HEAVY PETTIN’ – Prodigal Songs

HEAVY PETTIN' - Prodigal Songs
  • 8.5/10
    HEAVY PETTIN' - Prodigal Songs - 8.5/10


Majestic Rock
Release date: May 7, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

In the mid-1980s, Scottish Hard Rockers Heavy Pettin’ seemed to be on the verge of big things, having released two solid albums, Lettin’ Loose and Rock Ain’t Dead; both these discs saw chart action in the United Kingdom. A third album, The Big Bang, was recorded and ready to go.

But fate cruelly intervened: depending on who tells the story, label mis-management and some strange career choices ended with The Big Bang getting shelved in 1987 and Heavy Pettin’ getting dropped from their label. Heavy Pettin’ would fade from view, while other arguably less-talented Hard Rock bands found fame and fortune.

Prodigal Songs, the newest CD to bear the Heavy Pettin’ moniker, is a 13-song collection of tracks – chosen personally by the band – that were recorded between 1982 and 1987 but never released until now. With these songs now in one place, fans and newcomers alike can listen and wonder what might have been.

Although the songs found on Prodigal Songs were recorded a long time ago, the sound quality on them is quite good, although a sharp ear will be able to detect the rough edges on a small number of them; a handful of these tunes never got past the demo stage. Still, they sound good, considering how old they are.

During their heyday, Heavy Pettin’ drew a lot of comparisons to fellow label-mates Bon Jovi, and to a lesser extent Def Leppard; these comparisons aren’t totally accurate, as Heavy Pettin’ certainly isn’t as slick-sounding as those two Pop Rock titans. The tunes on Prodigal Songs are heavier and rougher, but still retain a certain level of sheen and slickness, along with lots of catchy harmonies and vocal melodies. Heavy Pettin’ sounds more like bands Dokken and Krokus, if you were looking for someone to compare them to.

Listening to Prodigal Songs, it’s somewhat mystifying as to why some of these songs were never released on a Heavy Pettin’ album until now; several tracks here had definite hit potential. “Break It Down” (which opens the album) is the best song Dokken never recorded: it has a cool riff, strong, catchy vocals, a great chorus, strong guitars, and a fast pace. Other tracks, like “I Don’t Care Anymore,” “Merry Go Round,” “Don’t Walk Away,” and “That’s The Way” are fun, radio-friendly rockers that could have been hits, and “My Love For You” had the potential to be a huge power ballad. “Hot Women” is super-catchy, with excellent vocal melodies and a really groovy riff. “Nightmare” is a bit “darker” than the other songs, but it too has a great melody and vocals; once you hear it you won’t be able to get it out of your head.

Unlike other 1980s songs that have aged badly over the years, the tracks on Prodigal Songs have managed to remain relatively fresh-sounding. This isn’t a dated, hopelessly cheesy disc good for some unintended laughs at the expense of the silly 80s; most of these songs have stood the test the time. Yes, it’s still a product of its time, but not embarrassingly so.

Heavy Pettin’ deserved a better fate than the one that they ended up with, and Prodigal Songs proves it: the ones with all the talent don’t automatically succeed. While the past can’t be changed, this compilation does a good job reminding people that at one time Heavy Pettin’ was a worthy band.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.