“Heaven isn’t too far away…we’re getting closer to it every day!” Sometimes you need some good old fashioned 80s glam metal. This is one of the all-time most iconic glam metal love ballads, from Warrant, a band popular in the late 1980s that is most remembered as a joke today–and unjustly so. Yes, this was the era and the genre of headbands, leopard-skin spandex and big ratted hair, but the glam persona, so mocked as a hackneyed trope of the 80s, masks some pretty solid musicianship. This song was from Warrant’s seminal album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, and was one of the most popular metal songs of the decade and one of the few to achieve mainstream success, peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts in 1989. But if you listen to this iteration of it–this is the official music video–you can observe what a great song it is and how well it’s executed.
Say what you want about Warrant and the glam metal genre, they’ve had huge cultural resonance. Today in the 2010s many metalheads desperately love a band called Steel Panther, which is a “joke” band that lampoons the most egregious excesses of 1980s glam conventions–and Warrant in particular. I personally think Steel Panther is dreadful, but their success wouldn’t exist unless songs like “Heaven” had struck a chord with listeners years ago. Incidentally this song is one of the numbers in the “juke box musical” Rock of Ages, first a Broadway show and then (in 2012) a Hollywood movie, in which the song is brilliantly intercut with Extreme’s ballad “More Than Words” into a hard-rock musical number that’s greater than the sum of its parts. So, laugh at Warrant’s ludicrous hairstyles if you must, but don’t forget that “Heaven” is still an awesome song…and it’s remembered for a very good reason!
Here’s hoping you have a great weekend, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/