Songs of 84: Heaven (must be there) / The Eurogliders

Ask a diehard music fan to name a band from the 80s that started in Perth, Western Australia and they might answer The Triffids, or if they’re really into the indie scene they might reach for Scientists, The Reels, The Dugites or even The Stems.

The pop world in Australia was turned on its head in 1984 and the radio was saturated with what is now an iconic song, by a Perth band with big ambitions and glossy radio friendly sound. That record was “Heaven (Must Be There)” by the Eurogliders.

I’ll bet you can hear the song’s chiming intro in your mind’s eye right now… (or should that be ear?)


That melody, played on vertically hanging chimes, also known as tubular bells, added a distinct sound that was unlike anything else on the radio at the time. It gave the fledgling band the break they needed to launch their second album “This Island”  into the stratosphere and to put the band onto the world stage.

After the band’s first album for Polygram (on the Mercury label) “Pink Suit Blue Day” failed to reach the top 40 albums chart, somehow they managed to score a global deal with CBS Records (Columbia in the US, now Sony Music worldwide). Thanks to a big radio push, “Heaven” went to number 2 in Australia, and the album went to number 4. The album was also released in the USA, and while not a big success (it charted at number 140 on the Billboard album charts), the single “Heaven”, in a slightly remixed form, charted at a respectable number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at 21 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts.

The success in the States was short lived but meteoric. In an interview for the Australian Music Vault, singer Grace Knight describes the terror she felt when the band were hand picked to play live on MTV’s New Year’s Eve show at the end of 1984, in a slot on the bill dedicated to “the next big thing”, to an estimated 65 million viewers.

“It was [broadcast] live. I was completely petrified, because my monitors weren’t working. I couldn’t hear myself, and I just had to keep ploughing through”, she says.

Eurogliders time in the American spotlight quickly went south for the winter with the release of a somewhat risque video for the 1985 single “We Will Together”, which MTV refused to play. They never regained their foothold in the overseas market again.

Back in Australia it was a different story, of course. Their next album “Absolutely” had four top 40 hits from it: “City of Soul”, “Can’t Wait To See You”, “Absolutely” and “We Will Together”, however management and financial problems saw the band only turning in one more album “Groove” in 1988 before calling it quits.

Grace went on to a solo career, concentrating on singing jazz. She had success with Vince Jones on the soundtrack album to the ABC series “Come In Spinner” in 1990, while the rest of the band followed various pursuits, including bassist Ron Francois who runs a recording studio on the Central Coast of NSW and guitarist Crispin Akerman became a painter. Songwriter and guitarist Bernie Lynch went into film and soundtrack work.

Eurogliders are still touring occasionally, and they are performing shows around Victoria and NSW during February through to May 2024.

David Kowalski, a writer and podcaster, is celebrating songs that turn 40 this year.



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