Heaven 17 *** (The stars are a rating, so it's 3 stars out of 5)
'Temptation' (1983, no 2)
Back in the late 1970s, Sheffielders Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware were computer operators - as they were known back then, in the days when computers were still austere, mysterious, remote and slightly sinister objects. (Like Gary Numan.) After joining The Human League, they left in 1980 and formed a production group called British Electric Foundation. One of their frost projects was Heaven 17 (a group named after a fictional group in Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange) for which singer Glenn Gregory was recruited.
It took a while to catch on - several releases stalled just outside the charts, including the banned '(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang'. However, the album 'Penthouse and Pavement' was doing well by 1981, and in May 1983, 'Temptation' (on which Carol Kenyon also sang) became their first and biggest hit single. 'Come Live With Me' and 'Crushed by the Wheels of Industry' followed, but the band's tendency to shun the limelight meant that they had almost vanished from public view by the mid-80s.
· Martyn Ware co-produced Terence Trent D'Arby's debut album in 1987.
· A remixed 'Temptation' and a re-recorded 'Fascist Groove Thang' saw a mini-revival in the early 90s. They also took pan in 1993s multi-artist, multiformat 'Gimme Shelter' project~ Heaven 17 appeared on the cassette version alongside the Jimmy Somerville/Voice of the Beehive recording. Martyn Ware has recently been working with the ubiquitous Vince Clarke; they formed a new company called illustrious Co. Ltd. to create 3D surround-sound works in conjunction with artiste and their installations.
Thanks to Mark Pugh for scan of the relevant pages !