Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Music From The Edge: The Human League

80's new wave/synthpop band The Human League was ready to reclaim their position as an international sensation when they released their 7th full-length album "Octopus". It was a re-birth of sorts, as The Human League had been released from their long-term contract with Virgin Records after the album"Romantic?"** failed to garner a single hit ("Heart Like A Wheel" managed to reach #32 on the Billboard Hot 100).

With a new record label, East/West, The Human League was ready explode back on the music charts. The lead off single from "Octopus" was a catchy upbeat song reminiscent of their earlier work in the 1980s (prior to "Human"). "Tell Me When" was a return to their roots, so to speak, with a more mature approach to song lyric and more attention to the musical layering. Originally recorded as a demo in 1991 for Virgin records (who promptly rejected the song before releasing the band of their contract), Philip Oakey was determined to make this the focal point of a new album.

The video, filmed entirely in Prague, also provided proof of a more mature message the rich scenery replaced the substantive 80's flair. "Tell Me When" went on to reach #6 on the UK Singles Chart, #31 on Billboard Hot 100, #15 on Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play and was their biggest chart success in 9 years.

Unfortunately, The Human League was unable to repeat the success with their follow-up singles "One Man In My Heart," and "Filling Up With Heaven" (both failed to chart in the US but "One Man In My Heart" managed a Top 20 showing in the UK). With the music industry beginning to show signs of weakening, East/West Records went through a roster shake-up resulting in The Human League without a recording deal.

Download: "Tell Me When" CD5

Bitrate: 320Kbps

**A side note - the failure of "Romantic?" and the loss of the record contract with Virgin Records almost doomed The Human League, but a stubborn and extremely positive Joanne Catherall managed to keep the group together.. (and they are still together in 2008!)



Jodi said...

I've played those mix CDs over and over for friends and when I worked at the studio. They were always a hit! Glad to see you are back revisiting your old love!

John said...

The commentary and interview on the Human League DVD compilation are hilarious - they came VERY close to calling it a day after East/West dissolved...luckily, we got "Secrets" out of them!

Chut & I are seeing the League, ABC & Naked Eyes on Aug. 11!

maggie said...

Good evening, genius John! I found you!

Find me and share the bloggy love!

Fair warning: You have appeared at least once in tales of life at the gym.

You're in my thoughts & prayers in Ohio. Take care, and looking forward to you coming back! Cheers!

maggie said...



maggie said...

Missed you at the gym tonight! Can't make it tomorrow, but I'll be hip-hopping with you on Wednesday. Take care of you!