Friday, September 17, 2010

The Human League

The Human League are an English electronic new wave band formed in Sheffield, England in 1977. They achieved popularity after a key change in line-up in the early 1980s and have continued recording and performing with moderate commercial success throughout the 1980s up to the present day. The only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter Philip Oakey. Originally an avant-garde all-male synthesizer-based group, they evolved into a commercially successful synthpop outfit under Oakey's leadership, yielding the group's biggest-selling album, Dare (1981). Since 1987, the band has essentially been a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (who joined the band in 1980), with various sidemen. The Human League has influenced many electro-pop, other synthpop, and mainstream acts including Madonna, La Roux, Moby, Pet Shop Boys, and Little Boots. They have been sampled and covered by various artists including Utah Saints, Ministry of Sound, Craig David, George Michael, KMFDM, and Robbie Williams. Since 1978, The Human League have released 8 studio albums, 26 singles (including eight UK Top 10 singles with two #1 singles in the U.S./UK) and played over 350 live concerts. The band have sold more than 20 million records worldwide.

Reproduction (1979)

Reproduction is The Human League's debut album, released in October, 1979 through Virgin Records. Reproduction contains nine tracks of electronic music/synthpop and was recorded during six weeks at The Human League's studio in Sheffield. The recordings were produced by Colin Thurston, who had previously worked on some key new wave recordings such as Iggy Pop's Lust for Life and the first Magazine album, and would go on to produce numerous hit albums of the 1980s, most notably for Duran Duran. The album was a commercial failure upon its initial release in October 1979, but it was re-issued and charted almost two years later in August 1981, earning a Silver disc by the end of the year and peaking at # 34 in early 1982. The album spent a total of 23 weeks on the album chart and was later certified Gold by the BPI in 1988. The only single released from the album was "Empire State Human" which initially failed to chart, but was re-released in June 1980 (with a free single taken from the band's second album Travelogue) and reached #62. The band's debut single from 1978, "Being Boiled", was not included on the original release of Reproduction, but was added as an extra track on all CD issues from the late 1980s onwards. A re-recorded version of that single's B-side, "Circus of Death", was however included on the album. The album also features The Human League's cover version of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", a hit single back in 1965 for The Righteous Brothers. The album was composed and engineered by The Human League (Oakey/Ware/Marsh) and Bob Last. The only single released from this album was Empire State Human (#62 U.K., 1980). Being Boiled, though not originally included in this album is another single from this album (#6 U.K., 1982).


1-) Almost Medieval.
2-) Circus of Death.
3-) The Paths of Least Resistance.
4-) Blind Youth.
5-) The Word Before Last.
6-) Empire State Human.
7-) Morale…You've Lost That Loving Feeling.
8-) Austerity/Girl One (Medley).
9-) Zero As a Limit.
10-) Introducing (CD only).
11-) The Dignity of Labour Part I (CD only).
12-) The Dignity of Labour Part II (CD only).
13-) The Dignity of Labour Part III (CD only).
14-) The Dignity of Labour Part IV (CD only).
15-) Flexidisc. (CD only).
16-) Being Boiled (Fast version) (CD only).
17-) The Circus of Death (Fast version) (CD only).


Travelogue (1980)

Travelogue is The Human League's second studio album, released on May, 1980. The band had yet to achieve any degree of commercial success. For Travelogue, the band worked with a new producer, Richard Mainwaring, who went on to produce OMD's platinum selling Architecture & Morality the following year. Travelogue entered the UK album chart at #16, which was also its chart peak, and remained on the chart for 9 weeks in 1980. Although a vast improvement on their debut album, Reproduction, which had failed to chart at all the year before, the lack of high success precipitated the departure of founding band members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who went on to form Heaven 17. Their departure led to remaining members Phil Oakey and Adrian Wright moving The Human League in a new musical direction with a new line-up. As the new band then began to make a commercial impact the following year, Travelogue re-entered the chart in August 1981 for a further 33 weeks, eventually being certified Gold by the BPI in May 1982. Two songs were released as singles from the album; a new version of the band's first single, "Being Boiled" (as part of the Holiday '80 EP released a month before the album), and a cover of Mick Ronson's "Only After Dark" (which was ultimately given away as a free single with a re-issue of the band's 1979 single "Empire State Human" in June 1980). Neither of these were successful, though "Being Boiled" would be re-issued once again in early 1982 when it finally became a top 10 hit. The album also featured a cover of the famed advertising jingle for Gordon's Gin, written by Jeff Wayne. Virgin Records remastered and re-issued Travelogue on CD in 1988, with an expanded track listing which included the Holiday '80 EP, the disco single "I Don't Depend on You" (originally released under the moniker "The Men"), and the single "Boys and Girls", which had been produced by Oakey and Wright after the line-up split. The singles released from this album were: Only After Dark and Being Boiled (#6 U.K., 1982).


