Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Let Me Go” by Heaven 17 from the album The Luxury Gap
Third week of December, 1982

These little passages that we attach to these Shreek generally either invoke a memory or some interpretation of the song or even something specifically technical about the song. However, there are times that I’ll come across a song that I have no specific recollection of at all. I’ll search my brain and come up with bupkes. So, let this Shreek serve you with a look into the process of putting them together.

The first thing that I’ll generally do is go to allmusic, to verify the album information and song title. If there’s a review on allmusic (generally unlikely), I’ll read through that to get a sense of what the song is about. My next step is to go to God: Google. I’ll query the artist and the song name and look for any pertinent information. Finally, I’ll check Amazon for the CD’s availability (whether the discs are even still in print) and for the reviews of the people that enjoy the music (the zealots tend to come out in there). And it’ll render something like this (I’ll keep it short):

It’s difficult to call this song a classic, as someone that works for allmusic feels the need to. Though information abounds about the members of Heaven 17 (there appears to be a good deal of crossbreeding with Human League), the general consensus seems to be that calling any song that Heaven 17 released “a classic” would be misguided. I have no recollection of this song, and putting that aside for the moment, it seems outrageous that the general web population has little recollection either. A classic would surely have more notoriety (good or bad) than the audio tape of Billy Joel’s “Temptation” that I recorded in the 5th grade.

Classics tend to hold up over time. And while “Let Me Go” provides us with further insight into, and nostalgia for, the synthesized music of the early-1980s, it seems quaint to listen to now, almost like a relic. This song does not hold up. It sounds ridiculous, or more accurately, like every other song released in Britain from 1980-1984. It takes a lot to stand out above Depeche Mode and Joy Division and this song doesn’t. But don’t despair, Heaven 17, not many do.

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