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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A near-classic album given deserved remastering - at last!
The opening thunderclap and pavement-slab scrapings hint at this being a dramatic, and far more produced, successor to their subliminal debut album. "Crushed By The Wheels" (album mix) is classic H17, political yet poppy, mainstream yet subversive. Other tracks that keep the listener wondering include "Lady Ice and Mr Hex", "Key To The World" (great BVs) and "The Best...
Published on 26 Aug. 2006 by M. B. Wilson

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE THREE PROFESSORS OF SYNTH POP
Heaven 17 made intelligent, catchy and classic singles. They pushed the envelope on what could be acheived with a sequencer and a synth and, in frontman Glenn Gregory, they had a singer with a totally unique voice.
The Luxury Gap is Heaven 17's second album and the record that truely broke the band big in the Uk and across Europe.
Of course the big hit was the...
Published on 31 July 2008 by Mr. Christopher J. Welch


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A near-classic album given deserved remastering - at last!, 26 Aug. 2006
By 
M. B. Wilson "crushtrash" (Bristol) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Luxury Gap (Audio CD)
The opening thunderclap and pavement-slab scrapings hint at this being a dramatic, and far more produced, successor to their subliminal debut album. "Crushed By The Wheels" (album mix) is classic H17, political yet poppy, mainstream yet subversive. Other tracks that keep the listener wondering include "Lady Ice and Mr Hex", "Key To The World" (great BVs) and "The Best Kept Secret". Ofcourse "Temptation" is here, with Karol Kenyon delivering the goods (but never really credited) and so is the slightly pedestrian "Come Live With Me". However as a whole it never quite lives up to expectations - but meanders along at it's own pace.

This is one in a series of remasters approved and apparently checked by the band (according to their own website), although they were not involved in the actual remastering (Martyn, why not?). It's great to see Virgin now offering this treatment to the boys, after doing the honours with the League many years ago. "Penthouse" is their real classic, but this album is a good second (and still kept essentially to electronics and bass guitar). The liner notes and photos/artwork are pretty good, if a little indulgent (ie not really sticking to the music on the cd at times) and make this a worthwhile addition for any fan.

However, why do such reissues invariably include a tracklisting mistake? The bonus "dub" of "Who'll Stop The Rain" is in fact the vocal extended remix (which the liner notes accidentally stumble across!). The US 12" (promo) dub mix (which is an extended re-edit with most of the vocals taken out) is 6.53 mins and certainly not present on this cd! This, and the fact the band had no real input into the sleeve notes, results in 4 stars - but don't let that spoil the real music on this album!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a pleasure after all these years, 3 Oct. 2006
By 
Jimbo "Jimbo L" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Luxury Gap (Audio CD)
I have loved this album since it came out way back in the time when you were faced with the choice of cassette or LP versions -1983. As audio cassettes were an uncertain and generaly unreliable way of listening to music (they generally either snapped in the player or intertwined themselves into some sort of mad plastic ball!),and I had bought the band's first album (Penthouse And Pavement - check it out)on cassette ,when The Luxury Gap came out I plumped for the LP version. I have now bought the CD version and am very plesed to have revisited this strange, yet sublime masterpiece.

The gloomy sound of a storm greets you at the start of Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry and a thumping bass line along with swirling electronica grace a story, which carries over very nicely from Penthouse and Pavement (wannabes and yuppies are the target here), some stunning piano work drive this song to its finale.

Who'll Stop The Rain is another bass thumper (some very interesting and intricate chord changes here), with some very silly lyrics to boot.

Let Me Go is a fantastic song, encapsulating all that was great in 80s synthesizer music. A wonderful bass and drum combination, some great lyrics on this one, some brilliant use of synths,and a number of clever hooks add up to a mighty fine song - worth buying the album for this song alone.

Key To The World carries on in a similar vein to Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry, money making in the eighties (a culture which they were probably right to revile looking at the materialism which is rife nowadays). It has some strange uses of horns which somehow seem to pull the whole song together.

Temptation was, and probably always will be, Heaven 17's most famous song. This song seems to still be the staple diet of your general family disco. Carol Kenyon's marvelous vocal range, together with incredibly catchy, danceable music make this a classic.

