Album: Mirror Moves (1984)
Charted: 29

Songfacts®:

  • "Heaven" is not quite what it seems. Despite its title, this song, from the Psychedelic Furs' fourth album, Mirror Moves, is far from a testament of faith. The gravity of its lyrics is lightened by an addictive beat that drew throngs of fans onto the dance floor whenever it played. Tim Butler, the band's co-founder and bassist, illuminated Songfacts on the meaning of "Heaven":

    "It's about planes flying over ready to drop bombs, nuclear bombs: 'And I'm standing on ice when I say that I don't hear planes.' It's sort of strange that people would dance to it and stuff with a happy vibe, when it's quite a heavy song."
  • This song is one of Tim Butler's three favorite songs from The Psychedelic Furs. The other two are "President Gas" and "Only You and I." He told us: "They are constructed the best and all the parts of the instrumentation is perfect for those songs. They're some of the best-realized songs in our catalogue."
  • By this time, Tim and Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs had moved from England to America, where their music got a better reception. They first charted in America with "Love My Way" from their previous album, and "Heaven" was poised to be their breakout hit in that country. It wasn't to be: "Heaven" didn't land, and their next single, "The Ghost In You," stalled at #59.

    In their native UK, the song fared a lot better, becoming their first Top 30 hit. It peaked at #29 and held steady for five weeks.
  • Lead singer Richard Butler was going through some issues in his personal life and wasn't all that accommodating to Keith Forsey, who produced the Mirror Moves album. Butler would do just one take of each song - two only if Forsey wanted to double the vocal. "That was very much about my anger in the minute at that time," Butler told Songfacts.
  • Tim Pope, who also helmed "Love My Way" and "The Ghost In You," directed the "Heaven" video. Instead of giving any hints to the real meaning behind the song, Pope simply had the band perform it in the rain, with Richard Butler reaching for the heavens.
  • The Furs performed the song on American Bandstand on September 22, 1984. They struggled a bit during the after-interview trying to answer mundane questions about their hobbies and sleep habits.
  • The Boston-bred alternative rock band Buffalo Tom included a live acoustic version of "Heaven" on their 1990 album, Birdbrain. The song has popped up on several other albums like Face to Face's Standards & Practices (2001), Alkaline Trio's Another Year on the Streets, Vol. 3 (2004) and Nouvelle Vague's 3 (2009). It was also a bonus track on the Japanese release Annie Lennox's Medusa album in 1995.

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