Monday, 25 February 2013

Cassette experiment day 12 - Heaven 17 'The Luxury Gap'

Imagine, if you will, a world in which every day at work for the last 30 years you are surrounded by colleagues and congratulated on a report that you wrote in 1983 about the merits of a particular type of air conditioning. Every day. For 30 years.

You know you’ve written better reports, but everyone keeps banging on about the air conditioning one. In fact, every time you attend a meeting your colleagues won’t let the meeting end without you reading again from your famous report from 1983.

It would probably be likely to get on your nerves a bit after a while. Younger workers would be bound to wonder what all the fuss was about.

‘Temptation’ from ‘The Luxury Gap’ is Heaven 17’s air conditioning report. If you haven’t heard it (and I’m sure everyone has) then all you need to do is switch on BBC Radio 2 – ‘The National Radio Act (1984)’ states that ‘Temptation’ has to be played by the station at intervals of no greater than 37 minutes – and so it has been ever since The Act came into force. You would think that they never recorded any other tracks.

Well I’m here to tell you that Heaven 17 did record better tracks than ‘Temptation’. At least two of them feature on this album alone – the brilliant ‘Let me go’ and the even better ‘Come live with me’, with its age gap story line that still makes me just a little bit queasy. There’s also an impressive appearance by Earth, Wind & Fire’s horns (insert your own punchline here!)

At its highest points ‘The Luxury Gap’ reminds me of The Human League’s ‘Reproduction’ and ‘Travelogue’, and that’s high praise indeed.

Label – Virgin Records

Year - 1983

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