HELIX – Long Way To Heaven [Rock Candy remastered & reloaded] HQ
This one was requested by many in maximum quality, HELIX more ‘AORish’ album from the mid-Eighties; the ultra polished “Long Way To Heaven“, fully ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ by Rock Candy Records specialists.
Helix were a band you could always count on to deliver; live they were like an explosion in a circus and on record they served up numerous hard rock anthems.
Furthermore, they were relentless hard workers, banging out classy albums in the blink of an eye and touring the world like men possessed. The smart money was on Helix not only making the grade but also setting the bar for Canadian rock in general.
“Long Way To Heaven”, originally issued in 1985, was the band’s third album for Capitol records, their two previous records having elevated them from interesting contenders to hot-shot upstarts with their eyes set firmly on the prize.
Naturally, this album doesn’t disappoint either, erupting with a fine selection of sing-it-shout-it party rock anthems to rival the most successful bands of the era, adding a keyboard background and a hair metal feel.
Tracks such as the catchy ‘Kids Are All Shakin’, ‘Ride The Rocket’, ‘School Of Hard Knocks’, ‘Bangin’ Off-A The Bricks’ and the title track itself leave no stone unturned in the quest for the perfect hard rock anthem.
The first single was ‘Deep Cuts the Knife’ (Top 20), one of my favorite Helix tunes ever (co-written by AORster Bob Halligan, Jr.) a killer midtempo full of ’80s magic. The song received heavy airplay in the U.S., gaining “double breaker” status, and in Canada was added to heavy video play on MuchMusic.
Issued to universal acclaim, Helix’s hard work paid off, especially in Europe. Their first tour to kick off “Long Way To Heaven” was in Sweden where they became the first Canadian Rock band ever to tour that country extensively. For this they achieved their first #1 album in Scandinavia.
Elsewhere, the reception was equally as warm, allowing the band to continue their relentless touring schedule and driving home the message that Helix were one of the hottest tickets on the scene.
Helix first rocked the world a couple years earlier on the excellent No Rest For The Wicked, but I believe they put all the pieces together just right on this “Long Way To Heaven”. The songs are great and production top notch.
This Rock Candy remaster is excellent, the best treatment of all Helix reissues, where you can really feel the difference.
A Must Have
01 – Kids Are All Shakin’
02 – Deep Cuts The Knife
03 – Ride The Rocket
04 – Long Way To Heaven
05 – House On Fire
06 – Christine
07 – Without You (Jasmine’s Song)
08 – School Of Hard Knocks
09 – Don’t Touch The Merchandise
10 – Bangin’ Off-a-The Bricks
Brian Vollmer – vocals
Paul Hackman – guitar and vocals
Brent “The Doctor” Doerner – guitar and vocals
Daryl Gray – bass and vocals
Greg “Fritz” Hinz – drums