Heaven 17: Greatest Hits/+DVD CD+DVD
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Heaven 17 - formed when Ian Marsh and Martyn Ware parted ways with The Human League and teamed up with vocalist Glenn Gregory certainly enjoyed their fair share of New Romantic-era success. Not that they saw themselves as New Romantics, though. They may have nurtured the same synth-pop sound as The 'League, Duran Duran and other contemporaries, but the trio worked hard to exhibit a slightly less flamboyant visual aesthetic and create something different from the norm. Largely, they succeeded. Following the re-release of key albums Penthouse and Pavement, The Luxury Gap and How Men Are, Sight and Sound collects together the band's major, minor and almost-hits as well as all their promotional videos. It's a definitive overview, featuring not only early singles "Play To Win" and "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" plus obvious smashes "Temptation", "Come Live With Me", "Crushed By The Wheels of Industry" and "Let Me Go", but also a smattering of songs from less successful albums such as Pleasure One and Teddy Bear, Duke & Psycho. Extras, such as the demo version of "Temptation", recorded at their home studio in 1983, give the collection even more appeal. --Danny McKenna
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Whilst these are the hits that most people will remember, the band still had one last great album in them - How Men Are - which was also home to top 30 singles 'SunSet Now' and 'This Is Mine'. By the mid 1980's though Sheffield's finest had all but exhausted their commercial potential. They continued to release patchy studio albums throughout the latter part of the decade - Pleasure One is particularly dire - and whilst attempting to reverse their chart fortunes the band sacrificed the wit and intelligence that had made them such originals in the first place.
Later singles 'Contenders', 'Trouble' and the truly terrible 'Train Of Love In Motion' only serve to highlight the brillance of the bands earlier material.
Listen again to the clever vocal harmonies, smart arrangements and, most importantly, great tunes that Heaven 17 released between 1981 and 1984 and you'll be transported back to the heady days of the Linndrum and the sequencer - in a good way !
This compilation includes all the groups major single releases and many of their videos - again the early promotional films show great imagination and are very stylish - plus remixes and the original demo of Temptation - still the bands very finest song.
The only thing I would comment on the video for the Song 'Contenders', its well naff and was geared purely for the US market and the dancers were way too fruity to watch.
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