1-) The Black Hit of Space.
2-) Only After Dark.
3-) Life Kills.
4-) Dreams of Leaving.
5-) Toyota City.
6-) Crow and a Baby.
7-) The Touchables.
8-) Gordon's Gin.
9-) Being Boiled.
10-) WXJL Tonight.
11-) Marianne (CD only).
12-) Dancevision (CD only).
13-) Rock 'n' Roll/Night Clubbing (CD only).
14-) Tom Baker (CD only).
15-) Boys and Girls (CD only).
16-) I Don't Depend on You. (CD only).
17-) Cruel (CD only).

Dare (1981)

Dare (or Dare! in the U.S.) is The Human League's third studio album, released on October 20, 1981. The style of the album is the result of the rapid evolution of The Human League from experimental avant-garde electronic group into a commercial pop group under Philip Oakey's creative direction following the departure of fellow founding members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh and later inclusion of background vocalists, the teenagers and close friends, Joanne Catherall and Susanne Sulley. Dare became critically acclaimed and has proved to be a genre-defining album, whose influence can be felt in many areas of pop music today. The album and its four singles were hugely successful commercially, with the album reaching #1 in the UK and being certified Triple Platinum by the BPI. The singles released from this album were: The Sound of the Crowd (#12 U.K.), Love Action (I Believe in Love) (#3 U.K.), Open Your Heart (#6 U.K.), and Don't You Want Me? (#1 U.K., #1 U.S.).

Human League - Don't You Want Me
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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?


Fascination! (1983)

Fascination! is The Human League's EP released in 1983, to fill the gap between the studio albums Dare and Hysteria. Fascination! contains six tracks, including two versions of their single "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" as well as "Mirror Man", both of which were hits in the UK and the U.S. Also included is "Hard Times", which was originally the B-side of their 1981 hit "Love Action" and also appears on the band's 1982 remix album Love and Dancing. The featured version of "I Love You Too Much" is an earlier version of the song that would later be released on the band's Hysteria album in 1984. The singles released from this EP were: Mirror Man (#2 U.K., #30 U.S.), and (Keep Feeling) Fascination (#2 U.K., #8 U.S.).

The Human League - (Keep Feeling) Fascination
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1-) (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Extended Version).
2-) Mirror Man (Extended Version).
3-) Hard Times.
4-) I Love You Too Much.
5-) You Remind Me of Gold.
6-) (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Improvisation).


Hysteria (1984)

Hysteria is The Human League's fourth studio album, released in May, 1984. Following the worldwide success of their 1981 album Dare, the band struggled to make a successful follow-up and the sessions for Hysteria were fraught with problems. The album name itself is taken from the problematic recording period. Producers Martin Rushent and Chris Thomas both left the project which would eventually be finished by producer Hugh Padgham. By the time Hysteria was released, three years had passed since Dare and the album met with relatively lacklustre success in comparison to its multi-platinum predecessor. Three singles from the album made the top-twenty of the UK singles chart but first single The Lebanon was the only song to chart in the U.S., stalling at number sixty-four on the Billboard Hot 100. The album peaked at number three in the UK, later being certified Gold. In 2005 Hysteria was remastered and re-issued with B-sides and extended mixes as bonus tracks. The singles released from this album were: The Lebanon (#11 U.K.), Life on Your Own (#16 U.K.), and Louise (#13 U.K.).


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 (Six Times).
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.


Crash (1986)

Crash is The Human League's fifth studio album, released in September, 1986. Unlike the band’s previous and subsequent albums it is R&B influenced. This album was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who were responsible at the time for producing Janet Jackson's Control album. Crash would provide the band with their second US No 1 single "Human" the same year.The singles released from this album were: Human (#8 U.K., #1 U.S.), I Need Your Loving (#44 U.S.), and Love Is All That Matters (#41 U.K., 1988).

The Human League - Human
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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.

Romantic? (1990)

Romantic? is The Human League's sixth studio album, released in September, 1990 through Virgin Records. Romantic? had several producers, most notably Martin Rushent, who worked with the Human League on their biggest commercial success (Dare!) and had walked out of the recording sessions for its follow-up (Hysteria). Also producing several tracks is Mark Brydon, who would found Moloko several years later. The album was not critically well received, many critics proclaiming the album's sound as "dated". The only significant success came from the album's first single "Heart Like a Wheel", which peaked at No. 29 in the UK singles chart and No. 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The second single "Soundtrack to a Generation" charted at No. 77 in the UK. As a result, the band's long-standing contract with Virgin Records was terminated. The Human League then moved to East West Records to release their next album, 1995's Octopus. The singles released from this album were: Heart Like a Wheel (#29 U.K., #32 U.S.), and Soundtrack to a Generation (#77 U.K.).


1-) Kiss the Future.
2-) A Doorway.
3-) Heart Like a Wheel.
4-) Men Are Dreamers.
5-) Mister Moon and Mister Sun.
6-) Soundtrack to a Generation.
7-) Rebound.
8-) The Stars Are Going Out.
9-) Let's Get Together Again.
10-) Get It Right This Time.

