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Heaven Up Here  performed by  Echo & the Bunnymen  (1981)
Composed by Sargeant/McCulloch/Pattinson/DeFreitas
From: England
Mood: desperate, claustrophobic, pleading, angry, urgent, dark
Recommended by Fig Alert [profile] on Friday 31st January 2003

I'm glad that I get the opportunity to be the first to recommend a Bunnymen track, especially since their early work, which I feel is far stronger than anything after "Porcupine," is unknown, primarily Stateside, to many.

"Heaven Up Here" is a car losing it's wheels at full speed while cornering on a high mountain pass. Will Sargeant's opening chick-chick-chicking on guitar gives way to a straight bassdrop, headlong into Pete DeFreitas' insistent pounding on drums, while Ian McColluch's yelps sound utterly desperate, claustrophobic, pleading and angry simultaneously. There's a pause in the careening during the bridge, just long enough for Ian to remind us that "We're all groovy, groovy people...we're okay, we're okay," before it all plunges straight down the cliffside, banging, exploding, scraping and finally, ending succinctly.

I don't ever recall hearing back then, and rarely today, such a beautifully cacophonic melding of swirling psychedelia and assaultive punk/pop. The guitars are cascades of shimmering shards of sound. Les Pattinson's coy, but effective bassline floats beneath the furious energy DeFreitas unleashes on his drumkit. "Mac the Mouth" may be the frontman, but I think this gem is DeFreitas' piece all the way.

After 20+ years of living with this album, and this song in particular, the pump, pump, pump of the bass drum still sends shivers up my spine. Don't overlook this album as a whole either!

from Heaven Up Here (Sire/Warner 3569-2)
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