Re: Question About The Women in Islam.docx - Google Docs, how it works properly with JAWS

  • From: Arnaud <arnaudb@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 06 Mar 2011 18:08:19 +0100

Le 22/12/2010 07:48, Marquette, Ed a écrit :
This subject line appeared in an email message just sent to this list.  I 
opened the message, but found no text, only a link to something.
OK.  I never open links like that when unexpected.
Perhaps my JAWS wasn't reading the text properly, and this was a legitimate 
message, but ...
Part of the subject line is of interest.
I just had a client propose posting of documents using Google Docs.
The last time I gave Google Docs a try, it was an accessibility nightmare.
Has anyone had a different experience?

I. Edward Marquette
Direct Dial:  816.502.4646
Mobile:  816.812.0088
Google Voice:  408.692.5640
Facsimile:  816.960.0041
Kutak Rock LLP
1010 Grand Boulevard
Suite 500
Kansas City, MO 64106

This E-mail message is confidential, is intended only for the named 
recipient(s) above and may contain information
that is privileged, attorney work product or otherwise protected by applicable 
law. If you have received this
message in error, please notify the sender at 402-346-6000 and delete this 
E-mail message.
Thank you.
JFW related links:
JFW homepage:
Scripting mailing list:
JFW List instructions:
To post a message to the list, send it to jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send a message to 
jfw-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.
Archives located at: //
Alternative archives located at:

If you have any concerns about the list, post received from the list, or the 
way the list is being run, do not post them to the list. Rather contact the 
list owner at jfw-admins@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The Story of a Band Called The Human League

by Alaska Ross
photos by Jill Furmanovsky
adapted for the www by Kate Jenkins

publisher's note

This is a non-commercial attempt to make available one of the few fan books 
published about the League. It surely represents some kind of copyright 
as I haven't bothered to contact the original publisher for permission to 
reproduce the text and images found herein.

This is a web-edition of a highly-prized collector's item that has been 
out-of-print for well over a decade. I have made no attempts to reproduce the 
layout and design of the original print version and I have included only a 
portion of the original images and rare photos it contained. But every word
of text is reproduced verbatim, as a faithful attempt by a Human League fan to 
chronicle the exciting early years of the Human League up to their 3rd album

I originally purchased this 32-page, oversized, glossy paperback for $3.95 in 
1982. Any inquirys about this web site can be directed to me at
original edition copyright 1982
United States
Proteus Publishing Co., Inc.
733 Third Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017

United Kingdom
Proteus Ltd.
Bremar House
Sale Place
London, W2 1PT.

ISBN 0 86276 103 4

Design: Rocking Russian
Editor: Chris Goodwin
Typeset SX Composing Ltd.
Printed: W.S. Cowells Ltd.

The Story of a Band Called The Human League

Hold up your hand, spread your fingers in front of your face and count them.

Assuming you can beat a potato hollow when it comes to arithmetic and as long 
as you've not been playing chopsticks with the business edge of a sharp knife,
you'll have five whole digits - one for each year of the recording life of The 
Human League so far.

It's taken five years for the League to finally emerge from the 'cult' grave 
that well-meaning music papers buried them in. It's taken five years for the
nation's public to catch a glimpse of the platinum-tinged light in the League's 
eyes. Five years to get to the stage where League lunacy is about to consume
the European and world markets.

Hardly an overnight success of the instant flash firework kind, more the long 
slow fuse to the keg barrel of dynamite, the League have not had it all their
own way from the start. After all, a country knocked senseless by an onslaught 
of Pistol-whipping and punk outrages was hardly the most productive environment
for the first electro-pop disco unit to flourish in.

Yet punk also had its positive legacies; 1977 was the age of do-it-yourself and 
saw an initially anarchic decentralisation from the all-consuming magnet
of the London metropolis. Non-musicians everywhere picked up whatever was 
closest to hand and started to plonk away, making music for themselves. In 
Ian Craig Marsh was one such amateur. He had been attracted by an advert in his 
school library's copy of Practical Electronics which sold a d-i-y synthesiser
with 'these easy to put together modules'. He bought it, constructed it, failed 
to make it work and stuck it back in his cupboard until...

'I was in contact with Mr. Martyn Ware, and it was a friend's birthday party, a 
21st, and we said "Let's get a band together for the night" . . . So we
did, we played under the name of The Dead Daughters or something. Very strange, 
there was a guitar, a drummer, my synthesizer and loads of tape loops,
all being put through various effect units. We did things lik the Dr Who theme 
tune and Louie Louie.'

