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British, synth-based, electronic funk/dance band.

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".

The Music Of Quality And Distinction album was produced by Martin Ware and Ian Craig Marsh but was not actually a Heaven 17 album. It was released under the name British Electric Foundation and featured about 10 different singers doing cover versions of popular classics.
Among the singers was Tina Turner and the track on the album was partly responsible for resurrecting her career in the 80s. Ware and Marsh produced her comeback album a couple of years later. Other singers on the album included Billy McKenzie and Paula Yates.

They didn't have too many top ten hit singles: the biggest were Come Live With Me and Temptation, which had soul vocals from Carol Kenyon.
These both came from their second album The Luxury Gap which was a slightly more commercial version of their first Penthouse And Pavement.
After these two, it was very much a case of diminishing returns.

Their name came from a fictional band mentioned in the film Clockwork Orange.

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