Originally a post punk
synthesiser group from Sheffield
, the Human League
released their first single, "Being Boiled" c/w "Circus Of Death" on Bob Last's Fast Product
record label in 1978
. Shortly afterwards, they signed up with Virgin Records
, and by the early 1980s
had become a successful British electropop
band. When Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware left to form Heaven 17
it seemed that Phil Oakey and Adrian Wright, the sole remaining group members, would be unable to sustain the band, which, just before the split, were beginning to achieve wider popularity.
Above: cover of the Human League's first single released in 1978
However, they recruited bass player Ian Burden, and famously fronted the band with two singers, Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall, whom they had met dancing in a club. Apparently re-energized by the split, the band went on to record their breakthrough album Dare, and have many chart successes.
The band achieved a brief spell of success in the early 1980s with their style of Synth pop music, their most famous single "Don't You Want Me" reached number one in the UK charts during the Christmas of 1981 and was one of the biggest selling singles of that year.
The band also had a number of other hits (see below) but their success faded towards the middle of the 1980s.
Human League singles include:
- "The Dignity of Labour"
- "Empire State Human"
- "Love Action"
- "Sound Of The Crowd"
- "Don't You Want Me"
- "Open Your Heart''
- "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"
- "The Lebanon
- "Mirror Man"
- "Together In Electric Dreams" was a solo single for Oakey rather than the whole League, but has been included on Human League albums as if it were by the whole band.
The band still exists though is now mainly seen in 80s revival shows.
A Human League fan site