Sufficiently impressed with one another's performance, these two computer tape 
operators from North Yorkshire decided to carry on, supplementing their number
with one Addy Newton and changing the gothic horror fantasy of the name for 
something a little more breezy - The Future. They set about sending demos to
record companies in London whose collected A and R force remained somewhat 
unmoved when faced with the battery of instrumentals (amongst which was 
the track tha surfaced on Holiday '80). 'They all thought we were total crap,' 
recalls Marsh. 'All they said was "Keep in touch boys". But then we got
rid of Addy and, for reasons best known to ourselves, we got Philip in.' With 
Addy departed to the arms of Sheffield's Clock DVA, Philip takes up the story.

'I was at school with Martyn and I'd been watching with increased admiration as 
all these things happened to The Future with them trotting off to London
to see record companies which seemed a fairly insane thing to do. Everybody 
used to laugh at them except me.'

'We wondered what role he was going to have because he hadn't got an money to 
buy a synthesiser or anthing. He had a saxophone which he couldn't play,'
says Ian, even though Philip protests that it cost him £165. 'Being Boiled was 
the first thing we did together. We'd got the instrumental part and he came
along with these lyrics and just started singing along. So we had vocals then. 
I thought the lyrics were just completely crazy.'

Thus, through a strong sense of pragmatism, the lungs for the League were first 
exercised. Those full, high ringing tones had previously only been bounced
off the hospital walls where Philip was employed as a plastic surgery theatre 
porter. He readily admits now that 'if it wasn't for Ian and Martyn I'd still
be wheeling bodies around a hospital ward'. He had had trouble finding a 
comfortable niche for himself. Before the hospital he had spent time working in
a bookshop, a job which gave him ample opportunity for indulging in his 
favourite pastime of reading anything he could get his hands on.

'I was completely without ambition, I was baffled,' Phil wryly remembers. 'I 
always wanted to be a bit creative - my dad wanted me to be a novelist but
I've tried so many times to write one, I could never finish one off!'

The son of a post office official and youngest of four brothers, Philip spent 
the earliest years of his life travelling around the country, setting up home
in different cities and never really having the time to put down any lasting 
roots. Naturally, this had an effect on his school career, which Philip recalls
he passed in a somewhat rebellious frame of mind.

'I made a very bad decision at one stage. I decided to take easy, fun 
'A'-levels rather than useful ones. I was always good at sciences, maths and 
like that - but I went and did French, English and Art. After about two terms, 
I decided I was completely wasting my time so I left and went to work in
a bookshop.'

It was during his scholdays in Birmingham that Philip contracted his fever for 
extravagant hairstyles, and obsession that has never left him.

'I was famous in school for having the longest hair of anyone - it was way down 
my back, this was before it became acceptable. Then just before the skinhead
thing, I got mine all cut off - I'd got very fond of Lou Reed so I got my head 
shorn very short and the headmaster rang up my dad and said "I've heard
Philip's had his hair all cut and he daren't come back to school" which was 

It was a fetish that stemmed from to his desire to stand out from the crowd. As 
Philip acknowledges: 'I always wanted to look a bit different from everyone
else, I'm not sure why. I had very long hair as soon as it was permissible and 
then as soon as everyone else started to grow theirs, I got it all cut off
very quickly. I'm a trouble-maker, I suppose.'

Philip's equally candid about the origins of that asymmetrical curtain of hair 
- the haircut that made it look like the barber had been Sweeney Todd-ed
in the middle of his work!

'It did me a lot of good for a while. When we started in this pop group 
business (which was something I'd never intended to do, I just happened to be 
with Martyn and Ian) I thought "What have all big pop stars got that sets them 
apart?" And the only thing I could think of that made them all different
was a hairstyle. David Bowie, Rod Steward, Marc Bolan, The Beatles - they all 
had odd hairstyles, so I thought that I had better find one. Then, one day
I saw a hair model on a bus, a girl called Penny, and I went over and said 
"Where did you get your haircut, I want one of those." It was a simple as that.'

Perhaps not that straight-forward. After all, Philip's innate sense of style 
and grasp on what gets you noticed is married to an acute understanding of
the wy that the pop business works. It was a masterstroke.

'I hated it really, he admits, 'It didn't do anything for me but it made people 
go into record shops and remember what I look like, I suppose.'

In order to mark the change that Philip's vocals had brought to the band, the 
trio changed their name in October '77. Martyn takes up the narrative.

