Heaven 17 Biography

An offshoot project from the UK production company BEF, this synthpop band featured the keyboards duo Ian Craig Marsh (11 November 1956, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England) and Martyn Ware (b. 19 May 1956, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England) and vocalist Glenn Gregory (b. 16 May 1958, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England). Heaven 17’s first UK hit was the dance-orientated ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’, which reached number 45. In late 1981, they released the bestselling album Penthouse And Pavement, which reflected the hedonistic themes of the period. Alternating with BEF projects and various guest appearances, Heaven 17 recorded intermittently. In May 1983, they achieved their finest moment with the electrifying UK number 2 hit, ‘Temptation’, which featured guest vocalist Carol Kenyon. Further hits from the attendant The Luxury Gap included ‘Come Live With Me’, ‘Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry’ and ‘Let Me Go’.

A series of albums followed, but Heaven 17 always appeared to be a predominantly studio-based concern, whose name was used irregularly as an outlet to experiment with various new ideas. Meanwhile, the group’s services as producers were still in demand and Ware co-produced Terence Trent D’Arby’s bestselling The Hardline According To Terence Trent D’Arby. In 1991, Marsh and Ware completed another ambitious BEF album of star cover versions.

In 1996, Heaven 17 surprised the music industry by re-forming and recording a new studio album. In 2003, Gregory’s new band, Honeyroot, released Sound Echo Location on the Just Music label. Another new Heaven 17 album followed two years later.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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