Listen to this track by Sheffieldian one-time Human League splinter group, and sonically ambitious hitmakers in their own right, Heaven 17. It’s their smash UK single “Temptation” as taken from their 1983 album The Luxury Gap.
One of the features here is guest vocalist Carol Kenyon, who sings in a Northern Soul influenced style, contrasting the synth-pop groove. The tune would also incorporate a full orchestra, creating even more textural contrast, and producing a high-charting single that year for the band, reaching number 2 in the UK pop charts.
The Luxury Gap was the group’s second record, after 1981’s Penthouse and Pavement. The band had been one of the most prominent proponents of Northern synth pop, although initially split off from the Human League, a project that was abandoned by keyboardists Ian Craig-Marsh and Martyn Ware. They’d left the band in the hands of vocalist Phil Oakey. That version of the Human League under Oakey’s leadership would become an international success with a new line-up.
But, Craig-Marsh and Ware had pop smarts of their own to draw from. (more…)