Taking their name from the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange, the U.K. techno-pop trio Heaven 17 grew out of the experimental dance project the British Electric Foundation, itself an offshoot of the electro-pop outfit Human League. The core of Heaven 17 was originally comprised of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, a pair of onetime computer operators who first teamed in 1977 as the Dead Daughters, a duo that integrated synthesizer patterns with a heavy reliance on tape loops. Soon, Ware and Marsh were joined by Philip Oakey and Adi Newton and changed their name to the Human League, where they remained before exiting together in 1980.
In 1996, a re-formed Heaven 17 returned with Bigger Than America and embarked on a tour, documented by the Live at Last CD released in 1999. The studio effort Before After was issued in 2005; the following year Marsh disappeared from the group’s live lineup, and by 2008 it was confirmed that he had left the band. The group soldiered on as a vehicle for Ware and Gregory, however (and with an expanded role for former backup singer Billie Godfrey), releasing the Naked as Advertised CD — including one new song and re-recordings of early tracks by both Heaven 17 and the Human League — on the Just Music label in 2009 following a tour held in December of the previous year. ~ Jason Ankeny