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May 11, 2017

Heaven 17 – The Luxury Gap (1982) – Lp

by Record Facts

Heaven 17 are an English new wave and synth-pop band that formed in Sheffield in 1980. The band were a trio for most of their career, composed of Martyn Ware (keyboards), Ian Craig Marsh (keyboards) (both previously of the Human League) and Glenn Gregory (vocals).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Heaven 17
Title:  The Luxury Gap
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  B.E.F. Records
Catalog#  205337

After creating a marvelous electronic debut, Glenn Gregory, Ian Marsh, and Martyn Ware decided to tamper with their winning formula a bit on Heaven 17‘s 1983 follow-up to Penthouse and Pavement. The result, which added piano, strings, and Earth, Wind, & Fire’s horn section to the band’s cool synthesizer pulse, was even better, and The Luxury Gap became one of the seminal albums of the British new wave. The best-known track remains “Let Me Go,” a club hit that features Gregory‘s moody, dramatic lead above a percolating vocal and synth arrangement. But even better is the mechanized Motown of “Temptation,” a deservedly huge British smash that got a shot of genuine soul from R&B singer Carol Kenyon. Nearly every song ends up a winner, though, as the album displays undreamed-of range. If beat-heavy techno anthems like “Crushed By the Wheels of Industry” were expected of Heaven 17, the melodic sophistication of “The Best Kept Secret” and “Lady Ice and Mr. Hex” — both of which sound almost like show tunes — wasn’t. If there’s a flaw, it’s that while the band’s leftist messages were more subtle and humorous than most of their time, they still seem rather naïve. But the music, which showed just how warm electro-pop’s usually chilly grooves could be, is another matter entirely

 

Side one
1.  Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry  (5:51)
2.  Who’ll Stop The Rain  (3:02)
3.  Let Me Go  (4:21)
4.  Key To The World  (3:43)

Side two
1.  Temptation  (3:31)
2.  Come Live With Me  (4:02)
3.  Lady Ice And Mr Hex  (3:47)
4.  We Live So Fast  (3:47)
5.  The Best Kept Secret  (5:10)

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