Come Live With Me tells the story of a sugar daddy lamenting the age of his girlfriend. Sheer Brilliance.

Lady Ice And Mr Hex is a powerful drum and piano ballad. The piano is something special here.

We Live So Fast, is indeed a fast tune, a hi energy dance song, and whizzes along as the name implies. There are clever uses of drum breaks and keyboards all through this song.

The final track, after all my gushing about other songs here, is the best song by far and well worth waiting for. The song is a wonderfully swirling mass of orchestra, which coupled by Glenn Gregory's splendid vocals make this song one of the best, in my opinion, of Heaven 17's repertoire. Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh add a wonderful backing vocal, as well as some great percussion to enhance the song even further.

The Luxury Gap is a great record of a time when musical pioneers were venturing to many strange and unusual places. Heaven 17 - I salute you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a pleasure after all these years, 24 Feb. 2006
By 
Jimbo "Jimbo L" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Luxury Gap (Audio CD)
I have loved this album since it came out way back in the time when you were faced with the choice of cassette or LP versions -1983. As audio cassettes were an uncertain and generaly unreliable way of listening to music (they generally either snapped in the player or intertwined themselves into some sort of mad plastic ball!),and I had bought the band's first album (Penthouse And Pavement - check it out)on cassette ,when The Luxury Gap came out I plumped for the LP version. I have now bought the CD version and am very plesed to have revisited this strange, yet sublime masterpiece.
The gloomy sound of a storm greets you at the start of Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry and a thumping bass line along with swirling electronica grace a story, which carries over very nicely from Penthouse and Pavement (wannabes and yuppies are the target here), some stunning piano work drive this song to its finale.
Who'll Stop The Rain is another bass thumper (some very interesting and intricate chord changes here), with some very silly lyrics to boot.
Let Me Go is a fantastic song, encapsulating all that was great in 80s synthesizer music. A wonderful bass and drum combination, some great lyrics on this one, some brilliant use of synths,and a number of clever hooks add up to a mighty fine song - worth buying the album for this song alone.
Key To The World carries on in a similar vein to Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry, money making in the eighties (a culture which they were probably right to revile looking at the materialism which is rife nowadays). It has some strange uses of horns which somehow seem to pull the whole song together.
Temptation was, and probably always will be, Heaven 17's most famous song. This song seems to still be the staple diet of your general family disco. Carol Kenyon's marvelous vocal range, together with incredibly catchy, danceable music make this a classic.
Come Live With Me tells the story of a sugar daddy lamenting the age of his girlfriend. Sheer Brilliance.
Lady Ice And Mr Hex is a powerful drum and piano ballad. The piano is something special here.
We Live So Fast, is indeed a fast tune, a hi energy dance song, and whizzes along as the name implies. There are clever uses of drum breaks and keyboards all through this song.
The final track, after all my gushing about other songs here, is the best song by far and well worth waiting for. The song is a wonderfully swirling mass of orchestra, which coupled by Glenn Gregory's splendid vocals make this song one of the best, in my opinion, of Heaven 17's repertoire. Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh add a wonderful backing vocal, as well as some great percussion to enhance the song even further.
The Luxury Gap is a great record of a time when musical pioneers were venturing to many strange and unusual places. Heaven 17 - I salute you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't talk about synth-pop without mentioning this..., 22 May 2009
By 
Natalie Hansen (Finchley, London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Luxury Gap (Audio CD)
For those of you out of the loop, Heaven 17 comprised of 2 former members of the Human League (who left over creative differences with Phil Oakey) and a mate of theirs who was meant to be the HL lead singer, but wasn't available. That bust up was rather fortuitous, otherwise we would not have little gem! Their lyrical style pushed boundaries (even had a song banned by Mike Reid at one point), yet were not exclusively a political band.

It's good to see that Ian Marsh and Martyn Ware stuck to their principals when splitting from the Human League in keeping the music mainly synth focussed, and with powerful - sometimes politically driven - lyrics, and Glenn Gregory's distictive vocals (you can pick him out when you hear the original Band Aid song Do They Know It's Christmas), it all contributed to their unique sound in an era dominated by synthesizers and sequencers.
The Luxury Gap was Heaven 17's big break and should have been their ticket to greatness and pop immortality.

