Spin - 4/92, p.92
Highly Recommended - "...as pure and driven a rock combo as you're likely to find on either side of the punk/rock fence..."
Entertainment Weekly - 2/21/92, p.54
"...rock-steady tempos, grungy guitars mashing through meat-and-potatoes chord changes, the gravelly musings of lead singer Mike Ness....out to pry open old-time rock & roll's crypt to let some air in..." - Rating: B+
Q - 11/92, p.1214 Stars
- Excellent - "...a hail of rough-edged but well-constructed originals....their sound is rooted in LONDON CALLING-era Clash, TEENAGE HEAD-vintage Flaming Groovies crossed with any amount of first generation garage bands..."
Social Distortion: Mike Ness (vocals, lead guitar); Dennis Dannell (rhythm guitar); John Maurer, Christopher Reece.
Recorded at El Dorado Studios, Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Mike Ness (vocals, guitar); Dennis Danell (guitar).
Audio Mixers: Dave Jerden; Andy Wallace.
Recording information: El Durado Studios; Hollywood, C and C Beach (1991).
Unknown Contributor Roles: John Maurer; Christopher Reece; Dennis Danell; Mike Ness.
HEAVEN AND HELL is Social Distortion's finest hour, the crystallization of all the elements that made it a great band. The country and rockabilly influences cultivated on previous albums are fully integrated here, so that Jimmy Work's country classic "Making Believe" sounds perfectly at home amid Mike Ness's own compositions. It's often hard to tell whether the band is punking up covers of old country and rockabilly tunes or incorporating those influences into its own songs, and that's the telling mark of assimilation. Ness's songwriting is at its sharpest and most memorable here. The powerful guitar assault achieves a newfound clarity here, which made it possible for the most melodic offerings on HEAVEN AND HELL ("Bad Luck") to achieve heavy radio play and raise the group to a new level of popularity.