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Are you a fan of synth-pop music? Then surely you must be acquainted with The Human League – the iconic British band that blended up-beat melodies with melancholy lyrics to create some of the most memorable hits of the 80s. In this article, we'll take you on a journey through the band's history, discography, and legacy. But that's not all! We'll also answer some commonly asked questions in our FAQ section and provide some expert tips on how to enjoy The Human League's music to the fullest. So let's dive in!
The Rise of The Human League
The Human League came together in 1977 in Sheffield when Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware, and Phil Oakey joined hands to form a band. Initially, the band played a blend of avant-garde and post-punk music. However, their sound underwent a significant transformation when they started using synthesizers and experimenting with electronic music. Their unique style of blending up-tempo beats with melancholy lyrics struck a chord with audiences worldwide, eventually propelling them to the top of the charts.
Early Years (1970s)
The band spent a few years struggling in obscurity before their debut album, "Reproduction" was released in 1979. The album was a critical and commercial success, leading the way for the band's follow-up album "Travelogue", which was released the next year and included the hit single "The Black Hit of Space".
Line-up Changes and Rise in Popularity (1980s)
The band's second album, "Dare", became an instant hit and remains their most successful album to date. Singles like "Don't You Want Me" and "Love Action (I Believe in Love)" topped the charts and established The Human League as a major force in the music industry. After a tussle between Phil Oakey and other members, the band underwent a major line-up change, with Philip Adrian Wright, Joanne Catherall, and Susan Ann Sulley joining the band.
Further Recordings (1990s)
The band's popularity started waning in the early 90s when they encountered creative differences and struggles with record labels. However, they continued to put out albums and singles with some chart success and a loyal fan base worldwide.
Secrets and Touring (2000s)
The band continued touring extensively during the 2000s, with occasional new albums releases. In 2001, they released the album "Secrets", which was moderately successful and included the funky single "All I Ever Wanted". The album was followed by an extensive world tour.
Further releases and Anniversary tour (2010s – 2020s)
In 2011, the band released "Credo", their first album in a decade. The album received mixed reviews, but some of the tracks became instant favorites among fans. The band has continued to tour extensively and released a new album "Octopus" in 2019 to critical and commercial acclaim. In 2022, they announced an upcoming 45th-anniversary tour, proving that they are still going strong after all these years.
The Human League's discography is vast and varied, spanning across four decades. Here's a list of all their studio albums:
The band has undergone several member changes throughout the years. Here's a list of all the members of The Human League:
- Ian Craig Marsh (1977 – 1980)
- Martyn Ware (1977 – 1980)
- Phil Oakey (1977 – present)
- Ian Burden (1980 – 1987)
- Jo Callis (1980 – 1985)
- Philip Adrian Wright (1980 – 2019)
- Joanne Catherall (1981 – present)
- Susan Ann Sulley (1981 – present)
- Neil Sutton (1996 – present)
Awards and Acknowledgements
The band has been acknowledged time and again for its contribution to the music industry. Here are some of the awards the band has won:
- NME Award for Best Album ("Dare")
- Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act
- Brit Award for Best British Dance Act
- Ivor Novello Award for Best Selling Single ("Don't You Want Me")
Legacy and Influence
The Human League has been an influential force in the music industry, inspiring countless artists to experiment with electronic music. Their signature sound of blending up-tempo beats with melancholy lyrics has been imitated and copied by many, but none have quite nailed the formula like the band did. Their influence can be seen in the work of other popular artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Where are the girls from Human League now?
Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley, referred to as "the girls" from The Human League, are still part of the band and performing alongside Phil Oakey.
Is Phil Oakey married to Joanne Catherall?
Phil Oakey is not married to Joanne Catherall. They both have always maintained that they are just friends and bandmates.
Are the Human League original members?
No, there are no original members left in The Human League's current line-up. Phil Oakey is the only remaining founding member.
Quick Tips and Facts
- If you're new to The Human League's music, start with the album "Dare" and work your way through their discography chronologically.
- The band's song "Together In Electric Dreams" was originally a soundtrack for a movie called "Electric Dreams" and was written by Giorgio Moroder.
- Phil Oakey's iconic hairdo, which included a 1990s re-invention blonde style, is said to have been inspired by science fiction movies.
The Human League has been an unmistakable force in the music industry, creating some of the most memorable hits of the 80s and leaving a lasting impact on music lovers worldwide. From their early avant-garde days to their more recent electronic dance floor hits, The Human League has always stayed true to their unique sound. If you need further recommendations on where to start with The Human League's music, we enthusiastically suggest exploring their discography from the beginning. So here's to the band and their success in the past, present, and many decades to come!