Slice of Heaven

"Slice of Heaven" is a single by New Zealand singer/songwriter Dave Dobbyn with the band Herbs, released in 1986 on the soundtrack of the animated motion picture, Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tail Tale. The single was No. 1 on New Zealand music charts for eight weeks[1] and in Australia for four. It also appeared on Dobbyn's 1988 album, Loyal.

"Slice of Heaven"
Single by Dave Dobbyn with Herbs
from the album Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tail Tale soundtrack
B-side"Slice of Heaven" (Music Mix)
Released12 September 1986 (New Zealand)
FormatCD, 7"
GenreNew wave
Songwriter(s)Dave Dobbyn
Producer(s)Billy Thorpe
Dave Dobbyn singles chronology
"She Loves Me Back"
"Slice of Heaven"
"You Oughta Be In Love"
Herbs singles chronology
"Nuclear Waste"
"Slice of Heaven"
"Sensitive to a Smile"
Audio sample
  • file
  • help
Music video
"Slice of Heaven" at NZ on Screen


Dobbyn was writing in Sydney when he was given the opportunity to compose for the Footrot Flats film. He had previously used the line "Slice of Heaven" in the DD Smash album The Optimist, and chose to revisit it. He brought in Herbs to sing in the background based on his childhood experiences of Pacific gospel choirs.[2]


The song incorporates a synthesised Japanese flute made with an E-mu Emulator II.[3]

Music video

The video features Dobbyn, Herbs and dancers recording the song, interspersed with clips from the Footrot Flats film. The music video was recorded in Wellington's Marmalade Studios. Notably, due to time constraints, the clips of the singers performing are from their live recording takes rather than being a recreation.[4]

Alternate version

The version featured in the closing credits of the Footrot Flats movie is of Dobbyn's vocals only (without Herbs) and does not have added instrumentation.


The song gained huge exposure in Australasia through the Footrot Flats trailer being shown before the popular Crocodile Dundee film, leading to high radio play before the single had been released.[3][5] According to Dobbyn, one New Zealand rock station producer refused to play the song as they considered it "underproduced", but were forced to reconsider due to huge listener demand for the song.[5] The song spent 8 weeks at number one on the New Zealand charts, and 4 weeks at number one in Australia. The song has received praise for the combination of Dobbyn's and Herbs' vocals.[2]

In other media

In season two's third episode of Wrecked, Steve (played by Rhys Darby) sings a bit of the song which intrigues the Barracuda (played by Ebonee Noel) and reveals that her dead ex-lover was also a New Zealander.


"Slice of Heaven" was awarded Best Song at the 1986 New Zealand Music Awards.[6]


"Slice of Heaven" featured in Nature's Best—New Zealand's Top 30 Songs of All Time, coming in at number 7. It was voted number 1 in 2009 by C4 viewers as New Zealand's favourite song, and is often considered an unofficial national anthem of New Zealand, especially after its usage in New Zealand tourism ads in the 1980s and 1990s. It has also become synonymous with the Footrot Flats film.[7]


  1. "Slice of heaven". Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  2. "The National Anthems". NZ Herald. 3 November 2001. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  3. "A slice of Kiwiana and a feel-good anthem". Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  4. "Homegrown Profile: Dave Dobbyn". Documentary. NZ On Screen. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  5. "Homegrown Profiles: Dave Dobbyn". Documentary. NZ On Screen. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  6. "1986 New Zealand Music Awards". RIANZ. Archived from the original on 20 December 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  7. "Footrot Flats". Article. New Zealand Film Archive. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
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