The Luxury Gap is a chocolate box of great electro tunes, with the star of the show "Temptation" being the hazelnut caramel. It stands the test of time, I am still not ashamed to have it blaring out of my I-pod on the underground and is the reason for my review title. You cannot talk about 80's music without mentioning this - Synth-pop at it's very best - with fantasic vocals, excellently layered sounds, it's so technically well executed that it can wipe the floor with Human League's Dare.

Our toffee fudgy numbers are "Let Me Go" and, in particular, "Come Live With Me" - it has been almost forgotten in the mists of time, yet still good and so enjoyable - catchy chorus and lyrics which make the listener feel slightly uncomfortable about an older man lamenting about his teenage lover and Gregory's spot on lead vocal.

Our solid chocolate cube is "Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry" it's a return to political form and doesn't disappoint, with the eerily prophetic "We Live So Fast" and "Key to the World" our fondants - you can tell they had fun experimenting with sound while making these. "The Best Kept Secret" lives up to it's name - understated and beautiful.

I can't get enough of this album, after it's initial release in 1983, it's still great to listen to - a definate recommendation to anyone interested in 80's electronic music!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Package - Time for a Party! But We Can't Keep Reissuing Like This, 2 Feb. 2013
Great album from 1983 when H17 moved from underground hipsters to mainstream popstars. It has two mega-hits in `Temptation' and `Come Live with Me' and two other great singles ('Let Me Go!' and 'Crushed By the Wheels of Industry'. The other tracks round off a good album.
The first single 'Let Me Go!' was released in late 1982 and I still remember buying it at Woolies in Barry. Shame that it stalled just outside the `Top 40', but it wasn't commercial enough to be a lead single. The 2006 remaster spruced up the sound so we know that the album cannot sound much better. It also included a good selection of extra tracks - even the 12" of 'Temptation' - which is the one of the few 12"s that adds nothing to the 7" (too many meandering bits added).

So what more do we get for the 3rd time on CD?

Pros
* Good extra tracks 'Let Me Go!'(instrumental ) - which makes the track sounds even more melancholic as an instrumental; 'Crushed BtWoI' (Extended 12") - which is different from the 1+2 version as it has some extra bass work from John Wilson (where did he go?) and blends in a few echoes of `At the Height of the Fighting' single from P&P.
* Great live performances on DVD - with full orchestra - of Let Me Go, Temptation and Come Live With Me.
* Poster - brings out the true meaning of the Luxury Gap (front & back cover contrast)
* Card replicas of the 7" singles.
* Nice package.

Cons
* Music could have fitted onto a single CD (with editing) - negative marks for sustainability and VFM.
* No demos - may not be everyone's cup of tea but I liked the P&P versions. They even missed off the 'Temptation' (demo - on Greatest Hits) which is worth hearing for it's influences - look on You Tube.
* Some tracks still missing -; B-sides to 'Come LWM' "Let's All Make a Bomb (New version)" - 5:09; "Song With No Name (New version)" - 4:14
* Videos of the singles sound good - but no visible change from `Sight & Sound' versions.
* All too brief sleevenotes by Martyn Ware - though interesting to hear they composed tracks in Oxford Gardens, London W10 (now designated Notting Hill).

I managed to justify the purchase as I found a deserving home for my single-CD copy. If you're a real fan and the price is right then go for it. Otherwise the other versions are fine.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Luxury!, 23 Oct. 2012
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Heaven 17 are about to embark on a uk tour,playing The Luxury Gap in Full,so a deluxe edition of the album was inevitable.i for one am glad they took the trouble to release this album in the same vein as Penthouse And Pavement,a deluxe box set,2 CDs and a DVD featuring all the videos and a live performance.unlike Penthouse they have left out all the demo and early versions,not a bad thing I think as you would probably only play them the once.Disc one features the original album,disc two,my favourite,has all the 12 inch mixes you could wish for including the instrumental of Let Me Go! This disc is the reason why I purchased this release as I love all the Heaven 17 extended mixes from this album and their first.most of these mixes are available elsewhere,but it's great to have them all on the same cd.The videos on the DVD are a nice bonus too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars exciting album exciting music, 19 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Luxury Gap (Audio CD)
I first heard this in 1983, my sisters boy had this, I promptly stole it, I never looked back!