Octopus (1995)

Octopus is The Human League's seventh studio album, released on January 27, 1995. It was produced by former Tears for Fears keyboardist Ian Stanley and released by EastWest Records in 1995. It was the first new album from the Human League in five years after the termination of their long-term contract with Virgin Records. Octopus was the first Human League album which presented the band as a trio consisting of singers Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. Former Human League member Jo Callis and Keyboard player Neil Sutton also contributed to the writing of the album. The album's sound is notable for the nearly-exclusive use of analog synthesizers, a marked change from the band's primarily "digital" sound in the mid-to-late 80s. Octopus saw a return to the public eye for The Human League, who had been out of the top ten since their 1986 album Crash. The first single "Tell Me When" received support from MTV in the UK and the U.S. and the song became the band's first top-ten hit in nine years, peaking at number six in the UK singles chart (the single also climbed to number thirty-one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100). The Octopus album also peaked at number six in the UK, becoming the Human League's sixth top-ten album. It was later certified Gold. The album's second single, "One Man in My Heart", was a ballad sung by Sulley which also reached the UK top-twenty and the third single from the album, "Filling up with Heaven", was also a top-forty UK hit. Although the album sold well and created a resurgence in interest in the band, East West Records went through a complete change in management and decided to cancel the band's contract as well as those of other established artists. It took the band another six years before they released a new album on a new label (Papillion Records). The singles released from this album were: Tell Me When (#6 U.K., #31 U.S.), One Man in My Heart (#13 U.K.), and Filling up with Heaven (#36 U.K.).


1-) Tell Me When.
2-) These Are the Days.
3-) One Man in My Heart.
4-) Words.
5-) Filling up with Heaven.
6-) Houseful of Nothing.
7-) John Cleese: Is He Funny?
8-) Never Again.
9-) Cruel Young Lover.

Secrets (2001)

Secrets is The Human League's eighth and so far last studio album, released on August 6, 2001 by Papillion Records. As with their previous album Octopus, the band was presented as a trio of singers Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (credited by her married name Susan Ann Gayle, which she would later drop professionally in October 2007), although band member Neil Sutton also contributed songwriting and keyboard parts. Secrets received a delayed release in the United States the following year. The album contains sixteen tracks, seven of which are short, instrumental transitional compositions. Upon its release Secrets earned positive reviews from music critics, although commercial success was hampered due to the bankruptcy of Papillon (a division of Chrysalis Records) shortly after its release. The first single "All I Ever Wanted" returned the Human League to the UK singles chart after a five year absence peaking at number forty-seven. After the collapse of Papillon Records; in 2003 a follow-up single from 'Secrets', "Love Me Madly?" was released privately by Michiel Van Bokhorst's Nukove Records, a company set up especially to release Human League records. The singles released from this album were: All I Ever Wanted (#47 U.K.) and Love Me Madly?


1-) All I Ever Wanted.
2-) Nervous (Instrumental).
3-) Love Me Madly?
4-) Shameless.
5-) 122.3 BPM (Instrumental).
6-) Never Give Your Heart.
7-) Ran (Instrumental).
8-) The Snake.
9-) Ringinglow. (Instrumental).
10-) Liar.
11-) Lament. (Instrumental).
12-) Reflections.
13-) Brute. (Instrumental).
14-) Sin City.
15-) Release (Instrumental).
16-) You'll Be Sorry.

The Human League Live at the Dome (2005)

The Human League Live at the Dome is The Human League's live album, released on July 18, 2005. This was recorded during a concert at the Brighton Dome, U.K on December 19, 2003. It was released as an enhanced digipak CD in the UK on July 18, 2005 by Secret Records Limited (distributed by Snapper Music). The album features singles and album tracks, spanning the years from their debut album release, 1979's Reproduction, to their most recent album, 2001's Secrets. Also included are three enhanced live video tracks. A DVD also called The Human League Live at the Dome (DVD) was released concurrently with the album, the DVD contains the full concert and bonus footage. The Cover artwork for both the album and DVD was by Stig Olsen.


1-) Medley: Hard Times/Love Action (I Believe in Love).
2-) Mirror Man.
3-) Louise.
4-) The Snake.
5-) Darkness.
6-) All I Ever Wanted.
7-) Open Your Heart.
8-) The Lebanon.
9-) Human.
10-) The Things That Dreams Are Made Of.
11-) (Keep Feeling) Fascination.
12-) Don't You Want Me?
13-) Together in Electric Dreams.

Credo (2011) (**NEW**)

Credo is The Human League's ninth studio album, released on March 21, 2011. It is their first studio album since Secrets in 2001. It has been produced by fellow Sheffield act I Monster and is released on Wall of Sound.The album will not receive worldwide distribution. Furthermore, 'Credo' will not be available domestically in the US or on iTunes in the US. The album charted to #44 in the U.K. The two singles that have been taken from this album, Night People and Never Let Me Go both failed to chart.


1-) Never Let Me Go.
2-) Night People.
3-) Sky.
4-) Into the Night.
5-) Egomaniac.
6-) Single Minded.
7-) Electric Shock.
8-) Get Together.
9-) Privilege.
10-) Breaking the Chains.
11-) When the Stars Start to Shine.



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