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The Human League to Release 3-CD/1-DVD Anthology

by Newsdesk

He wasn’t to know at the time but David Bowie got it wrong, The Human League are the past, present and future of pop music.

The story of The Human League encompasses three very distinct line-ups, all of which have their merits but one thing unites them; The Human League are A Very British Synthesizer Group. Yes, ‘group’ not band because those kinds of distinctions are important.

They’re a group who have sold millions of records, inspired two generations of artists, written some of the all-time great classic pop songs, had #1’s across Europe and the US and yet still remain fiercely independent.

When attempting to describe The Human League their one-time manager, Bob Last, puts it best “Pop music is a kind of lightning conductor for what’s going on, when it’s at its most exciting it beats everything else; it beats film, beats books and beats TV. These magical moments when it pulls something out of the ether, out of what’s going on in everyone’s head and everyone’s lives and focuses it. That’s what pop does at its best and that’s what The Human League did”.

A Very British Synthesizer Group is a four-disc sound and vision anthology featuring all the hits as well previously unreleased demos and edits. It covers the entire history of the group from the earliest incarnation to the phenomenon that was Dare and all that happened in its wake. The incredibly successful left turn of working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the return to being a glorious live act and the glamorous robotic pop of 2011’s Credo album.

As anyone who has access to YouTube or watched Top of the Pops and Wogan in the 80’s knows, The Human League’s music was only part of the story. The DVD in the A Very British Synthesizer Group box set includes not only all 21 of their videos collected together for the first time but also 24 BBC TV performances including some Top of The Pops appearances that can’t now be re-shown on television due to presenter ‘issues’.

All formats of A Very British Synthesizer Group feature the distinctive artwork of acclaimed Sheffield artist Pete McKee who says of the group "The Human League’s look was totally unique and innovative and it also provided one of those jaw dropping moments on Top of the Pops that made your Dad angry but inspired you. The League were unashamedly a pop band but also had that edge that made them credible, The girls were no-nonsense working class lasses who became fashion icons in their own right, make up, hair and clothes were imitated in night clubs and youth clubs across the country but few boys dared to copy Phil's hair and stiletto heels. It was a pleasure to work on the artwork for this fantastic anthology. I wanted to capture the League as the style and fashion icons who had such an impact on so many of us during the 80’s."

The box set also includes a 58-page hardcover book with a new essay by David Buckley (‘David Bowie / Kraftwerk – Biographer), memorabilia and rare photos.

The 3LP vinyl set also comes in a hardcover box with a 20-page booklet and was remastered at half-speed at Abbey Road Studios for exceptional sound quality.

The last word on The Human League goes to Susan Ann Sulley from the group "People think pop music is X Factor and we’re still hankering after a Roxy-Bowie-Donna Summer-Chic version of pop. We don’t fit in. There are three of us, two of whom have never written a song and are pretty average singers, plus we’ve got a lead singer who doesn’t consider himself a singer at all and can’t play any instruments very well. And yet we still think of ourselves as a pop group. If a market research group got hold of us, they’d change absolutely everything. We shouldn’t have gone on as long as we have – we should have “gone rock” by now, like Depeche Mode, Simple Minds and U2 did. But we’re still a pop group."


