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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, they rechristened themselves the Human League after enlisting vocalist Philip Oakey. The trio soon recorded a demo, and played their first live dates; they soon tapped Adrian Wright as their "Director of Visuals," and his slide shows quickly became a key component of their performances.

Signing with the indie label Fast, in 1978 the Human League issued their first single, "Being Boiled"; a minor underground hit, it was followed by a tour in support of Siouxsie & the Banshees. After a 1979 EP, 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 the British Electronic Foundation. Their departure forced Wright to begin learning to play the synthesizer; at the same time, Oakey recruited bassist Ian Burden as well as a pair of schoolgirls, 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 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 the classic single "Don't You Want Me," from the 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 remix disc, Love and Dancing, the Human League finally issued 1983's Fascination! EP, scoring 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 failed to capitalize on its comeback success, disappearing from the charts for the remainder of the decade.

When the Human League finally returned in 1990 with Romantic?, their chart momentum had again dissipated, and 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; now a trio consisting of Oakey, Sulley, and Catherall, they ultimately signed with the EastWest label, teaming 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 considerable press coverage, which saw the group update its early sound. Four years later, they released Live at the Dome. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

This is the s**t . Memories
Can you put the lyrics please!
I guess we are in charge of our own lyrics! GRRR

You were working as a waitress at a cocktail bar...
I remember this one when I was a child!!! love the 80's
I'm only human !!
Vice city lol
Vice City!
yeah i think its ok
bobcruzjr
What? No mention of the group's hit Electric Dreams??? Who wrote this bio???!!!
Awesome! !!!!
The Human League re cool:oD
Cool : )
A shy kid, coming to university In America, this song broke down the closet door and set me free!
jennymancina
Dont you want me baby!
I love human and don't you want me
Love the 80's - best music EVER!!!
I can't delete it I don't know how :(
Me skinsmimsskk d n i n d i n d i d n i n s i n i d i n i n i n s i i n d i j
'ljkihiougti 6 r f y u 4 5 i 8 - l o k u g t y 5 e 5 3 q 2 o u p
What comes around goes . .....
you like this band, you should check out my band pooping with papa
I was working as a cocktail in a waitress bar.......
I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.... Great song.
Don't you want me? Jimmy dancing LOL! Nice 80's dancing LOL
811432216
I meant greatest intro not greates - me so stopid! Oooh! Shout! Another greatly tune from the greatest of all music decades, the 1880's! Good night goody badwife!!
811432216
Greates intro rivaled only by orange crush intro- I am genius- graduated 6th grade! That's 12 years of schoolin!
I loved when Jimmy lip sang to this and danced like the 80's LMAO!
jjetsco
Sucks
Everyone wants anyone in the human leagw
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of the life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Vice City Stories, The Wave 103
kiss your hand 5 times and post this 2 times on other songs and then look under your pillow
septuranus
I love the 80's rock radio
I'm only human made to make mistakes
cmcsasssass
Don't read this because it actually happens . You will be kissed by your love by the nearest Friday. Tomorrow
will be the best day of your life. Now that you started reading this don't stop. Post this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. If you don't post this you will die in the next 2 days. When your done press f6 then your lovers name will be on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually real.
garrettk849
I like this song !!!!!!!!!!!! ! :)
I wanted the girls in this band...who didn't?
annaeka.perk i n s
real music.....
Keep feeling fascination. . . a w e s o m e song way cool 80's band!
Love this song and band. Bring back bands like this record companies. The 80's was the best time of my life.
They cut this off mid-song!!!! I hate it when you do this, Pandora!!!
This is my jam
I love this song
Love this! :) So awesome! :) Follow me please. :)
vic_dlg
Love the 80s and love my favorite show in the 80s
On top of their game until the break-up
Hot song
p.laine1811
They invented music!
k_nixon8
One of the numbers played in my aerobics classes!
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