The Human League

As synthesizers started to become affordable in the late 1970s, computer programmers Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh's early avant-garde musical experiments with the technology were soon being given commercial pop melodies by the addition of Phil Oakey as front man under the name The Human League. But the new direction didn't suit the two founding members and they split to form Heaven 17. Meanwhile, Oakey found singers Joanne Catherall and Susan Sulley in a local nightclub and, with the permission of their parents, headed out on tour in 1980. Gaining popularity through their touring, they were approached to support The Rezillos and Siouxsie and the Banshees. They released their first EP in 1979 titled 'The Dignity of Labour' and although they achieved little commercial success, they were offered a record deal with Virgin Records. They supported Iggy Pop on the European leg of his tour before releasing their first official single 'I Don't Depend On You'. Their debut album 'Reproduction' failed to reach the level of success they were hoping and they were dropped by Virgin and their impending tour was cancelled. Transformed into glamorous, euphoric, electro-pop starlets their third album 'Dare' (1981) proved to be the success they needed, topping the charts in the UK and reaching number three in America, producing the worldwide smash hit anthem 'Don't You Want Me'. Now cited as a classic, the song helped define a new sound for 1980s pop, influencing the new romantic movement, The Pet Shop Boys and later producer Richard X. With nine albums and record sales of over 20 million to their name, the group celebrated their 35th anniversary in 2012 with a European tour. In 2014 'Don't You Want Me' re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 20 after Aberdeen Football Club, for whom the song if their anthem, won the Scottish League Cup. They announced in 2016 that they were going back out on the road with a UK and Europe tour called 'A Very British Synthesizer Group', with a greatest hits album release of the same name.

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Stations Featuring The Human League

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