.
Yes, before Guns N’ Roses, it was Heaven who recorded a ‘power ballad’ version of the Bob Dylan classic “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. They also choose it as the album’s title, and their cover is very, very well done if you ask me.
But the CD opens with “Show On The Road”, a pumping rocker that sounds like a kick ass blend of Icon and Keel. Every time I play this song I want to rip the knob off my stereo. Killer riff.
Next, “Wink Of An Eye” is a super catchy rocker that will have you signing along in no time. It’s driven by a dry infectious guitar riff, there’s classic ’80s synths in the mix, and overall there’s an anthemic Helix feel on display.
It’s follewed by the mentioned “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, then “No Turning Back” is just another killer track that reminds me of early Def Leppard. The clean electric guitar that opens this song (and the main riff) bring to mind of ‘Die Hard The Hunter’.
“Last Laugh” is another hit worthy tune with that would not have sounded out of place on any of the first Keel records, but the riff has a lot of Ratt as well. Kickin’!
More drive is delivered with “Burn”, the British influenced “Without Your Love” (akin Tobruk or Shy), and the great ballad “No Where To Run”, again with some of the good ole Def Leppard on it.
But before these, you have “Keep The Fire”, definitely one of my favorites on the album, simply because it’s the more AOR oriented of the bunch. Midtempo, clean guitars and a lovely melody. Love it.
“Rock On” is a studio bonus track that was added to the reissue of this CD. It is a such a great tune that I can’t figure out why this would have ever been left off of the original LP.
The remaining bonuses are captured live 1984, songs from Heaven previous albums showcasing how hot they were on stage.
Pretty unknown for general fans of the genre, Heaven’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is a very, very good record that will surprise you.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 – Show On The Road
02 – Wind Of An Eye
03 – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
04 – No Turning Back
05 – Last Laugh
06 – Burn
07 – Keep The Fire
08 – Without Your Love
09 – No Where To Run
10 – Rock On (Previously Unreleased)
11 – Hard Life [Live]
12 – Where Angels Fear To Tread [Live]
13 – Love Child [Live]
14 – In The Beginning [Live]
15 – Madness [Live]
16 – Rock School [Live]
Allan Fryer – lead vocals
Mitch Perry – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Mark Cunningham – guitar
Dennis Feldman – bass, vocals
Tommy Dimitroff – drums
Doug Katsaros – backing vocals