Disc 1
  • Being Boiled (A-Side Single)
  • The Dignity of Labour [Part 3] (Dignity of Labour 12” single )
  • Empire State Human (A-Side Single)
  • Only After Dark ((Single Edit) Travelogue Free 7”)
  • Nightclubbing Holiday ’80 (EP)
  • Boys and Girls (A-Side Single)
  • The Sound of The Crowd (Instrumental Version)
  • Hard Times (B-Side Single)
  • Love Action (I Believe In Love) (A-Side Single)
  • Open Your Heart (A-Side Single)
  • Don't You Want Me (A-Side Single)
  • Mirror Man (A-Side Single)
  • You Remind Me Of Gold
  • (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Extended Version)
  • The Lebanon ((Single Version) A-Side Single)
  • Louise ((DJ Edit) A-Side Single)
Disc 2
  • Life On Your Own ((DJ Edit) A-Side Single)
  • Human (Extended Version)
  • I Need Your Loving ((DJ Edit) A-Side)
  • Love Is All That Matters ((DJ Edit) A-Side Single)
  • Heart Like A Wheel ((William Orbit Remix) A-Side Single)
  • Soundtrack To A Generation (Edit)
  • Tell Me When (Radio Edit)
  • One Man In My Heart (A-Side Single)
  • Filling Up With Heaven (A-Side Single)
  • Stay With Me Tonight ((Single Version) A-Side Single)
  • All I Ever Wanted (Radio Edit)
  • Night People ((Radio Edit): A-Side)
  • Never Let Me Go (Album Version)
  • Sky ((Radio Edit) A-Side Single)
Disc 3
  • The Path Of Least Resistance (Early version)
  • No Time (The Word Before Last- Early version)
  • Being Boiled (State Of The Art Mix 1)
  • Stylopops You Broke My Heart (Marianne – Early version)
  • I Am The Law (Early version)
  • Darkness (Early version)
  • Louise (Early version)
  • The Real Thing (Early version )
  • Love On The Run (Early version )
  • A Doorway (Early version )
  • F.M. (Soundtrack To A Generation - Early version) 
  • Happening Woman (Filling Up With Heaven – Early version)
  • Give It Back (Houseful of Nothing – Early version ) 
  • New Start (All I Ever Wanted – Early version) 
  • SH5 (Liar – Early version)
  • Biller 10 (Single Minded – Early version)
  • Jupiter 4c (Sky – Early Version) 
  • The Videos
    • Circus of Death
    • Empire State Human
    • Love Action (I Believe In Love)
    • Open Your Heart
    • Don’t You Want Me
    • Mirror Man
    • (Keep Feeling) Fascination
    • The Lebanon
    • Life On Your Own
    • Louise
    • Human
    • I Need Your Loving
    • Love Is All That Matters
    • Heart Like A Wheel
    • Soundtrack To A Generation
    • Tell Me When
    • One Man In My Heart
    • Filling Up With Heaven
    • All I Ever Wanted
    • Night People
    • Never Let Me Go
  • The Human League at the BBC
    • The Path of Least Resistance (Mainstream 6/11/79)
    • Rock ‘n’ Roll (TOTP 8/5/80)
    • The Sound Of The Crowd (TOTP 30/4/81)
    • The Sound Of The Crowd (TOTP 21/5/81)
    • Love Action (I Believe In Love) (TOTP 6/8/81)
    • Open Your Heart (TOTP 8/10/81)
    • Don’t You Want Me (TOTP 24/12/81)
    • Love Action (I Believe In Love) (Christmas TOTP 25/12/81)
    • Love Action (I Believe In Love) (Multi Coloured Music Show 30/5/82)
    • Mirror Man (TOTP 18/11/82)
    • (Keep Feeling) Fascination (TOTP 5/5/83)
    • The Lebanon (TOTP 3/5/84)
    • Life On Your Own (TOTP 28//6/84)
    • I’m Coming Back (On The Road 25/8/84)
    • Rock Me Again and Again and Again and Again (On The Road 25/8/84)
    • Human (Wogan 13/8/86)
    • Human (TOTP 28/8/86v
    • Heart Like A Wheel (Wogan 13/8/90)
    • Heart Like A Wheel (TOTP 23/8/90)
    • Tell Me When (TOTP 22/12/94)
    • Tell Me When (TOTP 5/1/95)
    • One Man In My Heart (TOTP 16/3/95)
    • The Stars Are Going Out (Later with Jools Holland 25/11/95)
    • The Sound Of The Crowd (Later with Jools Holland 25/11/95)

  • SIDE A
    • Being Boiled (Fast Product Version)
    • The Dignity of Labour – Part 3
    • Empire State Human
    • Only After Dark
    • Nightclubbing
    • Boys and Girls
  • SIDE B
    • The Sound Of The Crowd (Instrumental)
    • Hard Times
    • Love Action (I Believe In Love)
    • Open Your Heart
    • Don’t You Want Me
  • SIDE C
    • Mirror Man
    • You Remind Me Of Gold
    • (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Extended Version)
    • The Lebanon
    • Louise (Radio Edit)
  • SIDE D
    • Life On Your Own (Radio Edit)
    • Human (Extended Version)
    • I Need Your Loving (Radio Edit)
    • Love Is All That Matters (Radio Edit)
    • Heart Like A Wheel (William Orbit Remix)
  • SIDE E
    • Soundtrack To A Generation (Radio Edit)
    • Tell Me When (Radio Edit)
    • One Man In My Heart
    • Filling Up With Heaven
  • SIDE F
    • Stay With Me Tonight
    • All I Ever Wanted (Radio Edit)
    • Night People (Radio Edit)
    • Never Let Me Go
    • Sky (Radio Edit)