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Human League; Travelogue (1980)

Human League; Travelogue (1980)

Next week I’m going to my first gig since lockdown. Heaven 17 performing the first two albums by The Human League; Reproduction and Travelogue. Originally planned for March 2020 to celebrate their 40th anniversary. I’ve waited 40 years to hear these songs live. What’s another year (or so).

[Quick recap; the early version of Human League; Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware and Phil Oakey, released these before splitting to form Human League (Phil) and Heaven 17 (Ian and Martyn)].

Before they split, Virgin records, requested something more commercial than the bleak electronica, insisting they used real musicians and backing vocals. But as Human League only made music from electronic instruments, they released the track “I Don’t Depend On You” as The Men.

The single failed.

Phil took the blueprint, met ‘the girls’, released Dare and changed pop forever. Ian and Craig took the industrial depiction of consumerism and released the seminal Penthouse and Pavement.

It’s great to have a singular vision.
But don’t be afraid to change direction if the music takes you.

At least I won’t have long to wait for the 40th anniversary of Dare, that’s in a couple of months.

Listen to I Don’t Depend On You here (it’s as a bonus track on Travelogue)

Listen to the full Travelogue album here

Tagged: #music

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