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The Human League

Synth pop's first international superstars, the Human League were among the earliest and most innovative bands to break into the pop mainstream on a wave of synthesizers and electronic rhythms, their marriage of infectious melodies and state-of-the-art technology proving enormously influential on countless acts following in their wake. The group was formed in Sheffield, England in 1977 by synth players Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh, who'd previously teamed as the duo Dead Daughters. Following a brief tenure as the Future, a period during which they added and lost synthesizer player Adi Newton and enlisted vocalist Philip Oakey, they rechristened themselves the Human League. The trio recorded a demo and played their first live dates. The slide presentations of "director of visuals" Adrian Wright quickly became a key component of their performances.

After they signed with the indie label Fast, the Human League issued their first single, "Being Boiled," in 1978. A minor underground hit, it was followed by a tour in support of Siouxsie & the Banshees. After a 1979 EP, the instrumental The Dignity of Labour, the group released its first full-length effort, Reproduction, a dark, dense work influenced largely by Kraftwerk. Travelogue followed the next year and reached the U.K. Top 20. Still, internal tensions forced Ware and Marsh to quit the group in late 1980, at which time they formed Heaven 17. Their departure forced Wright to learn to play the synthesizer; at the same time, Oakey recruited bassist Ian Burden as well as a pair of teenagers, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall, to handle additional vocal duties.

The first single from the revamped Human League, 1981's "Boys and Girls," reached the British Top 50. Recorded with producer Martin Rushent, the slicker follow-up "Sound of the Crowd" fell just shy of the Top Ten. Their next single, "Love Action," reached number three, and after adding ex-Rezillo Jo Callis, the League issued "Open Your Heart," another hit. Still, their true breakthrough was "Don't You Want Me." The classic single, as well as parent album Dare!, both topped their respective charts in England, and went on to become major hits in the U.S. as well. A tour of the States followed, but new music was extremely slow in forthcoming. After a Rushent remix disc, Love and Dancing, the Human League finally issued 1983's Fascination! EP and scored a pair of hits with "Mirror Man" and "(Keep Feeling) Fascination."

The much-anticipated full-length Hysteria finally surfaced in mid-1984, heralding a more forceful sound than earlier Human League releases. The record failed to match the massive success of Dare!, however, with the single "The Lebanon" earning insignificant airplay. The group soon went on indefinite hiatus, and Oakey recorded a 1985 solo LP with famed producer Giorgio Moroder titled simply Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder. To the surprise of many, the Human League resurfaced in 1986 with Crash, produced by the duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The plaintive lead single "Human" soon topped the U.S. charts, but the group didn't capitalize on the comeback success and disappeared from the charts for the remainder of the decade.

When the Human League finally returned in 1990 with Romantic?, their commercial momentum had again dissipated. The single "Heart Like a Wheel" barely managed to rise into the Top 40. The record was the band's last with longtime label Virgin. As a trio consisting of Oakey, Sulley, and Catherall, they ultimately signed with the EastWest label and teamed with producer Ian Stanley for 1995's Octopus. The album went largely unnoticed both at home and overseas, with the single "Stay with Me Tonight" issued solely in the U.K.

A resurgent interest in synth pop and post-punk during the early 2000s enabled the group's 2001 album Secrets, which saw the group update its early sound, considerable press coverage. In 2002, previously unreleased recordings of the Future and the embryonic Human League were compiled for The Golden Hour of the Future. Steady touring continued for several years, as documented on Live at the Dome. Additionally, there were performances of Dare! in its entirety and a Steel City Tour with Heaven 17 and fellow Sheffield natives ABC. The Human League remained connected to their local roots in the studio as well. Credo, released in 2011, was produced by fellow Sheffield natives I Monster. The career-spanning anthology A Very British Synthesizer Group was issued five years later, promoted with performance dates across Europe. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Anthology: A Very British Synthesizer Group (Deluxe)

Disc 1

1. Being Boiled (Fast Version)

2. The Dignity Of Labour (Part 3)

3. Empire State Human

4. Only After Dark

5. Nightclubbing

6. Boys And Girls

7. The Sound Of The Crowd (Instrumental)

8. Hard Times

9. Love Action (I Believe In Love) (Edit)

10. Open Your Heart

11. Don't You Want Me

12. Mirror Man

13. You Remind Me Of Gold

14. (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Extended Version)