'We got it from this science-fiction game called Star Force. There were all 
these scenarios in the back for various wars in the future, and one of these,
for a stage round about 2180 where there were two main empires - "The 
Pansantient Hegemony" and "The Human League". The Human League were centred 
Earth and the scenario was caled "The Rise of The Human League". So we stole 

With the instrumental components assembled, and with a new name, the group set 
about forming themselves a policy platform from which to operate. The fact
that none of the three had any formal musical training meant that they were 
determinedly and proudly amateurish in their approach. This didn't stop them
embracing the strong principle of melody and tune wholeheartedly, placing the 
emphasis on a standard rock/pop chassis and building around that framework
the textures and complexities of the synthesiser sound. Thus they killed two 
birds with one brilliantly-aimed stone by bonding the traditions of a rock
and roll past and the science-fiction possibilities of the future with the 
simple tactic of option solely for easy-to-master electronic instruments.

The synthesiser was easy to play and cheap, whereas the guitar 'required you to 
soak your fingers in alcohol to stop them bleeding. We're not into things
like that' mutters Martyn, deadpan fashion.

The new band soon put theory into practice and got together a demo tape, having 
rehearsed themselves into shape in their Devonshire Lane hole-up, a large
room in disused factory premises in the centre of Sheffield. Introduced to 
Edinburgh's Fast Product independent label by fellow Sheffieldian and member
of 2.3 Paul Bower, the band's tape so impressed Fast's manager Bob Last that he 
signed them and agreed to release a single. The fact that the whole transaction
was completed via the phone is in total keeping with a band who owe their very 
existence to electronic software. Indeed, the group only met Last some five
months after the single had been released - at their first London gig.

Electronically Yours, as the single was sub-titled, featured the Being Boiled 
A-side for which Oakey had dreamed up those astonishing lyrics - 'Listen to
the voice of Buddha/Saying stop your sericulture/Little people like your 
offspring/Boiled alive for some god's stocking/Buddha's watching Buddha's 

It was recorded in mono on a domestic two-track and sold some 17,000 copies 
before it was deleted. It's come full circle since EMI re-released it in early
'82 and it climbed the charts, despite the fact that a re-recorded version of 
ithad appeared on Travelogue, and its B-side, Circus of Death, was included
on the first LP Reproduction.

The gap between recording the single and seeing it released left the League 
with time on their hands. They began to question their original intention of
shunning live performances - an evil they had decided to do without because of 
their unease with stage work. Apart from an awkwardness in the terpsichorean
stakes that Philip admits to even now - 'I'm just too embarassed about dancing. 
The others describe me looking like a clumsy giraffe if I even make the
slightest attempt. I'm strangely rhythmic - my top half's very rhythmic, my 
bottom half's very rhythmic, but I can't seem to match them up' = the very
notion of performing was secondary to them. Philip elucidates 'Other groups get 
together with two guitars and a drummer and a singer and they'll thrash
out a song and learn to play it an dthen they'll go out and play it live, and 
then maybe get to make a record of it. The first thing we do when we got
anything we like is put it down on a tape and then see about adding to it, 
which is a very different set up.'

Their distaste for the live show was gradually eroded by a combination of 
frustration at indolence and the bullying tactics of a few friends.

The menu for the Human League's first live appearance, at a Sheffield art 
college, was a mixture of gems both remembered and lost - things that eventually
found their way on to vinyl, such as The Path Of Least Resistance and You've 
Lost That Loving Feeling rubbed shoulders with numbers such as the lost and
apparantly classic Dance Like A Star. The whole evening's musical content 
depended largely on the first set of demos sent out to prospective record 

The other important event of the evening was the presence in the audience of 
one Adrian Wright, a former ice-cream salesman turned ar student whose big
musical passion was The Ramones.

'We accidentally picked up Adrian after about the third show 'cos we were 
totally boring onstage. We didn't do anything,' Phil later confessed.

'That floss-haired git', as Philip tenderly refers to Adrian, just happened to 
be living in the same building the group used to practise in. His close 
his love of all things trash and, above all, his driving licence, convinced the 
others he would be an asset to the band. Appointed Director Of Visuals,
he brought with him a collection of some one hundred 'Star Trek' slides he'd 
snapped off his dad's TV - the nucleus of a collection which has since 
to some fifteen hundred and shows no signs of slowing down.

Adrian's arrival set the seal on the original Human League. Spread over four 
screens, Adrian's visual extravaganzas would pair Batman and Robin with The
Avengers, have them fending off some Fifties' sf monster as the S.S. 
'Enterprise' zoomed by unawares, all the while on a direct collision with Gary 

An inveterate collector and hoarder, Wright boasts a bubblegum card collection 
of over 3, 500; a set of Dalek toys and 'Man From Uncle' bric-a-brac to make
the average 12-year-old weep with jealousy and a keen interest in old 60's 

Through his obsession with the camera as a reflector of current culture, Adrian 
was able to supply the visual cohesion the other stationary and stilted
three lacked. His images form either random complements to the songs or else 
highlight and pick out salient factors with more than an acute sense of humour,
something that considering his position as butt for the other's non-stop jokes, 
must come in extremely handy.

