Penthouse and Pavement

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Penthouse and Pavement
Studio album by Heaven 17
Released September 1981
Recorded Sheffield, Maison Rouge
Genre Synthpop
Length 50:31 ¹
Label Virgin Records
Producer British Electric Foundation
Heaven 17 chronology
Penthouse and Pavement
(1981)
The Luxury Gap
(1983)

Penthouse and Pavement is the debut album by the English synthpop group Heaven 17, released in 1981. "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" was released as a single, but did not achieve chart success partly due to a ban by the BBC.[1] The album sold reasonably well, but was not a commercial success on release.[2] It has since been regarded as "an important outing",[2] is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, and was re-released in 2010 in a 3-disc special edition.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]

Whilst the singles charted poorly, the album charted at No. 14 and remained in the Top 100 for 77 weeks.[4] It was certified gold (100,000 copies sold) by the BPI in October 1982.[5]

Dan LeRoy in a retrospective review for AllMusic felt that the album combined electropop with good melodies, and that Glenn Gregory was able to handle the "overtly left-wing political" lyrics without sounding "pretentious".[2]

The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing[edit]

Side A (Pavement)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang"   Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh, Glenn Gregory 4:20
2. "Penthouse and Pavement"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 6:23
3. "Play To Win"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 3:37
4. "Soul Warfare"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 5:04
Side B (Penthouse)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Geisha Boys and Temple Girls"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 4:33
6. "Let's All Make A Bomb"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 4:03
7. "The Height of the Fighting"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 3:01
8. "Song With No Name"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 3:36
9. "We're Going To Live for a Very Long Time¹"   Ware, Marsh, Gregory 3:15

2010 3-disc special edition[edit]

The album was reproduced live, in its entirety, in a series of concerts the band held throughout 2010, one of which (in Sheffield) was filmed and shown on BBC Two on 16 May 2010. A documentary about the making of the album was screened the following night, and was later included on a new three disc special edition of the album released in November 2010.

Personnel[edit]

Heaven 17:

with:

  • Malcolm Veale – Synthesisers, Saxophone
  • Josie James – Vocals on Penthouse and Pavement
  • Steve Travell – Piano on Soul Warfare
  • The Boys of Buddha – Synthetic Horns
  • John Wilson – Bass guitar, Guitar and Guitar Synthesisers on Pavement side
  • Ray Smith – Cover painting

Production[edit]

  • Engineer and Assistant to the Producers: Peter Walsh
  • Engineer: Steve Rance
  • Executive Manipulator: Bob Last

Chart performance[edit]

Album

Chart (1981) Peak
position
Certification
New Zealand Albums Chart[6] 45
Swedish Albums Chart[7] 24
UK Albums Chart[8] 14 Gold

Singles

Date Single Chart Position
March 1981 "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" UK 45
May 1981 "I'm Your Money" UK -
August 1981 "Play to Win" UK 46
November 1981 "Penthouse and Pavement" UK 57
February 1982 "The Height of the Fighting (He-La-Hu)"† UK -

† Released as a 12" single only.

Notes[edit]

  • ¹ – The last track on the original vinyl LP release, "We're Going to Live for a Very Long Time", was recorded up to and onto the runoff groove; meaning the run time of this track (as labelled on the LP sleeve) and the album is infinite, looping the line "For a very long time".
  • "Groove Thang", "Decline of the West" and "B.E.F. Ident" originally appeared on the B.E.F. cassette-only release Music For Stowaways.
  • All tracks mixed at Red Bus Studios except "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" and "Let's All Make a Bomb" which were mixed at The Townhouse.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Dan LeRoy. "Penthouse and Pavement – Heaven 17 : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/penthouse-and-pavement-mw0000194104
  4. ^ ChartStats (Penthouse and Pavement)
  5. ^ British Phonographic Industry database
  6. ^ Steffen Hung (27 February 2012). "New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Steffen Hung (24 February 2012). "Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive". Chart Stats. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 

External links[edit]