Album #480 – Penthouse and Pavement

Album #480

This album surprised me a little. Heaven 17 are a well known British synth pop band and their first album, Penthouse and Pavement, is a landmark in the genre. But, despite the upbeat, dancible songs, there are many social and political issues tackled. It is a concept album of sorts, with the subject matter looking largely at the gap between the powerful and the powerless. (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang talks about life in Reagan’s America but with a funky beat and catchy lyrics behind it. In fact, the song was banned by the BBC because of it’s content. The album was not a huge success but, it is a landmark for synth pop and clever songwriting. The last thing I expected on this album was a political tone. Luckily, it is not blatant. Heaven 17 also added horns, bass and drums to their sound. I thought the band would sound more like Depeche Mode. But, the group are closer to New Wave than synth pop in terms of their sound. Overall, a great album that I enjoyed listening to. Other Highlights include: Penthouse and Pavement, Play to Win, Soul Warfare, Let’s All Make A Bomb, The Height of the Fighting and We’re Going To Live For A Very Long Time. I give Penthouse and Pavement, 5 out of 5.

Next: Beauty and the Beat by The Go-go’s

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