Saturday, 10 July 2010

TV Nights - Heaven 17

BBC 2 have been running strange 80s theme, with a very odd selection of band profiles, one off plays etc. I can only think that who ever was in charge in commissioning the programmes must have been a massive Heaven 17 fan as not one but two programmes were dedicated to the band.

First off was a recording of a concert when they played the whole of Penthouse and Pavement live. As the lp was made when they had taken a conscious decision to only make recordings and videos for a number of the songs it was their first outing.

They'd freshened them up a bit but the main thing that stood out was how good Glen Gregory's voice still is.

What was better was the next programme which was a documentary on the making of the lp. There was some revisionist history (first lp to blend the electronic and dance style bass and guitar, first concept lp of the 80s etc) but right from the first frame that has Glen Gregory ask Phil Oakey who was the better singer you knew this wasn't going to be the usual reverential po faced review. It followed Maritn Ware and Glen Gregory as they revisited locations around Sheffield from the band's history. There were some great moments from a visit to Glen Gregory's parents , filming outside his old house when the current owner comes out to find what is going on, to the more serious stuff of Martin Ware and Phil Oakey going back over when Ware was kicked out of the Human League.

At times you felt like you were intruding on a private reunion a feeling magnified by the use of photos from when they were falling in and out of bands.

Anyway the point of the post, is that it made me dig out the lp again and although not the best of that time , it is still great and sucks me back to a time when pop music meant more than Simon Cowell and karaoke style cover versions.

Apparently a 30th anniversary version of the lp is out soon and they are touring playing the lp as a whole (I'm off to see them in November)


  1. One of my 10 favorite albums of the 1980's and if held to it I would say one of my 3 favorite...gotta fit David Sylvian and Echo and the Bunnymen into there somehow as well...

  2. I also love how men are I could never understand how sunset now wasn't a massive hit for them

  3. How Men Are is great! I think I have 4 different 12 singles of the single And That's No Lie...all diff color sleeves and song lengths. But my fave track is This Is Mine. Classic!


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