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The Maisonettes

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England (1982 – 1984)

The Maisonettes was a one-hit band from England whose single, “Heartache Avenue”, reached number 7 on the UK Singles Chart in 1982. The song was later sampled by UK rap group Roll Deep, for the chorus on their UK Top 40 hit, “The Avenue”.

The Maisonettes’ oddness lay not so much in their hit as their combination of maverick indie record label beginnings with a semi-manufactured image that some indie purists might find crass. Their hit, “Heartache Avenue,” entered the UK chart in late 1982 and rose all the way up to number seven. Like most of the music they would record over the next year or two, it was fairly mainstream pop / rock with period early 1980s synthesizer-abetted production and a notable (but not overwhelming) 1960s soul-pop influence, with a particularly audible debt to Motown.

The song “Heartache Avenue” was discovered by David Virr in a pile of demo tapes in his office, and had been recorded in Birmingham by singer Lol Mason, guitarist Mark Tibenham, and session players Nick Parry (drums) and Mark Cunningham (bass). Virr decided to put it out on his own label, which he named Ready, Steady, Go! To fill out the band, two teenage models, Denise Ward and Elaine Williams, were recruited as backing singers (although “Heartache Avenue” had been recorded with entirely different women session vocalists).

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  • TroyTempest

    This is still magic, thirty years on.........

    1 Jan 2013 Reply
  • CDPETE01

    the singer in this band is the brother to somebody who used to work at "crossroads motel".

    16 May 2009 Reply
  • hobik

    I just love this band and think they're super underrated. I used to listen to their album "Maisonettes for Sale" when I drove to & from work, and it's rare that I like almost every single song a band does, but almost all of their songs are 5 stars for me!

    23 Apr 2009 Reply
  • Off456

    The Avenue

    15 Apr 2009 Reply
  • SnowedUndrChris

    So many good childhood memories for me thanks to this song. Just proves it's often QUALITY and not quantity (ie: ONE HIT can be WONDERful!!) that counts...

    9 Oct 2008 Reply
  • The_Cole_Train

    Love to Heartache Avenue!!!

    7 Jun 2008 Reply