Saturday, March 21, 2009

(We Don't Need This) Facist Groove Thang

On this day in 1981, Heaven 17 held the No.45 position on the UK charts with their debut agitprop dance classic (We Don't Need This) Facist Groove Thang.

The Sheffield Synthpop trio formed in 1980, took their name from a scene in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 feature, A Clockwork Orange. When the protagonist Alex visits the Chelsea Drug Store in search of sounds (among other things), he is seen chatting up a few birds. Next to them on the Top 10 charts in the No. 4 position, just above the Bread Brothers is the ficticious band Heaven Seventeen.

The group released their first LP, Penthouse and Pavement in 1981. They would go on to release several more albums including The Luxury Gap, which featured their highest charting hit (No.2 UK), Temptation.

One of the most popular and successful of the New Wave exports from Sheffield, they were one of the first bands to utilize, almost exclusively, synthesizers and drum machines to shape their sound.

I think the Heaven 17 epitomize 80's New Wave. Their clean, driving beats coutesy of the Linn LM-1, coupled with lyrics touching upon timely issues of excess and politics, all delivered with the obligatory aloof, monotone vocals popular with the bulk of bands back in the day.

(We Don't Need This) Facist Groove Thang
Let Me Go
Play To Win
We Live So Fast

Heaven 17-We Live So Fast (Solid Gold, 1983)

Heaven 17- Let Me Go (1983)

Heaven 17- (We Don't Need This) Facist Groove Thang (Newcastle Academy, 2008)

Heaven 17- Temptation (TOTP, 25 December 1983)

No comments: