Human League are an English electronic new wave band formed in
Sheffield in 1977. Dare (1981), the band's most popular album, yielded
the single "Don't You Want Me" a No. 1 hit in the pop charts of UK, US
and many other countries. After its UK success, their first single,
"Being Boiled" was reissued and became a top ten hit at the beginning of
1982. The success of "Don't You Want Me" is seen as the beginning of
the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US. Other international
hits include: "Love Action", "Open Your Heart", "Mirror Man",
"Fascination", "The Lebanon", "Human" (a US No. 1) and "Tell Me When".
The only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter
Philip Oakey. Originally an avant-garde all-male synthesizer-based
group, The Human League evolved into a commercially successful synthpop
band under Oakey's leadership. Since 1987, the band has essentially been
a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and
Susan Ann Sulley (both of whom joined the ensemble in 1980), with
Since 1978, The Human League have released nine studio albums, four EPs,
30 singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums
and eight singles in the UK Top 10 and have sold more than 20 million
A new album, Credo was released in March 2011. It peaked at No. 44 on the UK Albums Chart.
The first single from the album, "Night People" was released on 22
November 2010 but failed to enter the mainstream UK chart. It did
however reach No. 25 in the UK Indie chart. The follow up single, "Never
Let Me Go" was released in the UK on 1 March 2011, however in Germany,
Switzerland and Austria, "Egomaniac" was chosen as the second single. A
double vinyl edition of Credo was released on 25 July 2011, together
with the download of "Sky", the third single from the album.
At the end of 2012, the band undertook the 'XXXV Tour' across Europe and
the UK, to celebrate 35 years in existence. The shows were critically
acclaimed. The UK's Daily Telegraph said "as good a night's
entertainment as you are likely to find anywhere on the planet".
In March 2014, "Don't You Want Me" re-entered the Top 20 of the UK
Singles Chart, thanks to a social media campaign from the fans of
Aberdeen F.C., who won the Scottish League Cup the previous weekend.
They have adopted the song as a terrace chant, citing their midfielder
Peter Pawlett with the lyrics changed to "Peter Pawlett Baby".
The Human League has influenced many electro-pop, other synthpop, and
mainstream performers including Moby, Pet Shop Boys, and Little Boots.
They have been sampled and covered by various artists including Tony
Christie, Utah Saints, Ministry of Sound, Craig David, George Michael,
KMFDM and Robbie Williams.