-based, electronic funk
In 1980, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh left Sheffield-based band Human League to form the British Electric Foundation, (an umbrella organisation for several music projects the pair started). They quickly embraced the unique voice of Glenn Gregory and formed Heaven 17. The first Heaven 17 single was released in 1981 and did moderately well in the charts, reaching number 45. More importantly, it sowed the seeds of a large, loyal and partly-underground fan base.
Heaven 17's heyday was from 1981 until 1988, when the group split. Their sustained success was all the more remarkable for the fact that they never made a live appearance. Well, not until they reformed in the mid-90's, recorded a new album and were very well received when they supported Erasure on their 1997 European tour.
Heaven 17 Albums
- Music for Listening To (1981)
- Penthouse and Pavement (1981)
- Music of Quality and Distinction - Volume 1 (1982)
- The Luxury Gap (1983)
- How Men Are (1984)
- Endless (1986)
- Pleasure One (1986)
- Teddy Bear, Duke and Psycho (1988)
- Music of Quality and Distinction - Volume 1 (1991)
- Higher and Higher - Best of Heaven 17 (1993)
- The Remix Collection (1995)
- Bigger Than America (1996)
- Retox/Detox (1999)
- Live at Last (1999)
- How Live Is (1999)
- Temptation - The Best of Heaven 17 (1999)
- Heaven 17 - The Best of The 80's (2000)
- Heaven 17 - *Temptation (2000)
As you can, Heaven 17's discography
is rather top-heavy with a swathe of "Best of..." type re-packaged/remixed compilations and live recordings. My personal favourite albums are, inevitably, Penthouse and Pavement
, The Luxury Gap
and How Men Are
. The latter features an exemplary Heaven 17 track: "..(and that's no lie)".
Interesting trivia item: The band derived their name from the Top 10 list in the record shop in the novel "A Clockwork Orange".