I was very captivated by this album, at first I wasn't sure of the musc tech at the time and this got me interested and when I learned more all music in this so called 'electronic' gen're had me spellbound.

Great songwriting, marvellous melodys, and punchy bouncy dancable linn drum work 'we live so fast' still a great very fast dance track paving the way.

Funk soul electro dance ballad, its all here and glorious too.

This album is a sound of fascinating depth and style, its never lost Anything in its way, 'the best kept secret' is a thoroughly Beautifull compositon, and wistful and nostalgic sounding (it was at that time too) about captivity and the longing to escape, these guys are due Much More in the Way of Respect than they really receive.

This is an album that still takes me away,
To A place no one will ever know.
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4.0 out of 5 stars temptation, 7 Aug. 2012
By 
Victor Preston "gvb" (birmingham, west mids United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Luxury Gap (Audio CD)
this is a great album probably their best one overall.
now including bonus tracks including a few 12" remixes.
unfortunately the 12" version of temptation is missing.
for some reason this has been left off the many h17 compilations.
there are various edits but not the classic 8 minute masterpice.
i have it on a disco album and it is a very important track.
the first half is instrumental before the familiar vocal hits.
why is this definitive version now ignored by heaven 17.
at least it is included in my ipod playlist.
Luxury Gap + 4
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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably their best album, 10 Feb. 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Fleet, England) - See all my reviews
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Went to see H17 play this album live a couple of years ago and they can still put on an excellent show.

This album, which I've had on vinyl since it was first released, was probably H17's finest (too many misses amongst the hits on P&P in my view) with most of their most commercial hits.

Great album, that still sounds good today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great album and music - but not proper 12" mix of We Live So Fast, 9 Dec. 2013
By 
M. B. Wilson "crushtrash" (Bristol) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The 2006 remaster of the album really beefed up the sound, as was also true for "P&P" and "HMA", with some new liner notes and a few bonuses. Unfortunately one of the bonus mixes was incorrectly named (not the rare US only Dub, but the standard 12"), but other than that it was a tasty enough item. Following on from the great box-set of "P&P" what do we get with this 3rd CD issue of "Luxury Gap" that makes it worth a re-release?

- really nice packaging with cards of the single sleeves and a poster.
- the 12" versions (more on that later) all sitting on one disc, so fans of the album proper can listen as and when they want
- instrumental of Let Me Go, which I've not located on CD before
- bonus Dvd of the promos relating to the album, plus some unseen live versions
- great sound quality throughout (and not too loud), the album is from the 2006 remaster, some 12" are later remasters

However a few minor issues do slightly mar the experience, and these relate mainly to the Remixes disc.

- Temptation appears to have lost the choral gasp that certainly opened it on "Endless", and I recall also on my old 12" vinyl (maybe it didn't appear on the mini-CD). Whilst this was a shock to the system it would have been nice to have kept the mix in tact, as the fade-in note here does seem to indicate they may have cut this intro off!
- We Live So Fast is yet again taken straight from "Endless", so we get the slower Sanny-X Megamix outro beats speeding up and overlaying the proper of the original 12" version. This was the case on So80's H17 collection, and it may be the original 12" is not available in suitable quality, but it did appear in true form on the mini-CD single of the original 12", so no real excuses for such a blatant tampering with the original!! Very disappointing.
- golden opportunity missed to correct the error on the 2006 issue, and actually add the US Dub of Who'll Stop The Rain (which is around 6:50). Again maybe problems locating original tapes, but this is the rare 12" mix that many have not heard.
- No Lets All Make A Bomb/Song With No Name re-recordings (where else could they go?) from CLWMe 12". Bit of a shame.
- no demos (not even Temptation) or alternative takes/instrumentals
- rather brief and bland liner notes from Martyn

So a great album, and good remaster, but whilst CD2 is really nice to have, it could have been so much better put together. If you've not got the 2006 release then I would definitely recommend you get this box set, but if you have the earlier remaster then this is really only for completists (who don't mind a few gaps still present in their collection of 12" mixes).
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