Now, this ‘Best Of’ set is a real treat for fans of high quality hard rock as it used to be played in the ’70s and ’80s. Many of you of a certain age should remember Heavy Pettin, a hard working journeyman rock band which was formed in Glasgow in 1981. You can perhaps get a flavour of what the band was about when you consider that the name they chose was taken from the title of the 1976 album, No Heavy Petting, by the classic rock band UFO.
Formed by guitarist Gordon Bonnar, drummer Gary Moat, bassist Brian Waugh, vocalist Steve Hayman and lead guitarist Punky Mendoza, they quickly created quite a stir with their all action hard and high energy rock. Their debut, Lettin Loose, was released in 1983 and featured the Queen guitarist Brian May as co-producer and this was followed by Rock Ain’t Dead which came out in 1985.
Sadly, the band split in 1988 but they had actually completed album number three, The Big Bang, which then came out in 1989. The band was active when NWOBHM was becoming a major movement but their classic rock roots and some elements of a little rock boogie meant that they were not part of this movement and, despite what history now seems to imply, there still was a huge heavy rock market outside of NWOBHM with very many successful rocks band doing rather well, thank you very much.
Heavy Pettin had so much going for it as a band with Steve Hayman being one of the great rock singers with a classic voice that was in the same category as some of the great Scottish vocalists like Frankie Miller, Alex Harvey and Dan McCafferty and he had the same sort of cigarette and whisky infused voice that was ideal for the band although his registry was very wide and he was always capable of hitting the thrilling high notes. They were another of those bands that made the most of having two guitarists and could always be relied on for a guitar heavy metal approach on which Punky Mendoza truly excelled. This was a tight and well disciplined band with the musical skills and songs to back it all up. In fact, the only surprise and this is even more evident now when you look back on their music is that they were not much bigger but most certainly should have been.
Fans of the band were delighted when Burnt Out Wrecklords/Cherry Red released re-mastered versions of the three albums last year and this ‘Best Of’ set features fourteen tracks from those albums with five tracks each taken from Lettin Loose and Rock Ain’t Dead and four from The Big Bang. This is a rather fine distillation of the bands output and will show to newcomers just what a tight, talented band they were but the fact that they were a little down and dirty gave them extra kudos. The three albums saw the band move from raucous rock band to a slightly more radio friendly rock band but we have to remember that this was the 1980s and rock bands like Judas Priest, Magnum, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden plus countless others were regulars on the TV and radio so the refining of their sound should not be a big surprise. The CD also features the single Love Times Love which charted at 69 but there should have been so many more.
If you were around in the ’80s or just love the music from that period then you really need some Heavy Pettin in your life! This ‘Best Of’ is a great way to introduce you to a very fine, hard working rock band that always delivered the goods and the music still stands the test of time. Love the album cover which so perfectly sums up 1980’s rock and roll.
Best Of Heavy Pettin track list
- In And Out Of Love (3:53)
- Sole Survivor (3:42)
- Born To Burn (3:23
- Northwinds (4:02)
- Love Times Love (4:03)
- Lonely People (5:22)
- Devil In Her Eyes (5:12)
- Two Hearts (4:50)
- China Boy (3:26)
- Don’t Call It Love (4:18)
- Rock Me (5:02)
- Throw A Party (3:54)
- Rock Ain’t Dead (4:03)
- Hell Is Beautiful (4:13)