Monday, January 22, 2007

The Human League

Don't You Want Me

This list would not be complete without a strong entry from the band, The Human League. The Human League was an English synthpop band formed in 1977 and rocketed up the radio charts in the early 1980s.

The name "Human League" was derived from the game Starforce: Alpha Centauri, which was the second professionally published science fiction wargame, by SPI. In the game, the Human League arose in 2415 A.D., and was a frontier-oriented society that desired more independence from Earth and the terraforming of systems not naturally habitable.

During the top days of The Human League the band consisted of Philip Wright, Philip Oakey, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall.

In 1981, Virgin records paired them with former Stranglers producer Martin Rushent, and the first result was the single "The Sound of the Crowd", which saw them at last achieve success in the singles chart. Guitarist Jo Callis (formerly of The Rezillos) was now recruited to the band, and with Rushent at the helm, The Human League recorded their most successful album to date, Dare. It achieved huge success, fuelled by its further hit singles, "Open Your Heart", "Love Action/Hard Times" and most famously the above video, “Don’t You Want Me” which reached #1 in the UK charts during the Christmas of 1981 and was one of the biggest selling singles of that year, and it also charted at number one in the US during the summer of 1982.

In November 1982, their song "Mirror Man" reached #2 in the UK chart. The follow-up single released during April 1983, "Keep Feeling Fascination” peaked at number 2.
In May 1984 the band released the politically charged single, The Lebanon. Its rock guitar driven harder edge was a considerable and surprising departure from their previous material, and the single peaked at #11 in the UK. This was followed shortly after by the album "Hysteria", so called because of the difficult and tense recording process, it entered the UK charts at #3 however it climbed no further and critics and fans were divided by the new direction the band had taken.
However,later that year, success outside of the Human League came for Oakey in the shape of the huge hit single "Together In Electric Dreams", a collaboration with one of his idols, synth pioneer Giorgio Moroder. The track was taken from the film soundtrack to Electric Dreams and was to prove a massive hit.

The pair then recorded an album for Virgin, Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder, but this met with rather less success and the following two singles failed to make the UK Top 40. However the success of the Oakey & Moroder track encouraged the League's record label to release one final single from "Hysteria" in November 1984, the ballad "Louise" (UK #13).

In 1986, the group released the Crash album which featured an American number one single, “Human”.

The band still performs participating in 80’s revival tours and often performs to full venues throughout the UK. On September 22, 2006, the band performed on the ABC television show, Jimmy Kimmel Live.

External links
The Human League does not have an official Website.

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