Penthouse and Pavement  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Penthouse and Pavement is the debut album by the English synthpop group Heaven 17, released in 1981.

The first single, "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang", best demonstrates the left-wing outlook of the lyrics, criticising certain aspects of Britain at the beginning of the 1980s which was under the leadership of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The song was famously banned by Radio 1 disc jockey Mike Read (himself a Conservative and follower of Thatcher) for being overtly political. Other themes explored include nuclear war, religious extremism, American influence in the world and the rise of the Yuppie.

Unlike the seemingly 'cold' music of other electronic bands, Heaven 17 drew on R&B and funk to create pop-friendly, danceable hooks. Whilst the singles charted poorly, the album charted at No. 14 and remained in the Top 100 for 77 weeks.

The album was reproduced live, in its entirety, in a series of concerts the band held throughout 2010, one of which (in Sheffield) was filmed and shown on BBC Two on 16 May 2010. A documentary about the making of the album was screened the following night, and was later included on a new 3-disc Special Edition of the album released in November 2010.

This album is featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Penthouse and Pavement" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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