15. The Lebanon (7'' Version)

16. Louise (DJ Edit)

Disc 2

1. Life On Your Own (Single Version)

2. Human (Extended Version)

3. I Need Your Loving (DJ Edit)

4. Love Is All That Matters (DJ Edit)

5. Heart Like A Wheel (William Orbit Remix)

6. Soundtrack To A Generation (Edit)

7. Tell Me When (Edit)

8. One Man In My Heart

9. Filling Up With Heaven

10. Stay With Me Tonight

11. All I Ever Wanted (Radio Edit)

12. Night People (Radio Edit/2016 Edit)

13. Never Let Me Go

14. Sky (Radio Edit)

x

Track List: Night People

1. Night People (Single Version)

2. Night People (Cerrone Club Mix)

x

Track List: Night People (Single)

1. Night People

x

Track List: Don't You Want Me (Single)

1. Don't You Want Me

2. Seconds

x

Track List: Original Remixes & Rarities

1. Being Boiled (Album Version)

2. The Sound Of The Crowd (12'' Version)

3. Hard Times (Love Action B-Side)

4. Non-Stop (Open Your Heart B-Side)

5. Don't You Want Me (Special Extended Dance Mix)

6. Mirror Man (Extended Version)

7. You Remind Me Of Gold (Mirror Man B-Side)

8. (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Improvisation)

9. Total Panic (Fascination B-Side)

10. The Lebanon (12'' Extended)

11. Life On Your Own (Extended)

12. Together In Electric Dreams (Extended)

13. Human (Extended Version)

14. Heart Like A Wheel (Extended Mix)

x

Track List: The Human League: The Very Best Of

1. Don't You Want Me

2. Love Action (I Believe In Love)

3. Open Your Heart

4. The Sound Of The Crowd

5. Mirror Man

6. (Keep Feeling) Fascination

7. The Lebanon

8. Life On Your Own

9. Together In Electric Dreams

10. Louise

11. Human

12. Heart Like A Wheel

13. Tell Me When

14. One Man In My Heart

15. All I Ever Wanted

16. Being Boiled

17. Empire State Human

x

Track List: The Very Best Of The Human League

1. Don't You Want Me

2. Love Action (I Believe In Love)

3. Mirror Man

4. (Keep Feeling) Fascination

5. Tell Me When

6. Stay With Me Tonight

7. Human

8. Together In Electric Dreams

9. Heart Like A Wheel

10. One Man In My Heart

11. Being Boiled

12. The Lebanon

x

Track List: Octopus

1. Tell Me When

2. These Are The Days

3. One Man In My Heart

4. Words

5. Filling Up With Heaven

6. Housefull Of Nothing

7. John Cleese; Is He Funny?

8. Never Again

9. Cruel Young Lover

x

Track List: The Greatest Hits

1. Don't You Want Me (Original Version)

2. Love Action (I Believe In Love)

3. Mirror Man

4. Tell Me When

5. Stay With Me Tonight

6. Open Your Heart

7. (Keep Feeling) Fascination

8. The Sound Of The Crowd

9. Being Boiled

10. The Lebanon (7'' Version)

11. Love Is All That Matters (Edit)

12. Louise

13. Life On Your Own

14. Together In Electric Dreams

15. Human (Edit)

16. Don't You Want Me (Snap 7'' Remix)

x

Track List: Crash

1. Money

2. Swang

3. Human

4. Jam

5. Are You Ever Coming Back?

6. I Need Your Loving

7. Party

8. Love On The Run

9. The Real Thing

10. Love Is All That Matters

11. Human (Extended Version)

12. I Need Your Loving (Extended Version)

13. Love Is All That Matters (Extended Version)

x

Track List: Hysteria

1. I'm Coming Back

2. I Love You Too Much

3. Rock Me Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again

4. Louise

5. The Lebanon

6. Betrayed

7. The Sign

8. So Hurt

9. Life On Your Own

10. Don't You Know I Want You

11. Thirteen

12. The World Tonight

13. The Lebanon (12'' Extended)

14. Life On Your Own (Extended)

15. The Sign (Extended Remix)

x

Track List: Fascination!

2. Mirror Man

3. Hard Times (Instrumental Version)

4. I Love You Too Much

5. You Remind Me Of Gold

6. (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Improvisation)

7. I Love You Too Much (Dub Version)

x

Track List: Dare

1. The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

2. Open Your Heart

3. The Sound Of The Crowd

4. Darkness

5. Do Or Die

6. Get Carter

7. I Am The Law

8. Seconds

9. Love Action (I Believe In Love)

10. Don't You Want Me

11. Hard Times

12. Non-Stop

x

Track List: Dare/Fascination!

