Friday, August 03, 2007

Number 582 - Human League


Number 582

Human League

"Don't You Want Me"

(1981)
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Genre:New Wave
I have been using both FireFox & Explorer for a while now and whilst i like FireFox (even if its a bit geeky looking) ... it never crashes like ole Explorer (v9) does, especially when your just about to save something REALLY important.
However, for some inane, strange Quantum string theory, it wont let me edit in blogger! It pops up with the HTML for a nano second and then *poof* nothing, nada, zippo. Now before the techo freaks quibble you need to modulate my flux capacitor to the disruptor nodes to achieve maximum warp reaching speeds of 500 gigawatts (even better than a stormy night with some ole codger in a science gown or quicker than Michael Jackson signing to join the boy scouts).... trust me, I've tried! Anyway ...back to the music! (what do you mean its got to do with my zone alarm?)

In 1981, Virgin records paired them with former Stranglers producer Martin Rushent, and the first result was the single "The Sound of the Crowd", which saw them at last achieve success in the singles chart. Guitarist Jo Callis (formerly of The Rezillos) was now recruited to the band, and with Rushent at the helm, The Human League recorded their most successful album to date, Dare. It achieved huge success, fuelled by its further hit singles, "Open Your Heart", "Love Action"/"Hard Times" and most famously "Don't You Want Me", which reached number one in the UK charts during the Christmas of 1981 and was one of the biggest selling singles of that year, and it also charted at number one in the US during the summer of 1982. These three releases were accompanied by striking promo videos ("Love Action" based on the movie The Graduate). In the summer of 1982, a remix album of Dare entitled Love and Dancing was released under the group name League Unlimited Orchestra, reaching number three on the UK album chart. During their Dare phase, the Human League were often associated with New Romantic movement. [source:wikipedia]

Dare! captures a moment in time perfectly -- the moment post-punk's robotic fascination with synthesizers met a clinical Bowiesque infatuation with fashion and modern art, including pop culture, plus a healthy love of songcraft. The Human League had shown much of this on their early singles, such as "The Lebanon," but on Dare! they simply gelled, as their style was supported by music and songs with emotional substance. That doesn't mean that the album isn't arty, since it certainly is, but that's part of its power -- the self-conscious detachment enhances the postmodern sense of emotional isolation, obsession with form over content, and love of modernity for its own sake. That's why Dare! struck a chord with listeners who didn't like synth pop or the new romantics in 1981, and why it still sounds startlingly original decades after its original release -- the technology may have dated, synths and drum machines may have become more advanced, but few have manipulated technology in such an emotionally effective way. Of course, that all wouldn't matter if the songs themselves didn't work smashingly, whether it's a mood piece as eerie as "Seconds," an antianthem like "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of," the danceclub glow of "Love Action (I Believe in Love)," or the utter genius of "Don't You Want Me," a devastating chronicle of a frayed romance wrapped in the greatest pop hooks and production of its year. The latter was a huge hit, so much so that it overshadowed the album in the minds of most listeners, yet, for all of its shining brilliance, it wasn't a pop supernova -- it's simply the brightest star on this record, one of the defining records of its time. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide] Parakai

What does Rolling Stone think about Human League (again)
The most impressive thing about the Human League's output isn't that the band went from avant pop to Top 40 in three albums, but that its best singles hold up despite all the hokey electronics. Between Travelogue and Dare two unexpected developments dramatically changed the Human League's sound. One was the departure of Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh, the band's original synth wizards; the other was the introduction of the Linn drum, a computerized drum machine that used digitally sampled drum sounds instead of synthesized equiv-alents. Original singer Phil Oakey recruited a new lineup, including ex-Rezillo Jo Callis plus singers Jo-anne Catherall and Susanne Sulley (whom Oakey claimed to have met at a disco), and delivered the first true synth-pop album. In truth, the most radical thing about Dare was its instrumentation, since the songs -- particularly "Love Action (I Believe in Love)" and the marvelously melodramatic "Don't You Want Me" -- were fairly conventional pop numbers. But in 1981, drum machines and sequencers were novelty enough, and helped make Dare an international smash. [Source:2004's The New Rolling Stone Album Guide]

For the Stranglers see Number 995
For more Human League see Number 603
For David Bowie see Number 634


Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (League of Nations?) and the Album ranked at Number (National League? mini league?)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 72.6 out of 108 pts
Human League - Don't You Want Me
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2 Comments:

Blogger PerilousPierre said...

I hesitate to suggest why your Firefox won't blog since software is increasingly developing a mind of its own. I guess it just does not like blogging! However, you can give it a facelift as there are many add ons available, including one that makes it look just like Internet Explorer. How confusing could that be. Be warned tho because installing and activating add ons in Firefox is somewhat fiddly.
Pierre

6:00 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

yes, i agree, i think i will leave the writing & editing to explorer and viewing for firefox. Who knows oneday aye?

6:11 pm  

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