Designing Heaven

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"Designing Heaven"
Single by Heaven 17
from the album Bigger Than America
Released 1996
Format 12" single, CD single
Genre Synthpop
Length 4:12
Label WEA, Eye Of The Storm
Writer(s) Glenn Gregory, Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware
Producer(s) British Electric Foundation
Heaven 17 singles chronology
"Penthouse and Pavement (Tommy D Remix)"
"Designing Heaven"
"We Blame Love"

"Designing Heaven" is synthpop trio Heaven 17's first single from the 1996 album Bigger Than America.[1] It was written by all three members. The single was released and peaked at #128 in the UK although it didn't peak in the top 100.[2] This was the first single consisting of new material from the group since 1988, with a promo video produced to accompany the single.[3]

Allmusic wrote "The single "Designing Heaven" is as contemporary as anything Erasure, the Pet Shop Boys, or The Human League have done recently."[4]

The DJ Dance Chart compiled exclusively for 'DJ Magazine' from a sample of over 500 British DJ returns ranked this single at #92.[5]


12" Single
  1. "Designing Heaven (Starck Mix)" - 8:33
  2. "Designing Heaven (Le Courbosier Mix)" - 4:43
  3. "Designing Heaven (Rodgers Mix)" - 7:00
  4. "Designing Heaven (Mies Van Der Rohe Mix)" - 5:43
12" Promo Single
  1. "Designing Heaven (Hysterix Pure Pumpin' Mix)" - 6:55
  2. "Designing Heaven (Moroder's Subterranean Mix)" - 5:45
2x 12" Promo Single (Germany only)
  1. "Designing Heaven (Motiv-8's Vocal 12")" - 7:05
  2. "Designing Heaven (Gregorio's 12" [Varispeed 130BPM])" - 6:07
  3. "Designing Heaven (Moroder's Extended Mix)" - 6:45
  4. "Designing Heaven (Motiv-8's Vocal Dub)" - 4:42
  5. "Designing Heaven (Gregorio's 12")" - 6:23
  6. "Designing Heaven (Moroder's Subterranean Mix)" - 5:45
  7. "Designing Heaven (Trans European Heaven Mix)" - 4:50
  8. "Designing Heaven (Motiv-8 Extended Instrumental)" - 7:25
  9. "Designing Heaven (Motiv-8's Radio Edit)" - 3:54
CD Single #1
  1. "Designing Heaven (Radio Mix)" - 4:12
  2. "Designing Heaven (Lloyd-Wright Mix - Motiv 8's Radio Mix)" - 4:10
  3. "Designing Heaven (Le Corbusier Mix - Motiv 8's Dub 12)" - 4:42
  4. "Designing Heaven (Trans European Heaven)" - 4:52
  5. "Designing Heaven (Den Hemmel Designen)" - 4:27
CD Single #2
  1. "Designing Heaven (Meis Van Der Rohe Mix - Giorgio Moroder's Subteranean 12")" - 5:43
  2. "Designing Heaven (Stark Mix - Gregorio's 12")" - 8:33
  3. "Designing Heaven (Venturi Mix - Giorgio Moroder's Vocal 12")" - 6:46
  4. "Designing Heaven (Rodgers Mix - James Reynold's Vocal 12")" - 7:00
CD Promo Single (UK only)
  1. "Designing Heaven (Radio Edit)" - 4:10
CD Promo Single (Germany only)
  1. "Designing Heaven (Pump Up Mix Edit)"

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
UK Singles Chart[2] 128 2

Critical reception[edit]

A review by China stated "It's a bit of a mixed bag to say the least. It starts off with lots of la la las then goes into the verses where Gregory sings over some fairly minimal modern synth fx. Glenn's voice sounds more delicate than in the 80s and it really does interplay beautifully with the fx. The lyrics are typical H17 political comment, smack up to date and very good with it. However, in spite of a very convincing start the chorus is a real downer, very weak indeed. A synthpop chorus by numbers with none of the reassurance of their old hits. Imagine the chorus to Temptation with all the oomph taken out. Thats why it got the 'dated' comment in Melody Maker I reckon. Not having heard the album I hesitate to say this, but maybe they've more work to do on the new sound."

David Richards for the Lexicon Issue 2 wrote "Try to get by the first single, "Designing Heaven". Maybe one day it will be considered a classic like "Let Me Go" or "Penthouse and Pavement", but it's doubtful. The song lacks energy or a good melody, seemingly constructed without a real master plan. There is also a German CD single for "Designing Heaven" with mixes by Altern-8 and Georgio Moroder. Non of the remixes set the song on fire, but seem serviceable enough for clubs."[6]


  • Remixers - Chris Cox, Giorgio Moroder, Gregorio, Motiv 8, James Reynolds, Hysterix


  1. ^ "Heaven 17 - Bigger Than America at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: H & Claire- Hysterix". Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  3. ^ "Heaven 17 - The most complete homepage". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  4. ^ Fucito, Paul. "Bigger Than America - Heaven 17 : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  5. ^ "Heaven 17 - The most complete homepage". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Heaven 17 - The most complete homepage". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 

External links[edit]