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Heaven 17 are an electronic synth pop and New Wave band founded in Sheffield, England, UK. Once part of another electronic (Sheffield) band, The Human League, Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware decided to form their own band. They took on board lead vocalist Glenn Gregory and shortly after released their first single ‘(We Don’ t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’ (1981).

Throughout the mid-1980s, Heaven 17 produced a string of hit singles and albums, and are probably best remembered for the song ‘Temptation’ which reached No. 2 in 1983 and No.4 in 1992. Their most successful album to date is ‘The Luxury Gap’, a No.4 hit in 1983, an album that spawned the top twenty hit ‘Crushed by the Wheels of Industry’ and another top five hit ‘Come Live With Me’ . Noteable albums include ‘Penthouse and Pavement'(1981) and ‘How Men Are'(1984), both top 15 hits on the UK album chart. Heaven 17 also appeared on the Band Aid single ‘Do They Know It’ s Christmas’ (1984) which went to number one. They worked with Duran Duran, George Michael, and Spandau Ballet among many others.

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BEF is the production arm of Heaven 17 and occasionally a recording entity in its own right, B.E.F. (or British Electric Foundation) was formed by Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh.

During 1980-1981, B.E.F. released two instrumental mini LPs, Music for Stowaways and Music for Listening To (both had several tracks in common). The only track on either release with any type of vocals (and those quite low in the mix) was “Groove Thang,” which featured Glenn Gregory.

During breaks between Heaven 17 albums, Martyn Ware began contributing to outside projects. He worked on production for Tina Turner’s 1984 breakthrough Private Dancer and Terence Trent D’Arby’s Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby. Other later collaborators included Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples, and Billy Preston.

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Electronically Yours Podcast

Martyn’s Electronically Yours talks to the famous artists from the worlds of music, art, film, comedy, TV and creativity that he’s encountered during his 40 year career.

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