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Heartache Avenue - The Very Best of the Maisonettes (Audio Version)

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Album Review

Despite a thorough sleeve note from David Virr (who ran the Maisonettes' label, Ready, Steady, Go!), there aren't any concrete details as to where and when each of these 19 tracks was released. It can be reasonably assumed, however, that all of them were recorded between 1982 and 1984, and include most or all of the songs from their singles and sole LP, as well as a few previously unreleased cuts. Although the Maisonettes were characterized as a '60s revival band in some of their U.K. press clips (several of which are reprinted in this package), really they sound far more like a fairly slick '80s pop band with some '60s soul-pop influences. As far as such acts go, they were neither too good nor too bad. Their romantically inclined songs were moderately catchy, but the mechanical-sounding slamming box lid percussion uncomfortably dates this, as do the slightly mannered vocals and some cheesy synthetic washes. It's rather sanitized British '80s pop with some superficial Motown influences and an occasional light trace of the Beach Boys. The Motown feel is especially present in some of the female backup vocals, which were a big part of their sole hit, "Heartache Avenue," included here in both its original version and a was-this-necessary? remix. "Heartache Avenue" might be the song people remember, but actually the best track is "Last One to Know," an uncharacteristically melancholy number with a light bossa nova swing and creative swirling effects (and not, oddly, released as a single). The CD also includes an enhanced video of the group performing "Heartache Avenue."

Customer Reviews


listening to the radio today when i heard this and i took me right back. the 1st track is a classic!! matt

maisonettes heartache avenue

i loved this retro style album

Last One To Know

I agree that this track is possibly the best on the album. It may not have been released as a single, but it does appear as the 'B'-side of the 'Heartache Avenue' single... and I seem to think that it's a better mix on the single than the one that appears here.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s

The Maisonettes were an odd one-hit band of the early '80s, the oddness lying not so much in their hit as their combination of maverick indie label beginnings with a semi-manufactured image that some indie purists might find crass. Their hit, "Heartache Avenue," entered the U.K. charts in late 1982 and rose all the way up to number seven. Like most of the music they'd record over the next year or two, it was fairly mainstream pop/rock with period early-'80s synthesizer-abetted production and a notable...
Full bio
Heartache Avenue - The Very Best of the Maisonettes (Audio Version), The Maisonettes
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Customer Ratings