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Monday, March 08, 2004


Early Human League
An old set of lyrics just popped into my head:

Dehumanisation
Is such a big word
It's been around since
Richard The Third


These are taken from
"Blind Youth", a song on an early Human League album. Before the days of Joanne and Susanne, Human League was a four-piece outfit of men with synths, ranging from the dour (their blue-eyed soulless version of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling") to the tragic (Hawaii Five O meets ancient Greece in "Circus of Death") to the cerebrally amusing ("Empire State Human").

As time passed, Human League began to develop the Electronic Beat that they would exhibit on the albums Dare and Heaven 17. The last album before the breakup of the original Fab Four included "The Black Hit of Space" (in which a record goes up to number one, and then keeps going up into minus figures), and their Human League meets Harry Chapin song "WXJL Tonight."

In my view, Human League reached its musical and lyrical peak with their song "The Lebanon." By this time they were, in a word, daring to use instruments other than synthesizers. Phil and the ladies had worked the vocals out. Lyrically, you can't fault them for trying to say something.

Then they became an interchangeable Jam/Lewis act. "Love on the Run" was a rare hurrah for the League on that album. Most of it, while good, sounded very much like Jam/Lewis (in the same way Jeff Lynne made Roy Orbison and George Harrison sound like the lead singers in a bad ELO cover band).

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