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(ALMOST) THE CLOSEST THING TO HEAVEN,
This review is from: Heaven 17: Greatest Hits/+DVD (Audio CD)
Heaven 17 were always a cut above the rest of the early 80's synth bands. Former Human League members Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware handled the arrangements and programming whilst the striking Glenn Gregory supplied lead vocals and lyrics. Their first album, Penthouse and Pavement, was critically well received and produced minor hits with the catchy title track, the spunky 'Play To Win' and the Thatcher baiting 'Fascist Groove Thang'. Major chart success followed with the release of 1983's excellent The Luxury Gap - 'Temptation', 'Come Live With Me' and the brilliant 'Let Me Go' - still rank amongst the finest single releases of the 80's.
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.