Heaven 17 – ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ Canadian LP (Virgin VL 2225, 1981)

It was initially a surprise to me when the ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ LP was released that ‘I’m Your Money’ was overlooked for inclusion, whereas ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’ was all present and correct. I was quite partial to ‘I’m Your Money’, its sequenced rhythm had a touch of the ‘Trans-Europe Express’ to it and it’s multi-lingual speech inserts also hinted at that Kraftwerk-like ambition to cross borders. But it was left off and that was that, until I came across this pressing that is…

Heaven 17 - Penthouse and Pavement - Canadian LP front cover design

^ Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement – Canadian LP front cover design

This Canadian release did elect to include ‘I’m Your Money’ in the running order though. On the single’s original release, there were 7″ and 12″ mixes of the track. This LP elected to include the 7″ mix and even went so far as to retain the ‘B.E.F. Ident’ that was placed after the main track for their first couple of singles as some kind of sonic hallmark of their production marque. It’s a bit odd here I guess, interrupting the flow. It would have made more sense to place it at the end of side 2, but then that would have derailed the ‘locked groove’ trickery that is present on the vinyl and ensures that the joke of ‘We’re Going To Live Live For A Very Long Time’ going on and on indefinitely would not have been possible. (In fact, that doesn’t seem to happen on this copy, unlike my UK pressing.) As for The B.E.F. Ident – the only time I recall seeing it credited is on the cover of the American ‘Music for Listening To’ CD (Caroline, CAROL1124-2, from 1997) credited as ‘B.E.F. Ident (Malcolm Veal in the style of Bach/Purcell)’.

The other main difference with this version of the LP is the inclusion of the 12″ Mix of ‘Play To Win’, at least compared to the more familiar UK pressing of the LP, which has the shorter take.

Heaven 17 - Penthouse and Pavement - Canadian LP rear cover design

^ Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement – Canadian LP rear cover design

The version craziness emerges not so much with this release but on subsequent compilations and re-releases when it comes to ‘I’m Your Money’. Because when I revisited the digital releases of the supposed 7″ version of this song, I realised that they don’t match what was originally released on the 7″ single itself.

The first digital outing for ‘I’m Your Money’ looks to be 1993’s ‘Higher And Higher – The Best Of Heaven 17’ compilation (Virgin, CDV 2717) and this was not the original 7″ mix. This one is basically the 12″ version arrangement but faded out by 3 mins 19 secs. After the last line of the last verse (“Chemical love bank has been dissolved”), it breaks down with echoed multilingual voices pretty much straight away rather than the ‘I’m your money, I’m your money’ chorus that the original 7″ features.

The 2006 re-release of ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ was a bit of a messy affair, coming at the time when EMI records seemed intent on including additional bonus tracks only on the digital-only download versions and not on the CDs. For this 2006 re-release, that meant that the download version includes 5 extra bonus tracks which didn’t appear on the reissue CD. Amongst these are ‘I’m Your Money (7″ Version)’ – but that is not the same 7″ version as originally released back in 1981. The differences come towards the end, once again, where after the final verse (“Chemical love bank has been dissolved”) it does not repeat the ‘I’m your money, I’m your money…’ chorus and instead proceeds instrumentally with some notable differences in the sequencer pattern notes, before the multilingual voices re-emerge after a while (without the echo effect found on the mix derived from the 12” though).

Also released in 2006 was the ‘Greatest Hits’ CD/DVD compilation (Virgin CDVX 3022) which includes ‘I’m Your Money’ but this is the same version as first released on the ‘Higher and Higher’ compilation.

Now, I haven’t gone near the ‘Play To Win (The Virgin Years)’ boxed set from earlier this year as yet, since the combination of high price and much documented mispress woes have not tempted me. Does that finally include the correct, original 7″ mix, I wonder?!

Heaven 17 - Penthouse and Pavement - Canadian LP label design side 1

^ Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement – Canadian LP label design side 1

I don’t have a copy myself to check with, but I also believe that the Canadian cassette version of the ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ album also included a different mix of ‘Play To Win’, edited from the 12″ mix down to just over 5 minutes – apparently the same version that was later included on the UK cassette version of the ‘Endless’ compilation from 1987.

Heaven 17 - Penthouse and Pavement - Canadian LP label design side 2

^ Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement – Canadian LP label design side 2

As well as the inclusion of ‘I’m Your Money’ as an extra track and 12″ version of ‘Play To Win’, the sleeve design was subtly altered too, with the text titles at the top of the sleeve switched around and Heaven 17 ranged centre instead of right.

2 Responses to “Heaven 17 – ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ Canadian LP (Virgin VL 2225, 1981)”

  1. lietenant 030 says:

    to answer the question regarding the version of I’m Your Money on the Play To Win : The Virgin Years box set it is regrettably the same version as found on the 2006 Penthouse And Pavement cd. lasting 3:32 it has the instrumental ending with quite varied sequencer section before the multi voices come back in. it is well worth searching out for a copy of the original 7″ single

  2. admin says:

    That’s a pity, I was hoping it might finally have seen light of day again – but not to be yet!

Leave a Reply