Published Tuesday, January 14, 2014 by with 0 comment

Heaven 17 - The Luxury Gap (1982)

Artist:  Heaven 17
Title:  The Luxury Gap
Release:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  B.E.F. Records
Genre:  Synthpop
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   (5:54)
2.   Who’ll Stop the Rain   (3:04)
3.   Let Me Go   (4:23)
4.   Key to the World   (3:42)

Side two
1.   Temptation   (3:34)
2.   Come Live With Me   (4:18)
3.   Lady Ice and Mr Hex   (3:46)
4.   We Live So Fast   (3:49)
5.   The Best Kept Secret   (5:09)

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