Monday, April 21, 2008

Straight Eighties

If there was ever a musical composite of all things eighties, well early eighties - before everything went all Aha, Simon Climie, Johnny Hates Jazz and StockAitkenandtheotherone. There's probably no better soundscape than the head spinning six minutes that is the Heaven 17 megamix. Lets look at the clues...

Heaven 17 were formed from scraps of the early Human League, and went on to reanimate Tina Turner's comeback under their secret band name B.E.F - that's Sheffield Electrics, eighties power anthems, and secret bands in one slicked back, smart casual bundle right there.

There's a scrapbook of sounds in this mix you just wouldn't find on any track today - all the analogue bleeps, burbs, Fairlight synth slams, oily funk guitar used on everything from Wham to Spandau Ballet, 'Light Of The World' style synth horns and happy slappy bass place it straight in the pre Live Aid era.

Eventually adopted by Yuppies,Young Tories and Soul boys - Heaven 17 actually dressed to the left.

There's no breathing space or self editing in this let's see what that button does, lets see what all the buttons do mixed up madness.

It's a medley - another constant of that decade, from Stars On 45 to Jive Bunny.

Heaven 17 - Megamix

If you fancy filling your Tukka Boots with more sounds of the crowd - have a peep here


Axe Victim said...

I was well into H-17 and Mrs. A has just invested in a 'Best of' CD which is really rather good.

Five-Centres said...

I loved Play To Win, Penthouse and Pavement, and then it all went wrong with Temptation, which I still loathe to this day.

Very Eighties blueprint though.

Planet Mondo said...


I was really into H - 17, in the early period. Penthouse and Pavement album, those great singles and The Luxury Gap was a cracker too - remember 'Who'll Stop The Rain'? I went off them when they started going a bit Go West.

I never rated 'Temptation' as much as everyone else.

Have you lent an ear to the 80s 12" teaser yet?

Mick said...

I convinced a waitress in a cocktail bar (how 80s is that) that me mate was Glen Gregory back in th 80s. I'll try and dig out a pic and post it on my blog, he was similar enough to fool the casual observer.

Matthew Rudd said...

I don't mind Temptation at all, though that BiR remix was unnecessary. Come Live With Me is great, and I know it's less imperial H17, but I'd like to point out that Sunset Now is a fab record.

I love the titbit that Glenn Gregory was the only person at Band Aid whom Midge Ure invited, knowing in advance that he'd be very handy for harmonies.

Simon said...

I'm in the 'Temptation' camp. It's one of my all time favourite singles. I find it stupidly thrilling even now.

Planet Mondo said...

Mick. that sounds like an epsiode of Ashes To Ashes. I had a mate who looked like Glenn Gregory too, but had brown curly hair. We used to 'pimp' Glenn's Smash Hits sticker pics with a curly top to make him look like matey - it was uncanny.

Matt never knew that Live Aid fact, I always though it was odd (with the other two being ex Human Leaguers)that Glenn G was so close vocally to Phil Oakey , a bit like Andy Bell sounded like Alison Moyet.

Simon - I was into then, but have become a bit fatigued with it now

Matthew Rudd said...

Aye, in his autobiography Midge Ure says he left the recruitment drive to Geldof and concentrated mainly on writing the song, but called his "big mate" Glenn Gregory and told him to "get down here" (presumably from Sheffield) as soon as possible as something big was about to happen. And because he knew he'd be good for harmonies.

There is some thing I dislike about Temptation, thinking about it - Carol's last high note threatens to blow the speakers when I play it in the nightclub.