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Play to Win: The Very Best of Heaven 17
     

Play to Win: The Very Best of Heaven 17

by Heaven 17
 
Formed as an offshoot from the Human League, Sheffield trio Heaven 17 may not have sustained the same success as Phil Oakey and company, but as frontman Glenn Gregory's recent collaboration with La Roux indicates, their

Overview

Formed as an offshoot from the Human League, Sheffield trio Heaven 17 may not have sustained the same success as Phil Oakey and company, but as frontman Glenn Gregory's recent collaboration with La Roux indicates, their influence on the whole nu-synth movement is perhaps just as powerful. Indeed, the anthemic Motown-tinged "Temptation" and the melodic new wave of "Come Live with Me" may be their only U.K. Top Ten hits, but this two-CD, 33-track collection, by far the most comprehensive of their career, shows they had plenty more to offer. The deadpan sci-fi pop of "I'm Your Money," the politically charged "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" (banned by Radio 1 due to its left-wing messages), and the ode to positive mental attitude of "Play to Win" justify the landmark status that 1981 debut Penthouse and Pavement has since been afforded; the squelchy funk of "Who'll Stop the Rain?," the chilly synth pop of "Let Me Go," and the string-soaked theatrics of "The Best Kept Secret" prove there was more to 1983 breakthrough The Luxury Gap than their signature hit; while the slinky ten-minute epic ."..(And That's No Lie)," the flamenco-tinged balladry of "The Skin I'm In," and the Balearic chillout of "Reputation" all helped to make the transition to a more acoustic sound on 1984's How Men Are an effortlessly smooth one. Other than a brief resurgence in the early '90s thanks to various remixes (two of which are featured here), the band failed to trouble the charts again, but there's still plenty to admire from the 12 later offerings included, whether it's the timeless jazz-soul of Jimmy Ruffin collaboration "The Foolish Thing to Do," the country-tinged "The Ballad of Go Go Brown," or the filtered house of "Hands Up to Heaven." And while the lack of any material from 1996's Bigger Than America and 2008's Naked as Advertised ensures that Play to Win doesn't paint the whole Heaven 17 picture, it's still an extensive and largely enjoyable compilation that surely comes pretty close.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/31/2012
Label:
Music Club Deluxe
UPC:
5014797671423
catalogNumber:
9767142

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
  2. I'm Your Money
  3. Play To Win
  4. Penthouse & Pavement
  5. Let's All Make a Bomb
  6. Height of the Fighting (He-La-Hu)
  7. Let Me Go
  8. Temptation
  9. Who'll Stop the Rain
  10. We Live So Fast
  11. The Best Kept Secret
  12. Come Live With Me
  13. Crushed By the Wheels of Industry
  14. Sunset Now
  15. This Is Mine
  16. Flamedown
  17. ...(And That's No Lie)

Disc 2

  1. Reputation
  2. The Skin I'm In
  3. The Foolish Thing To Do
  4. Trouble
  5. Contenders
  6. Train of Love In Motion
  7. Big Square People
  8. The Ballad of Go Go Brown
  9. Dangerous
  10. (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
  11. Penhouse & Pavement
  12. Somebody
  13. Low Society
  14. Don't Stop For No One
  15. I'm Gonna Make You Fall In Love With Me
  16. Hands Up To Heaven

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