Show Me Heaven

"Show Me Heaven" is a power ballad[1] written by Maria McKee, Eric Rackin and Jay Rifkin, and recorded by McKee and produced by Peter Asher for the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise film Days of Thunder, released in June 1990. The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for four weeks and went on the become the sixth highest-selling single of 1990 in the UK. Additionally, the song became a worldwide hit, topping the charts of Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway and becoming a top-five hit in Australia, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland. It has since been covered by numerous other artists, most noted by Tina Arena who's edition also reached the charts.

"Show Me Heaven"
ShowMeHeaven.jpg
Single by Maria McKee
from the album Days of Thunder Soundtrack
B-side"Car Building" by Hans Zimmer
ReleasedJune 1990 (1990)
Length3:46
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Maria McKee, Eric Rackin, Jay Rifkin
Producer(s)Peter Asher
Maria McKee singles chronology
"I've Forgotten What It Was in You (That Put the Need in Me)"
(1989)
"Show Me Heaven"
(1990)
"Breathe"
(1991)

BackgroundEdit

"Show Me Heaven" originated as "Secret Fire", a track written by Eric Rackin and Jay Rifkin for the soundtrack of Days of Thunder.[2] When Geffen contacted McKee in the hope she would record the song, the singer dismissed the idea, but the label insisted they send her the demo tape for consideration.[3] On hearing the demo, McKee felt the lyrics were "appalling".[2] She told Simon Mayo in 1991: "I liked the melody but I said I'd only do it if I could change the lyrics."[3] McKee's demand was initially refused, but she was later given permission to rewrite the lyrics.[2][3]

Critical receptionEdit

The song received favorable reviews from most music critics. Aberdeen Press and Journal described it as "more heaven" from the former Lone Justice singer. They complimented McKee's "superbly lazy, yet faultless" vocals.[4] Jeffery Kennedy from Bay Area Reporter said it was a "blatant Hollywood hyperballad that perfectly showcased her gilded throat".[5] Larry Flick from Billboard stated that it is a "delicate, well-sung ballad that could give the long-overlooked McKee her first bonafide hit."[6] Cashbox wrote that the singer is "the lost goddess of the pop airwaves". They noted "her heartachingly lovely jewel of a voice [that] can squeeze diamonds out of the coal-black grooves of a record."[7] In his review of the Days of Thunder Soundtrack, Greg Sandow from Entertainment Weekly called it "affecting".[8] John Wirt from The News-Journal noted it as a "stunning love song with bite."[9] Tom Ewing from Freaky Trigger called it a "post-Madonna power ballad" and added that McKee "can belt, but she's most comfortable away from the chorus, giving "Show Me Heaven" a more tender and dynamic performance."[10] Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report wrote that "there aren't many singers on the planet who can outdo Maria's remarkable vocal range. It was her voice that first endeared me to her band Lone Justice. Now as a soloist, she puts all that special ability to the test on the heart-stopping love theme from the Tom Cruise film, Days of Thunder. A couple of listens won me over."[11] David Giles from Music Week commented, "McKee's powerful voice endows a fairly ordinary MOR soft rock song with a certain piquancy that lifts it well above the average soundtrack song."[12] Gene Sandbloom from The Network Forty said that McKee "has a tremendous voice and stage presence", and called the song "one of the most memorable ballads of the year." He noted that "before you even get to the chorus, you know this is the kind of heart warming song that can't miss bringing in across the board demos come weekly music research time. If you missed the film, don't worry. If you didn't like McKee's past work, forget it. This is one of those magic moments when everything falls perfectly into place, and you'll realize it with one listen."[13] Mark Ramshaw from NME described it as "floaty".[14] Sunday Tribune complimented it as a "Californian voice of an angel".[15]

Chart performanceEdit

"Show Me Heaven" spent four weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart,[16] ending the year as the country's sixth highest-selling single,[17] and is McKee's only UK number-one as a performer (although the song "A Good Heart"—written by her—was a UK number-one for Feargal Sharkey in November 1985). The power ballad[1] had even greater success in Norway, topping the Norwegian Singles Chart for 10 weeks. The track was also a number-one success in Belgium and the Netherlands.[18]

"Show Me Heaven" failed to enter the US Billboard Hot 100 but did reach number 28 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.[19] In Canada, "Show Me Heaven" reached number 69 on the RPM Top Singles chart and number 30 on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart.[20][21] Elsewhere, the single reached number two in Ireland and Sweden, number three in Australia, number four in Switzerland, and the top 20 in Austria, Germany and New Zealand.[22][18]