Disc 1

1. The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

2. Open Your Heart

3. The Sound Of The Crowd

4. Darkness

5. Do Or Die

6. Get Carter

7. I Am The Law

8. Seconds

9. Love Action (I Believe In Love)

10. Don't You Want Me

11. The Sound Of The Crowd (12'' Version)

12. Don't You Want Me (Extended Dance Mix)

13. The Sound Of The Crowd (Instrumental)

14. Open Your Heart/Non-Stop (Instrumental)

15. Don't You Want Me (Alternative Version)

Disc 2

1. Hard Times/Love Action (I Believe In Love) (Instrumental)

2. Mirror Man

3. You Remind Me Of Gold

4. (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Extended Version)

5. I Love You Too Much

6. Mirror Man (Extended Version)

7. You Remind Me Of Gold (Instrumental)

8. (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Improvisation)

9. I Love You Too Much (Dub Version)

10. Total Panic

x

Track List: Reproduction (Remastered)

1. Almost Medieval

2. Circus Of Death

3. The Path Of Least Resistance

4. Blind Youth

5. The Word Before Last

6. Empire State Human

7. Morale.../You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

8. Austerity/Girl One (Medley)

9. Zero As A Limit

10. Introducing

11. The Dignity Of Labour (Part 1)

12. The Dignity Of Labour (Part 2)

13. The Dignity Of Labour (Part 3)

14. The Dignity Of Labour (Part 4)

15. Flexi Disc

16. Being Boiled (Fast Version)

17. Circus Of Death (Fast Version)

Comments

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♻️⚪️♻️⚪️♻️⚪️
Report as inappropriate
What is earth ? What is anything ?

Thee universe, thee planets ? What ?

Nothing, oh yes, we will be nothing❗️

We's needs tuh start rejuvenating our

planet, how, u say ? You can start with something simple like LED lights, solar panels, electric, OUR EARTH IS MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD⚪️CAR/VEH I C L E EMMISIONS ARE 100 years old , hmmm, just something to think about :)
Report as inappropriate
♻️✨♻️✨♻️✨♻️✨
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Yeah this song is not bad
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I loved this song when it hit the radio!!!!��
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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alabastervil l i s 0
I thank the lord that I was into heavy metal when this plastic crappy song came out, years later im still into metal
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000000000000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Report as inappropriate
Still a hit in 2017
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Oh yes! I love this group! Even since high school.
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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13 going on 30 with jennifer Garner, mark Ruffalo and Judy Greer I like Jena with Matty more. They made a cuter couple in the movie. Their wedding was so adorable towards the end of the movie.
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I'M.......ON L Y HUMAN!!!!!!? X X X X X O O O O O X X X O O O O X X O O O
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I just LOVE!! the human League!!! they're music is Awesome!!
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Oh the tears are coming damn
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Lol
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This song always makes me time travel, never fails.
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don't u want me baby? the 80's were so nostalgic for me in my teens. i recall it well. New Wave replaced the Punk of the 70's. Human League represented and defined that decade.
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spdhaze
I had an Aunt that absolutely loved this song. It always reminds me of her 8)
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1981...1982 right??
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Great music!
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Ah, the Second British Invasion
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sundownergir l 1 0
80s. Wow
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Love this song. london invasion in the 80's was great music
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I can't believe I'm still stuck on the last century. Great music then and yet we all lived without cell phones....an d no Pandora, I guess change is good in some cases. ������
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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johnmargie6
The English 80's invasion was great music.
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right now this song hits the mark overtime for me
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candythecoug a r
This song is everlasting. . . . . .
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Don't you want me baby��������
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Good times in the military '86
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Cool.
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dqweenb13
You gotta love a song when you can close your eyes and remember exactly what you where doing when you first heard it. 80's will live for ever.
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Good.
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Human(extend e d version)��
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junegemini44
I like the beat
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Remix rrrrit Don't You Want Me
Wooooooooo ha ha
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❤❤❤❤❤
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The video is also awesome it totally fits with the song unlike other songs.
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mickeytheplu m b e r
Your song is never bad this is his doter so a kid likes your muysic
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mickeytheplu m b e r
Wat ever bad things people say about your song is rong
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mickeytheplu m b e r
Don't you want me meow meow meow meow meow is a silly way by the way great song
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Good memories...n o t h i n g like the 80's
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Is good music not much to say 80 it was the best time
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@cinemadude Not until now, lol.
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GREAT song...aweso m e band, but damn, doesn't anyone hear this as a freakin STALKING song with the protagonist being a VERY disturbed, probably homicidal lunatic? And you better agree with me or we'll both be SORRY!!
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lpaulae
Awesome 80s song.
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I remember when this song came out! I miss the music of the 80s.
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