“Heaven” by The Chimes (1990)

The Chimes came straight out of Scotland and…well, they didn’t really stick the landing on U.S. shores. Only one single of theirs scraped the ass end of the Hot 100, and their debut album (which turned out to be their only album) peaked at #162. The only success the group had in the States was on the dance charts, where “Heaven” became the second of their two #1 singles. In the wake of a successful run by Soul II Soul (an outfit they had much in common with), they should have had more mainstream success. “Heaven” certainly makes the case for chart domination, with a James Brown-inspired drumbeat and a bass line that could rouse the dead. Like all the best dance music, “Heaven” sounds as good coming across radio waves as it did (or must have? I was too young) on fat club speakers. The Chaka Khan-inspired vocals of Pauline Henry are a highlight, as well.

I might’ve heard “Heaven” on the radio two or three times during its heyday, and maybe saw the video another time or two (thanks, Video Music Box). Despite only having a little bit of exposure, the song made a hell of an impression. By the time I started buying CDs regularly in 1993, the Chimes’ debut had already made its way to the cutout bins. I ended up with a copy for only a couple of bucks, and scoured the album for another song that was as good. No such luck.

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