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Penthouse And Pavement Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Aug. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000FL7AU2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (2006 Digital Remaster)
  2. Penthouse And Pavement (2006 Digital Remaster)
  3. Play To Win (2006 Digital Remaster)
  4. Soul Warfare (2006 Digital Remaster)
  5. Geisha Boys And Temple Girls (2006 Digital Remaster)
  6. Let's All Make A Bomb (2006 Digital Remaster)
  7. The Height Of The Fighting (2006 Digital Remaster)
  8. Song With No Name (2006 Digital Remaster)
  9. We're Going To Live For A Very Long Time (2006 Digital Remaster)
  10. Groove Thang (2006 - Remaster)
  11. Are Everything (12'' Version) (2006 Digital Remaster)
  12. I'm Your Money (12'' Extended Version) [2006 - Remaster]
  13. Decline Of The West (2006 Digital Remaster)
  14. Honeymoon in New York (2006 - Remaster)

Product Description

Product Description

2006 digitally remastered edition of the debut album by the group that was originally an ancillary project of the British Electrical Foundation or BEF, formed as a result of a rift in The Human League. Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware had separated from Phil Oakey (who retained the Human League moniker) and recruited vocalist Glenn Gregory, who not surprisingly sounded very similar in style to Oakey. Their objective was to give the synthesizer a more soulful sound. The trio's first single "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" became the first of a log string of UK hits, not at all suffering from a BBC ban due to the title. It was followed by "Play to Win", "The Height of the Fighting" and "Let's All Make a Bomb". This edition adds the 12" tracks of "Are Everything" (a Buzzcocks cover), "I'm Your Money" and the B-sides of BEF tracks "Groove Thang", "Decline of the West" and "Honeymoon in New York".

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Virgin's reissues, approved by the band, are long overdue, and priced to attract casual listeners as well as die-hard fans. "Penthouse and Pavement" was BEF's first official pop album, after the Human League split (post the brilliant "Travelogue") and it's sparse sound, juxtaposed with political lyrics or convoluted love-songs, was an immediate critical success. Glen still sounds a bit like Phil Oakey here (less so on the warmer follow-up album)and some of the percussive tracks remind me of "Reproduction", but the whole thing works far better than the League's first album. The remaster is beefed up a bit on the lower end (not a bad thing) but retains the spikiness of the original release. Highlights - well there isn't really a bad track here! From the opening "Fascist Groove Thang" to the 'looped' outro of "We're Going To Live..." we are taken through a whole range of lyrical subject matter and rhythms. Some may sound a bit dated now, but that's not the point, this album is a classic of it's type.

The bonus tracks are also interesting, as most are either vinyl only or from the BEF import CD of "Music For Listening To", but all remastered. Some of the bleeps on "I'm Your Money" 12" seem to sound a little harsh in places, but that's probably exactly how they were meant to sound. As per another reviewer, it would've been even better if they'd added the 12" original mix(or instrumental) of "Penthouse", as it is different from the album version - and there is space here - but other than that this reissue is great. It's nice to see references to track titles on "Before After" in sleeve-notes too, just to remind fans they are still very much around!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listening to the remastered 'Fascist Groove Thang' a quarter of a century on and you wouldn't think that it was recorded within a week. Nor would you believe that that H17 took random lines from their favorite US soul records and mixed in a few heart felt socialist observations deep from the heart of Sheffield concerning the early warning signs about our 'special relationship' with the US.

Things were bad back then, but Reagen (President elect) and Thatcher are nothing but quaint figures of comedic proportions when compared to the current nightmare scenario of Bush and the UK leader whom he addresses as 'Yo Blair!'.

As a 14 year old listening to this track for the first time, I couldn't quite understand H17's American stance in this song. The Russians were the ones pointing the missiles at us (although we later learn that the Red's nuclear arsenal was in fact a joke reinforced by alien agencies that included the CIA).

It is a delight to report that the remastered opening track has an added vibrancy that should serve to remind most listeners how H17 were simply light years ahead of the Visage and Duran crowd who were content back then to use the nearest pre-set synth option.

NME were wrong about a lot of things over the years but during this time, even they understood the genius that combined the production talents of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh - the founders of The Human League and two individuals who would mess around with unstable analogue synths regardless of current fashion to create just for us, brand new sounds that you would hear no where else.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This LP is a classic. A true ageless piece of work. Here you can trace quite a few future types of music here. The title track alone points towards future music from artists such as Squarepusher (in use of the bass), House music (the piano stabs in the instrumental breakdown) and, in Facist Grove Thing, the keyboard parts are copied lock-stock-and-barrel by 808 State in most of their early work.

Remaster has one major flaw, and the reason why this edition misses 5 stars of greatness. The MASSIVE audio dropout on the title track (just before the lines "Pistol, Pavements, No TV") is criminal, and just does not appear on the original LP, or any of the compilation LP's I have heard this on since (it was on 12"/80's comp perfectly). Shame. :(
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Always loved this album ,bought it when it came out about 100 years ago it seems,heard what they were doing with it so of course i had to have it,wasn`t expecting that much ,better sound due to remastering ,extra tracks,it has both.
What i didn`t expect was the attention to detail and all the extras ,mini reproductions of the single sleeves ,extensive booklet with loads of photos,poster all in a natty box.
Nice to hear the demo`s on disc 2 ,i may not want to listen to them every day ,but a fascinating listen non the less,the video i had already seen on the tv, but great to have my own copy,cant believe it was only just shy of (...),i would have payed more .
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Format: Audio CD
This is the era of boxed sets, deluxe editions at any price (almost) and risks of redundancy for various albums which tend, more often than not, to be simply rebought by fans (sometimes you have the vinyl and the first CD versions already in your collections: isn't it?).

Well this reissue is a labour of love (no pun intended) and in ideal world should be kept as an example for future reissues, but an ideal world this is not.

Each of the two CDs and the DVD stand alone; the poster, the cards reproducing 12" covers are a welcome addition to the package. Thumbs up for the liner notes too.

Fully recommended in both form and substance, especially substance: Heaven 17 are today maybe even better than 30 years ago, like all good spirits.
I do not know why, but I think of them like I think about Magazine: the best of the post punk ones are immortal classics which still make you think, while you enjoy the sound and the words.

You may, also, want to dust off the first two Human League albums in CD format (which at the time came in single configuration but with enough bonuses).
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