Thursday, January 31, 2008

480. Heaven 17 - Penthouse and Pavement (1981)

Track Listing

1. We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thing
2. Penthouse And Pavement
3. Play To Win
4. Soul Warfare
5. Geisha Boys And Temple Girls
6. Let's All Make A Bomb
7. Height Of The Fighting
8. Song With No Name
9. We're Going To Live For A Very Long Time


How 80's is this album. Well I'll tell you, it is quintessentially 80's could have been done at any other time, and like most of the 80's it is a mixed bag of awesomeness and kitsch. This is at the same time the great thing and the downfall of the whole decade.

This dichotomy pervades the whole album, there is something to like in almost all tracks but there is also something that grates with our modern sensibilities. The whole thing is a bit overdone.

So, in the end did I like it? Yes I did, would I go out of my way to listen to it again? Probably not. This is, however the synthpop that launched a thousand bands through the whole decade. So do listen to it, the influence on early Depeche Mode is for example more than obvious here.

Track Highlights

1. Geisha Boys And Temple Girls
2. We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thing
3. Let's All Make A Bomb
4. Play to Win

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The first single, (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing, best demonstrates the left-wing outlook of the lyrics, criticising Britain at the beginning of the 1980s under Thatcher and the rise of the Yuppie. Other themes explored include nuclear war, religious extremism and American influence in the world.

Unlike the seemingly 'cold' music of other electronic bands, Heaven 17 drew on R&B and funk to create pop-friendly, danceable hooks. Whilst the singles charted poorly, the album charted at No. 14 and remained in the Top 75 for 76 weeks.

What a lovely video for Fascist Groove Thing:

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