Track listingEdit

7-inch single, UK (1990)
No.TitleLength
1."Show Me Heaven"3:54
2."Car Building"2:36
12-inch single, UK (1990)
No.TitleLength
1."Show Me Heaven"3:54
2."Thunder Box"3:46
3."Car Building"2:26
CD single, UK (1990)
No.TitleLength
1."Show Me Heaven"3:54
2."Thunder Box"3:46
3."Car Building"2:36
CD single, Australia (1990)
No.TitleLength
1."Show Me Heaven"3:54
2."Thunder Box"3:46
CD maxi (mini), Europe (1990)
No.TitleLength
1."Show Me Heaven"3:46
2."Car Building"2:35
3."Hearts In Trouble" (Radio Edit)4:00

Charts and certificationsEdit

Tina Arena versionEdit

"Show Me Heaven"
 
Single by Tina Arena
from the album Don't Ask
B-side
  • "Message"
  • "Greatest Gift"
  • "Chains"
ReleasedNovember 20, 1995 (1995-11-20)
Length
  • 3:32 (single version)
  • 4:20 (album version)
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Maria McKee, Eric Rackin, Jay Rifkin
Producer(s)Peter Asher
Tina Arena singles chronology
"Wasn't It Good"
(1995)
"Show Me Heaven"
(1995)
"Burn"
(1997)

Australian singer Tina Arena released her version of "Show Me Heaven" as the fifth single from her 1994 album Don't Ask. Although it did not chart in her home country, her version of the song reached number 29 in the United Kingdom, number 33 in New Zealand and number 78 in Germany. It also peaked at number three on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 and number 52 on the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary chart.

ChartsEdit

Chart (1995–1996) Peak
position
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[44] 52
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[45] 87
Germany (Official German Charts)[46] 78
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[47] 33
Scotland (OCC)[48] 29
UK Singles (OCC)[49] 29
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[50] 3

Other cover versionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "24 of the Biggest and Best Movie Power Ballads". Den of Geek.
  2. ^ a b c "Maria McKee: How I wrote Show Me Heaven". Shortlist. July 25, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Mayo, Simon (January 23, 1991). "It was a bit touch and go for Maria". Reading Evening Post.
  4. ^ "MARIA McKEE Show Me Heaven". Aberdeen Press and Journal. September 6, 1990. page 7. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Jeffery (May 13, 1993). "Ladies Launching". Bay Area Reporter. p. 41. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  6. ^ Flick, Larry (September 1, 1990). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 73. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Pop Reviews: Singles" (PDF). Cashbox. September 8, 1990. p. 18. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Days of Thunder". Entertainment Weekly. April 5, 2002. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "Album review: DAYS OF THUNDER - Various artists". The News-Journal. June 29, 1990. p. 26. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  10. ^ "MARIA McKEE – "Show Me Heaven"". Freaky Trigger. February 1, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  11. ^ Sholin, Dave (August 24, 1990). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 1821. p. 48. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Giles, David (September 15, 1990). "Singles" (PDF). Music Week. p. 21. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "Top 40: Music Meeting" (PDF). The Network Forty. August 24, 1990. p. 24. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  14. ^ Ramshaw, Mark. "MARIA McKEE – Life Is Sweet". NME. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "Pick of the arts in 1990". Sunday Tribune. December 30, 1990. page 27. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "1990 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. March 2, 1991. p. 41.
  18. ^ a b c "Australian-charts.com – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Maria McKee Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  20. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9171." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9165." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Show Me Heaven". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  25. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 41. October 13, 1990. p. 11. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
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  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 46, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  30. ^ "Charts.nz – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven". VG-lista. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven". Singles Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  34. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart 1990 (61–100) (from The ARIA Report No. 50)". ARIA. Retrieved July 28, 2019 – via Imgur.
  35. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1990" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  36. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles – 1990" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 51. December 22, 1990. p. 60. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  37. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1990". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1990" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  39. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  40. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles – 1991" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 51–52. December 21, 1991. p. 21. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  41. ^ "Top 100 Singles – Jahrescharts 1991" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  42. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1991" (in German). Retrieved July 28, 2019.
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  44. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 3049." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  45. ^ "Tina Arena – Show Me Heaven". Eurochart. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  46. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Tina Arena – Show Me Heaven" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  47. ^ "Charts.nz – Tina Arena – Show Me Heaven". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  48. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  49. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  50. ^ "Tina Arena Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  51. ^ Flick, Larry (November 13, 1993). "Single revies". Billboard.
  52. ^ Branigan, Laura. (2007) [1995], The best of Branigan : greatest hits, Atlantic Catalog Group, OCLC 137341468, retrieved April 28, 2020
  53. ^ "Chimera - Show Me Heaven". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  54. ^ "Show Me Heavern - Nadine Coyle Gala 1" – via www.youtube.com.
  55. ^ "Saint Featuring Suzanna Dee - Show Me Heaven". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 18, 2009.