It was back in October 1980 that two former computer operators, Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware, decided to leave the Sheffield-based band Human League and seek their own future in pop music. Soon afterwards Marsh and Ware launched British Electric Foundation (BEF) which quickly became a production umbrella for various recording projects in which the two were involved.
One of these projects became quickly known as Heaven 17, an electronic dance-styled group which comprised Marsh and Ware, along with Glenn Gregory who took on the responsibility of vocals. The first Heaven 17 release (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang reached number 45 in April 1981, in spite of a BBC radio ban, but their follow-up I'm Your Money failed to make the charts.
Later that year however they had two more hit singles Play To Win (number 46), which replaced Let's All Make A Bomb, originally planned as their third single, and Penthouse And Pavement (number 57). The latter was also the title track of their debut album which was released in September 1981 and went to number 14 in the charts, spending a total of 76 weeks in the Top 75.
In tandem with this success, Marsh and Ware were also enjoying considerable critical success with BEF via the album Music Of Quality And Distinction Vol.1 which featured contributions from guest vocalists Tina Turner, Gary Glitter, Paul Jones and Sandie Shaw among others. The album failed to set the charts alight however and shortly afterwards Marsh and Ware decided to concentrate fulltime on Heaven 17.
In November 1982 they had their fourth hit single with Let Me Go which reached number 41. The following year Heaven 17 scored their biggest UK hit with Temptation which reached number two in the charts and sustained a 13-week chart run. Glenn Gregory shared the vocals with Carol Kenyon on the record. In June 1983 they had their second Top 10 hit with Come Live With Me which spent 11 weeks in the chart.
Their 1983 album The Luxury Gap was another best-seller, reaching number four in the charts and remaining Top 75 for a total of 36 weeks. Subsequent hit singles for the group included Crushed By The Wheel Of Industry in 1983 which reached number 17, Sunset Now and This Is Mine in 1984, which reached 24 and 23 respectively, 1985's ...(And That's No Lie) number 52, and 1987's Trouble (number 51). In 1988 Heaven 17 released their final album Teddy Bear, Duke & Psycho but it proved to be a commercial failure and soon afterwards the group effectively came to an end, although Ware and Marsh continued to be involved with the other recording projects.
The Remix Collection brings together some of the high points of Heaven 17's illustrious recording career including the Brothers In Rhythm remix of their biggest hit Temptation, along with the Rapino club mix of (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang, Tommy D's master remix of Penthouse And Pavement, and Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry. Other highlights include extended versions of Train Of Love In Motion, Height Of The Fighting, Play To Win and Let Me Go.
Heaven 17 may effectively be gone - but their music hasn't been forgotten.