The Human League
About The Human League
English synth-pop band The Human League became an international success with the release of their genre-defining 1981 album Dare, which yielded four hit singles. One of them, “Don’t You Want Me,” topped the pop charts in the UK and the US.
• Keyboard players Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware formed the band in 1977 when they recruited their old classmate Phil Oakley to sing. Creative clashes prompted Marsh and Ware to leave the band after The Human League’s second album, 1980’s Travelogue, and launch the synth-pop group Heaven 17.
• Oakey repopulated The Human League’s lineup with keyboardist Ian Burden, along with teenage singers Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall, whom Oakey discovered dancing in a nightclub in his native Sheffield, England. Burden left in 1987, but Sulley and Catherall have been in the band ever since.
• Dare was the third of The Human League’s nine studio LPs, and their only UK No. 1 album (No. 3 in the US).
• The Human League’s fourth album, 1984’s Hysteria, reached No. 3 in the UK, but only went as high as No. 62 in the US. Three singles from the album reached the Top 20 in the UK.
• For their fifth album, 1986’s Crash, the group worked with American R&B producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The single “Human” reached No. 8 in the UK and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.
• Though the band notched a No. 6 hit in the UK with “Tell Me When” in 1995, The Human League’s commercial fortunes declined as ’80s-style synth-pop fell out of fashion. The band’s most recent studio album of new material, 2011’s Credo, peaked at No. 44 in the UK.