Don't be fooled by the serene cover: Heaven Up Here is all about the depths of depression and the stranglehold of anxiety. Building upon the sonic foundation they laid with their debut, Crocodiles, Liverpool quartet Echo & the Bunnymen continue to define their distinctive post-punk sound on this 1981 album, setting the tone with ringing guitars, unsettling rhythms, and Ian McCulloch's soul-searching lyrics and soul-venting delivery. "Some crave for heaven, while we live in hell," the famously coiffed singer laments in the eerie "The Disease," sounding like Robert Smith caught on an especially bad day. Meanwhile, guitarist Will Sergeant was further developing his distinctive style, flaunting his ear for both Church-like sonics ("With a Hip") and Smiths-like hooks ("A Promise"). With its Eno-derived guitar sound, "All My Colours" was really a showcase for the Bunnymen's rhythm section, especially drummer Pete De Freitas, which had long since given the band an edge over their peers. The extra tracks fleshing out this deluxe 2004 reissue include the seven-minute rhythmic workout "Broke My Neck," a B-side, and four live tracks recorded in Australia in late '81. It's a vibrant encapsulation of their stage show at the time; all forces joined with particular force on "All I Want." Although it lives and breathes doom and gloom, Heaven Up Here manages rise above the abyss, buoyed by determination and inspiration.
Performance CreditsEcho & the Bunnymen Primary Artist
Ian McCulloch Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Leslie Penny Woodwind
Will Sergeant Guitar
Pete de Freitas Drums
Technical CreditsEcho & the Bunnymen Producer
Bill Inglot Reissue Producer
Hugh Jones Producer,Engineer,Original Album Producer
Ian McCulloch Composer
Will Sergeant Composer
Pete de Freitas Composer
Rachel Gutek Art Direction
Andy Zax Reissue Producer
Martyn Atkins Cover Design
Max Bell Liner Notes
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Heaven Up Here based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I can't agree more with the "professional critic" above. What makes this album such a favorite among Bunnymen fans is exactly what keeps it from popularity. Think of "Heaven Up Here" as the anti-thesis to the band's self-titled gray album, and one begins to understand the animosity toward the latter. Whereas that release was like wading in a swimming pool, "Heaven Up Here" is like swimming against the current. Try as you might to keep up, there is simply too much happening to effectively take it all in at once. Ian McCulloch's voice acts as another instrument in the mix, collectively creating a tortured, sometimes dissonant, tapestry of sound. This is not to say that the album is without discernable melodies, as "Show of Strength", "Over the Wall", and "A Promise" prove. It is to say, however, that this is NOT a pop album by any means. It plays as a carefully considered, densely layered examination of human nature and interaction. As such, the casual fan or pop listener may not find much to like here. However, Bunnymen fans, particularly of Will Sargeant's kinetic guitar rushes, will find much to admire and cherish.