THROWBACK: Heaven 17 – The Luxury Gap
In my opinion, The Luxury Gap by Heaven 17 is one of the best albums if the 80s. It’s not timeless, it’s clearly rooted in the decade, but it one hooky track after the other, hitting exactly the sweet spot between accessible and experimental. That makes it a great listen even today, in particular the 2006 remastered version.
Heaven 17 was the trio of singer Glen Gregory together with the keyboarders Ian Craig-Marsh and Martyn Ware, who both played in Human League. The Luxury Gap was their second album in 1983 with the best known songs being Temptation (featuring Carol Kenyon) and Let Me Go. The band (minus Ian Craig-Marsh) is still active and writes on their website:
The Luxury Gap has never been more relevant. Written during the height of Thatcherism by three Left-leaning young men against a backdrop of over 3 million unemployed the parallels with the Austerity Britain of today are obvious. Today with a Millionaire cabinet, bankers’ bonuses, yet with once again three million unemployed and doom and depression everywhere, Heaven 17’s sly, post-modern critique of modern society has never sounded so resonant, nor been so necessary.
Here’s a live TV version of Let Me Go:
And one of Temptation: