As a Sheffield native Glenn Gregory was naturally very aware of Human League, who also hail from the town. So, when the original incarnation of that band broke up, and Martyn Ware asked him to join Heaven 17, a new band resulting from the break-up, he of course said yes. The pair were joined by Ian Craig who had also been a founding member of Human League.
It took them a while to find their feet. Their first album Penthouse and Pavement in 1981 didn’t produce any track that broke the top 40 in the UK or Ireland, although the album itself charted. However, the release of their second offering The Luxury Gap in 1982 finally saw them take their place in the charts. The lead single from it Let Me Go hit number 26 in Ireland and began Irish audience’s love affair with them. It was the third release from that album which really made their name. Temptation hit number 3 in Ireland and number 2 in the UK turning them into bona fide pop stars.
The female vocals on the track were provided by Carol Kenyon who continued to work with the band on the later albums Pleasure One and Teddy Bear, Duke & Psycho.
The follow up single Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry kept their chart roll going, reaching number 10 in Ireland and number 17 in the UK. It was the final single to be taken from that album.
Their third album How Men Are hit shelves in 1984. Never ones to shy away from collaborations the album featured the brass section from R&B legends Earth, Wind And Fire. The debut single taken from the LP Sunset Now reached number 18 in Ireland and number 24 in the UK. It also featured on the fourth installment of the Now That’s What I Call Music series!
That same year Glenn was one of the vocalists on Do They Know It’s Christmas?, singing the line “No rain nor rivers flow”. However, they didn’t perform the global Live Aid concert the following year and until 1997 their live performances were extremely minimal and they were very much a studio band.
In 1986 they released their fourth studio album Pleasure One which contained a number of songs that were originally intended for a French film project that never came to fruition. Although some of the singles released were minor chart hits elsewhere it failed to yield a charting single in Ireland. It would be six years before they hit the Irish charts again with the Brothers In Rhythm remix of Temptation hitting number 9 and staying in the charts for five weeks. The song is still considered a dancefloor classic.
Although their heyday was over the band and Glenn remained very active. Ian Marsh left the group in 1997, leaving Glenn and Martyn flying the flag. Away from Heaven 17 Glenn is also very busy and has established a career in soundtrack music, writing for radio, TV and film. He creates scores in a private studio built at the bottom of his garden.
Heaven 17 played at our first Forever Young festival in 2019 and we are really looking forward to welcoming Glenn back playing as part of the British Electric foundation.
Glenn Gregory plays the ‘Forever Young’ festival in Palmerstown House Estate on Sunday July 16th 2023 as part of the British Electric Foundation line up. ‘Forever Young’ is a three-day celebration of the music of the 1980s featuring artists such as Andy Bell (Erasure), Bananarama, Squeeze, Billy Ocean, Tony Hadley, ABC and many more.
Full line-up and tickets are available here