Heaven 17 - Penthouse And Pavement / The Luxury Gap
Liam McGrady 23/08/2006
To the person at Virgin Records who decided that the re-issuing of these records is a good idea,
Now listen here, I fully understand that you won't really give a shit about the following, or even come remotely close to reading this, but I've got some spleen to vent. I've got piles of albums, demos and singles turning my room into a mini city of CD shaped skyscrapers. I've got two days to pack all my belongings into boxes and move to the other end of the country; and these musical tower blocks need to be converted into “copy”, as us writer types call it, before then. I also have a fucking cold in August, which is irritating at the best of times, but even more so considering the above. So now let me tell you what I haven't got.
I haven't really got time to sit through 'Penthouse And Pavement'(1981) , it's horrendous Jazz-lite-slap bass-title track, the dreadfully synthetic effects that attempt to pass for a brass riff in 'Play To Win', any of that awful beepy stuff that sounds like a “Space Invaders” arcade game (the intro of 'Geisha Boys And Temple Girls' being the main culprit) and certainly not the cringeworthy, left-wing rhetoric of '(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang' - which I hope to god I never hear again.
And then I could really do without crude anti-capitalist chant of 'Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry' that kicks off 'The Luxury Gap'(1983); wish more than anything I could get the time spent listening to squealing sax and sterile drum beats ('Key To The World') back, and thoroughly regret coming into contact with lyrics as bad as those from 'Lady Ice And Mr Hex' (“Lady Ice and Mr Hex/She'll leave you cold, he'll make you flex”). I will however let you off with having me hear 'Temptation' because it's a great tune.
Seriously though, I don't get it. This can't be good business can it? I can fully understand the re-release of a classic album that's slipped from public consciousness, or for 10 year anniversaries and all that; really I can. It's just this throwing of bad money after good that baffles me. You've had twenty odd years to wise up to the fact that Heaven 17 were a poor man's Human League - which is hardly glowing praise - and yet you still go ahead and do this.
So yeah, I didn't really have time to write that, or listen to two Heaven 17 records but out of the goodness of my heart I have. Now could you please do something for me? Could you please STOP FUCKING RE-ISSUING TURGID 80's PAP LIKE THIS?