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Cardiacs Heaven Born And Ever Bright album cover
3.73 | 58 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Alphabet Business Concern (Home Of Fadeless Splendour) (3:58)
2. She Is Hiding Behind The Shed (4:19)
3. March (3:17)
4. Goodbye Grace (3:56)
5. Anything I Can't Eat (3:24)
6. Helen And Heaven (3:08)
7. Bodysbad (4:06)
8. For Good And All (4:42)
9. Core (2:31)
10. Day Is Gone (3:17)
11. Snakes-A-Sleeping (8:25)

Total Time: 45:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Smith / guitar, lead vocals, producer
- John Poole / guitar, vocals
- Jim Smith / bass, vocals
- Dominic Luckman / drums

- Christian Hayes / guitar
- William D. Drake / organ (6)
- Sarah Smith / saxophone (1,3,4,6-8)

Releases information

LP Alphabet ‎- ALPHLP 017 (1992, UK)

CD Alphabet ‎- ALPHCD 017 (1991, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CARDIACS Heaven Born And Ever Bright ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

CARDIACS Heaven Born And Ever Bright reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by russellk
3 stars Well, yanno, even a great band doesn't always produce masterpieces. 'Heaven Born and Ever Bright' isn't regarded as CARDIACS' best album, and I fully support that view. It's a retrograde step from everything that went before.

Still good, though. It's hard to judge, however, because of thr sweeping personnel changes. Gone is the musical heart of the band: WILLIAM D DRAKE, the brilliant keyboardist and the glue that kept the CARDIACS sound at its effervescent best, left the band, as did SARAH SMITH and TIM QUY. This is now TIM SMITH's band, and they are somewhat reduced to say the least. We've lost that joyful abandonment. There's far fewer silly moments, and the music is far more monolithical, more serious, studious.

This doesn't mean there's nothing to like. The musicianship is still exemplary, and the band still plays around with your perceptions of where a song might be heading. But there's nothing here that truly startles, nothing that sticks a meaty paw around your throat and demands you pay attention. None of that up-yer-bum cheekiness. The highlight is probably 'Anything I Can't Eat', which would be a good track on any other CARDIACS album, but is great here.

A nice little ruby in a field of diamonds, that's what this is.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars The Cardiacs can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. Other than the first two tape recordings as shown at the start of this discography, their albums are without parallel.

'The Alphabet Business Concern' which opens the album sounds like the drunken National Anthem to a completely blootered middle England, being really loud and bombastic throughout with big booming drums and massed vocals.

As other reviewers have hinted at, this is a bit more straightforward than all their other albums but blimey, it still rocks like a daddy and jumps about like a jack-in-the-box. If you took away the manic vocals of Tim Smith it may sound to some listeners like a more pumped up testosterone injected, 'Madness' starring Suggs circa 1981.

On hearing this again, I'm really surprised by the low score. 'Goodbye Grace' is pure bonkers - with all of what's best in the Cardiacs - manic drums, thrashing guitars, weird time signatures, old fashioned keyboards which now, in 2013 sound undated, and a crazy front man spitting bullets out of his mouth at 100mph.

'Anything I Can't Eat' is pretty much like above but doubled in intensity. Man - I love these guys! The more I hear this album the better it gets. I've never before heard a band that sounds so crazy to be able to hold a beat and tune together despite the random sudden changes in tempo.

If you've not heard the Cardiacs before - this is a good entry point as some of their later material - 'Sing to God' in particular, is completely off the wall and totally crazy. 'Heaven Born And Ever Bright ' isn't particularly easy on the ear - it thrashes about wildly, kicking, spitting and thrashing out at all who are willing to listen.

Great fun!

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I have liked the punk ! Even being a Pink Floyd and Yes addict I didn't feel the need to separate the two things and choosing just one. Punk was not mainstream as well as Tales from Topographic Oceans. Then the post-punk came bringing some actually good things. The best of them for me are the DEVO.

What makes me enjoy the Cardiacs a lot is that they are the only inheriters of that crazy band in a musical sense. This album is full of punk rhythms with post-punk sounds and absoulutely non-trivial and unusual sequences of chords. For my pleasure there are songs like "Goodbye Grace" and "Everything I Can't Eat" which sound both punk but together with more avant-prog things like She Is Hiding Behind The Shed" and the excellent "Helen And Heaven" which is not punk but it's for me the best album's track.

The sequence of the tracks has been chosen very carefully, I think. The fact that a song like Helen And Heaven is followed by "Bodysbad" which is very close to the DEVO of 15 years before means that the listener can't relax thinking to listen to a numebr of songs of the same kind. The change is big but not too much. There's a good balance in the list.

Of course the Cardiacs are better player than most of the artists of the punk era and even when they use rhythms and sounds from the punk age they are arranged very skillfully and some passages are light years over the technical possibilities of any punk rocker.

Another band whose I can hear some influences is the CARS. Don't get me wrong, I know that they were an electronic mainstream rock band, but some of their more "experimental" songs, especially those in wich they were produced by Andy Warhol, are not too distant from "Core" even if Cardiacs are clearly a British band with a British sound.

This album in particular is less experimental than its great predecessors but very far from being mainstream. In any case it's not too difficult and is approachable by everybody, unless one is used to listen to Charles Aznavour only.

A special mention to the album closer which is also the longest track. It contains a bit of everything, starting from the keyboard after the initial crescendo which can remind even to YES and the vocals coming just after which remind me the WHO of Tommy without losing the band's identity. This is Cardiacs! A great song which values the price for the whole album.


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