'Slice of Heaven' hits no. 1

2 October 1986

‘Slice of Heaven’ video shoot, 1986
‘Slice of Heaven’ video shoot, 1986 (Sony Music)

Written for the movie Footrot Flats: the dog’s tale, based on an iconic New Zealand cartoon series, Dave Dobbyn’s hit single featured reggae band Herbs singing unaccompanied (a cappella). It topped the charts for eight weeks.

‘Slice of Heaven’ became synonymous with the film and won Song of the Year at the 1986 New Zealand Music Awards. In 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) invited its members and an academy to vote for New Zealand’s top songs of all time. ‘Slice of Heaven’ was rated number seven. In the same year Dave Dobbyn received a rare lifetime achievement award from the New Zealand recording industry in recognition of his almost 30 years as a musician and songwriter with bands such as Th’ Dudes and DD Smash.

Footrot Flats was the work of cartoonist Murray Ball. The daily newspaper series featured the adventures of ‘typical’ New Zealand farm characters, including Dog the sheepdog, his owner Wal Footrot and their neighbour, Cooch Windgrass. Footrot Flats: the dog’s tale was New Zealand’s first full-length animated feature film.