The Human League are an English electronic New Wave band formed in Sheffield in 1977. The band had an early hit with "Being Boiled", but achieved stardom after a key change in line-up in 1980, releasing multiple international hits from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s. Dare (1981), the band's most popular album, yielded the single "Don't You Want Me", a No. 1 hit in the UK, US, and many other territories. Other international hits include: "Love Action", "Open Your Heart", "Mirror Man", "Fascination", "The Lebanon", "Human" (a US No. 1) and "Tell Me When".
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.
A Very British Synthesizer Group is a sound and vision anthology of multi-million-selling synth pioneers The Human League. Bringing together all of the hits as well as previously unreleased demos and edits it covers the entire history of the band from their emergence as futuristic outriders of a new post-punk sound, through the phenomenon of Dare and '80s chart dominance, their incredible '90s renaissance and ascendance to their current position as one of the most glorious and glamorous live acts in the country. Of the hit singles on CDs One and Two, seven appear as previously unreleased DJ edits, while Disc Three is comprised entirely of 17 exclusive and previously unreleased mixes.
Romantic? is the sixth studio album by the English synthpop band The Human League. It was issued by Virgin Records in 1990 and was the band's first album of new material in four years. Romantic? had several producers, most notably Martin Rushent, who worked with the Human League on their biggest commercial success (1981's Dare) and had walked out of the recording sessions for its 1984 follow-up (Hysteria). Also producing several tracks is Mark Brydon, who would found Moloko several years later.
The Very Best of the Human League is a DVD by veteran British Synthpop group The Human League, containing most of the band’s music videos recorded up to that point, digitally re-mastered. The only music video missing is Filling up with Heaven from 1995 which was excluded due to a licensing fee dispute between Virgin Records and EastWest. The DVD also contains as bonus material 4 notable appearances on UK BBC 1 flagship music program Top of the Pops and two songs from a live set performed on BBC 2 program Later with Jools Holland in 1995.
Pop fans a bit put off by the Human League's dispassionate vocals on their breakout hit "Don't You Want Me" would have been shocked by the degree of emotionlessness heard two years earlier on the band's 1979 debut. The trio of Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware, and Philip Oakey all handled vocals and synthesizers to create a set of grim, rigid tracks that revealed a greater lack of humanity than even Kraftwerk. It's a surprise that the Human League hit the British charts at all (with the single "Empire State Human"), since this could well be the most detached synth pop record ever released.
"…Overall, it is an essential purchase if you want to revisit or discover the Human League, but some of the lesser known songs, like "The Lebanon," will be surprisingly different." 4.5/5 ~AMG
1981's worldwide smash "Dare!" was a difficult record to follow up, and the Human League waited too long. Following the excellent stopgap EP FASCINATION, the band finally reappeared in the spring of 1984 with "Hysteria"....