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Red Heaven [CASSETTE]

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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2 used from £4.50

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (11 Aug. 1992)
  • Label: Wea Corp
  • ASIN: B00000EYYZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,290,781 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Tanya Donelly's departure really did leave a hole in the Throwing Muses albums from thereon but they were still worth getting excited about even if it meant no Tanya songs. Red Heaven won't hit you immediately but on repeated listenings, everything unravels and what you have is a rock album swivelling with a lot of songs running on pure spite and of course, the tint of surrealness (Carnival Wig).

Highlight: Furious
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Format: Audio CD
This is Hersh being macho, and it works. The old structural modernism of the words remains, and the beautiful purity of the music also, but unlike the earlier records, this one is very hard. I would say 'rock', but in reality this has nothing at all in common with all that pap whatsoever. It is steely cold, and delivered senza vibrato, but still the nostalgic heart of Hersh beats its complex pulse underneath, and still the changes thrill and harm, just as potently and woundingly as before. The difference is that this time it's for real. If she shoots you with those shells of poetry you will die, not just wish you had. An unmissable treat without any doubt.
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Format: Audio CD
Not the easiest of Muses records to listen to, 'Red Heaven' sees a Tanya Donelly-free band moving to far heavier territory than the previous year's 'The Real Ramona', without yet molding a harder sound in the poppier forms of the later 'University' and 'Limbo' albums.
However, it is precisely this uncertainty as to how to take a rock direction that makes for some of the most effective tracks the group ever recorded. 'Pearl' and 'Furious' almost defy genre: the former switches abruptly from acoustic strum to deranged metal, while the latter is a great big smouldering metallic volcano of heavy guitars and Hersch's vocals at their most pained and rasping. More straighforward, but no less spectacular is 'Dio', the magnificently raw thrash of a collaboration with Bob Mould, and 'Rosetta Stone', which should be listened to for its demented time-signature changes alone.
The album's only failing is that while tinkering with rock guitars yields some superb tracks (check out the three wonderfully weird intrumentals), when The Muses attempt to reconcile this with their pop sensibilities, it doesn't really work so well as on future albums. 'Firepile' and 'Backroad' are fun enough, but their grunge-pop fusion feels a bit forced compared to, say, 'Bright Yellow Gun' off 'University'.
Though I was left with the nagging feeling that 'Red Heaven' could probably have been slightly better had it been psychotically-heavy all the way through, I'm certainly not trying to put anyone off. Kristin Hersch is as tortured and lyrically skilled as ever, and while at its worst 'Red Heaven' occasionally sounds average, at its best it contains the most ferocious and powerful rock the band ever did.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Throwing muses...need I say more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kristin Hersh's first solo record 3 Mar. 2012
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After the recording of The Real Ramona, Throwing Muses was reduced to a duo. Founding member Tanya Donnelly had left to form another band, and took bassist of the moment Fred Abong with her. That left Kristin Hersh and David Narcizo, and they figured barbed-wire guitars over drums sufficed to keep on with the Throwing Muses name, plus their first bassist Leslie Langton dropped by for a minimum of support. What they came up with together was RED HEAVEN, released in 1992.

Since Narcizo just plays drums, that essentially makes this Kristin Hersh's solo debut, as she entirely dominates the songwriting. There's none of the contrast of earlier Throwing Muses recordings, where at least Tanya Donelly contributed a song or two, and the entire enterprise felt somewhat collaborative. Consequently, whether you'll enjoy RED HEAVEN or not depends on whether you enjoy Hersh's official solo albums. For me, I can only take Hersh's neurotic outlook in smaller doses, and the invariable angry tone on this album becomes tiresome. That's not to say that dipping in to RED HEAVEN for a track or two isn't worthwhile. Plus, a strong point of the album is that the one band member to accompany Kristin Hersh was David Narcizo, one of the best drummers signed to the 4AD label; "Pearl" ranks among his finest moments.

Throwing Muses wasn't finished yet. For their next album University, they settled on a "power trio" format that produced some good songs. If you are new to the band, I'd suggest any of their albums leading up to RED HEAVEN as an introduction.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JOYOUS NEUROSES 6 Oct. 2000
By EriKa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Could this be one of the most undervalued and underappreciated albums of the 1990s? Yes, I do insist so. I bought this knowing the crazed, fragile brilliance that is Kristin Hersh. She has always been the mind and force behind this band. I don't care what anyone says about Tanya Donelly leaving the band and a hollow space that that created. Donelly was not that important in this band, as far as I am concerned... she went on to do her own things... and let Kristin do hers. And what Kristin Hersh does best is ROCK. She has highly idiosyncratic vocals, very weird lyrics, and carefully crafted, ingenious songs. All of these elements come together on this completely joyous musical raucous! It is decadent. Superlative do not begin to describe how brilliant this is. You would be wise to check this out FIRST in your anthropological dig through Throwing Muses history because this is the core of what the band is. Previous albums are also brilliant, but this is a showcase of brilliance at its supreme level. Divine moments here include "Dirty Water", "Summer St.", "The Visit", and the incomparable "Rosetta Stone". This is an unforgettable album. GET IT.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kristen Hersch breaks out with a keeper 17 Dec. 2004
By Vaughan Otter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Red Heaven grabbed my attention on its release because it truly seemed to be inspired by muses. Power rock with no frills, frequent acoustic interludes, spooky vocals, and lyrics to wrap your brain around, not unlike prime Dylan.

These lyrics have a timeless feeling of hard luck lives in small remote towns separated by long stretches of highway - without ever making such obvious references. The ensemble and production are bony and flexible in both electric and acoustic modes, easily shifting tempos and melodies (perhaps why it sounds unstructured to some), making Red Heaven sound somewhat outside of its time and enduring as a musical document.

I especially like Pearl, Dirty Water, Backroad, and Rosetta Stone, but there are no bad songs and the sequencing holds up interest from end to end. Hersch and Mould sound great together on Dio, a little like Buddy and Julie Miller. Red Heaven is as good as the Muses' self-titled debut, much better than University, and highly recommended for anybody checking this band out.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No target audience besides the fans then 2 Oct. 2004
By giovanni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Although shortly released after the departure of two of the four members of the band ( guitarist Tanya Donelly and bassist Fred Abong left to form Belly ) , " Red Heaven " is a particulary strong collection of solid rock tunes .

Hersh's hellish vocals once again whip the air , the lyrics are out of control and striking ( " you're furious / i beg you for sin / i beg your skin / you buy a w***e / don't give her water !..." ) plus the element of suprise , a key behind the group's eternal freshness is still here . " Pearl " for example starts off as an acoustic melody of some sort and exactly when you feel like the song has nothing more to say , the Muses deceide to rock , giving to the track a whole new dimension .

So far so good . Fans will be happy for one more time yet ... how many others will be impressed ? It's strange how less organised this sounds and how less important it feels in comparison to " The Real Ramona " - arguably the band's best record - released just one year ago . With the exception of " Carnival Wing " - so beautiful in it's own angst - there's not a track here capable of braking the wall standing between their indie fanbase and the wider rock audience .

Kristin Hersh deserves credit for not giving a damn all these years for what the charts want and for playing the game always in her own terms . " Red Heaven " clearly doesn't lack the talent nor the energy . What's missing here is the vision .
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 22 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Lots of people say Hunkpapa or The Real Ramona are the places to start, because apparently the band suffered following Tanya Donelly's departure. I don't think anything could be further from the truth. This album is abrasive, melodic in a cyclone sort of way, driven and full of bizarre imagery. Music needs more women like Kristin Hersh who basically reinvent the guitar when they play it.
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