Heaven 17 – ‘Endless’ UK Boxed Cassette (Virgin, TCVB 2383, 1986)

The first compilation/remix album by Heaven 17 (though by no means the last), ‘Endless’ is quite a curio on cassette format for a number of reasons. First off, this limited edition boxed version – packaged up in an elegant, black linen box with gold print, not a million miles away from the format that Factory Records had adopted for their cassette releases of their mid-eighties period (and which now prove very collectable indeed).

Heaven 17 'Endless' boxed edition cassette - front

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ boxed edition cassette – front

Secondly, of course, some good old version craziness in the music to be found on the cassette. Apart from the ‘endless’ segue concept that is responsible for many changes to be found in the music, headline news is that the cassette edition came with four extra tracks compared to the CD version and amongst these is a 5’05” mix of ‘Play To Win’ that I had never come across anywhere else. (It has since finally been released on the ‘Play To Win (The Virgin Years)’ boxed set, I believe, though I don’t have this set.) It resembles the longer ‘BEF Disco Mix’ from the original 12″ single release, but edited down a good deal. (I tried out a digital recreation of it, hence why I know how much editing down it has had – no simple early fade out or the like, oh no – someone went to town with some enthusiasm all the way through the track!)

Heaven 17 'Endless' boxed edition cassette - insert and cassette

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ boxed edition cassette – insert and cassette

There are other versions of note too, but that remains the one that never re-appeared elsewhere on CD or download, until the boxed set. For example, the cassette version of ‘The Height Of The Fighting (He-La-Hu)’ is also subtly different from the original single remix – it notably has some extra (electronic?) cowbell rhythm sneaking in near the start, which is a giveaway – this mix was used on the 1993 ‘Higher and Higher’ compilation, so is easy to track down. Meanwhile, ‘Song With No Name [New Version]’ was also elusive on CD until it too was included on the ‘Play To Win (The Virgin Years)’ boxed set – though it had been available as a digital download bonus track with the 2006 re-issue of ‘Penthouse And Pavement’.

Heaven 17 'Endless' boxed edition cassette - insert - front and back

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ boxed edition cassette – insert – front and back

There are different timings between the CD and cassette versions of the ‘Heaven 17 Megamix’ – yet another variation (the cassette opting for the mix as originally released on the ‘And That’s No Lie’ 12″. It’s a bit gimmicky really, this megamix business, a product of its time, for sure.

Cassette Tracklisting:

Side One:

  1. Heaven 17 Megamix [DJ Mix [Megamixed By] – Sanny X.] (8:25)
  2. We Live So Fast (6:08)
  3. Penthouse And Pavement [Remix – John Potoker] (6:34)
  4. Let Me Go (6:47)
  5. Temptation (4:40)
  6. Who’ll Stop The Rain (6:07)
  7. Play To Win (5:02) ‡

Side Two:

  1. (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (4:15)
  2. The Height Of The Fighting (He-La-Hu) (3:06) *
  3. I’m Your Money (5:04) *
  4. Let’s All Make A Bomb [New Version] (5:09)
  5. Song With No Name [New Version] (4:11) *
  6. Counterforce (2:59)
  7. Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry (5:57)
  8. And That’s No Lie (6:00)
  9. Sunset Now (5:17)

‡ Exclusive mix to this cassette release.
* Cassette only tracks, but available elsewhere on CD.


‘Endless’ on CD

The CD edition of ‘Endless’ (Virgin CDV 2383, from 1986) contains only 12 tracks, compared to the cassette edition’s 16 – perhaps due to the limited amount of time that CDs played for back then?

  1. Heaven 17 Megamix [DJ Mix [Megamixed By] – Sanny X.] (7:51)
  2. We Live So Fast (6:08)
  3. Penthouse And Pavement [Remix – John Potoker] (6:34)
  4. Let Me Go (6:47)
  5. Temptation (4:40)
  6. Who’ll Stop The Rain (6:07)
  7. (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (4:15)
  8. Let’s All Make A Bomb [New Version] (5:09)
  9. Counterforce (2:59)
  10. Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry (5:57)
  11. And That’s No Lie (6:00)
  12. Sunset Now (5:17)

Amongst those other variations already mentioned in passing are different mixes of ‘Let Me Go’ (which includes extra acapella vocals at the start, really quite beautiful) and ‘We Live So Fast’, with its speeding up rhythm at the start.

Heaven 17 'Endless' CD - cover and CD disc label design

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ CD – cover and CD disc label design

Heaven 17 'Endless' CD - cover and CD rear case

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ CD – cover and CD rear case


Another compilation and another unique mix of ‘Play To Win’…

In passing, also worth highlighting yet another mix of ‘Play To Win’ that is out there… to be found first of of all (I think) on this 1992 budget price CD compilation, ‘The Best Of Heaven 17’ (Virgin VIP VVIPD 118). Amongst the more familiar tracks by the band, this compilation features a 3’25” mix of ‘Play To Win’ that is unlike any other vocal mix – straight from the start it is clearly a different arrangement – starts off resembling the 7″ mix of ‘Play’, but the vocals start up pretty quick. Despite the budget range slung together artwork, look out for it, its a nice mix.

Heaven 17 'The Best Of' CD - cover and CD label design

^ Heaven 17 ‘The Best Of’ CD – cover and CD label design

Heaven 17 'The Best Of' CD - cover and CD rear case

^ Heaven 17 ‘The Best Of’ CD – cover and CD rear case

Many of the hitherto unavailable on CD mixes can be found gathered up on the ‘Play To Win (The Virgin Years)’ boxed set – but, because of the mix-up with the various mis-presssings when it came out, I passed on buying that until such time as it was all sorted out and new stock was issued – but looks to have passed me by altogether now and is nowhere to be found for other than inflated prices – oh well! You snooze, you lose…

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