Adrian's arrival in the earlier part of '78 was followed in June by the release 
of Being Boiled to a lot of affirmative rumblings in the press but no actual
results in the charts. In fact, it belly-flopped. But they had, by this time 
honed their stage show into good enought shape to embark on their first London
exposure - a gig supporting the Rezillos at the Music Machine in August '78. 
Nothing could have been more coincidental or prophetic, since the Rezillos
had as their guitarist one Jo Callis who was to join the League some three 
years later!

Shortly after that, at the request of the band themselves, the League went on 
tour with Siouxsie and the Banshees who were, at that stage, at the peak of
their punk popularity. There were some fears as to how the audience that the 
Banshees attracted sould react to a band whose stated intentions were to 
affect the future by close attention to the present, allying technology with 
humanity and humour'. With visions of getting bottled off or being forced
to take a shower in a hail of spit the band took along specially constructed 
riot shields to protect themselves. They also, after the first few dates changed
the character of the set, eliminating the more controversial instrumental 
numbers in favour of more popular ones like the Gary Glitter cover Rock and Roll
Parts 1 and 2. The shields, it turned out, were an unnecessary piece of 
pessimism. Contrary to what the public had been led to expect from Britain's 
audio-visual combo, the emphasis was not on the doodlings of European bands 
like Tangerine Dream but on classic pop that took in anything from T. Rex and
Phil Spector to the theme tune from the 'Gordon's Gin' advert. The tour was a 
success in that it opening up for the League an audience previously prejudiced
against them.

Unfortunately, their next step did nothing to capitalise upon this new-found 
interest. Still with Fast Product, they released a 12 inch EP called The Dignity
of Labour Parts 1-4 in April of '79. The cumbersome, if tongue-in-cheek title 
reflected the equally cumbersome, if tongue-in-cheek music. The four tracks
were all instrumentals and proved to be something of a disappointment to those 
who had expected the League to present their more poppy side for public
display. As Phil admitted later on'it was a bad mistake doing it at that time, 
because everyone had decided we were a pop band, and we put that out and
it sounded like Amon Duul or something'.

Around this time, they had realised that they needed the facilities offered by 
a major label, and so, still keeping Bob Last as their manager and mentor,
they set about courting the music business moguls. The demo tape which they 
sent out was a masterpiece of League logic. Sliced together with the electronic
jingle Interface, it featured Phil Oakey as one 'Jason Taverner' whose task it 
was to explain and interpret the Haman League's music for a bunch of no
doubt cynical A and R chappies. It's hilarious. Just listen:

'Hi! I'm Jason Taverner and I've been asked here to introduce the first 
demonstration tape by a great group of guys called The Human League. I first met
The Human League when they appeared on my network tv show last year. And then, 
and a couple of times since that that they played a song for us, I was impressed
that here was a bunch of boys who were trying to do something new in music when 
the majority of bands were just interested in shocking people. This attitude
is exemplified on their first song - an optimistic modern anthem called Blind 

It's an astonishingly simple piece of planning - how to make jaded ears sit up 
and listen by using a combination of humour and truth, a strategy that the
League have honed down to a fine art. The tape featured material that 
eventually found its way on to their first album for Virgin, the record company 
gave the League 'the right control' rather than a ticket to the Cadillac stakes 
via a huge advance - a mistake that a lot of bands have lived to regret.
Straight after the signing, the band were packed off to Europe to tour with 
Iggy Pop, an all-time hero of the Leaguers, and then it was back to Sheffield
to embark on the album.

However, they had to get something else ou of their systems. Their determinedly 
synthesiser-only stance was under some pressure from the Virgin bigwigs
who were worried that their unfamiliar textures might have trouble in reaching 
a wider audience. Martyn Ware had said that they might well consider working
with orthodox rock instruments but 'not under the name Human League' so they 
issued a single for Virgin called I Don't Depend On You under the name The
Men featuring session musicians on drums, bass and backing vocals. It had a 
disco beat and a row rhythmic power that had eluded their recorded eforts so
far but as they were concentrating on the backing tracks on the new albm, it 
was never promoted very aggressively.

Reproduction was recorded at The Workshop and was mixed and overdubbed by 
producer Colin Thurston at his Red Bus Studio in London. Ian marsh remembers the
mixed feelings the band had to the finished product 'Doing it was great, we 
thought "Wow, this sounds fantastic, great". But it was only a few months later
when we listened to it onour normal systems that we decidd it was lacking in 
quite a major way in several areas.' The 'modus operandi' employed had been
to get the beat down first and then wind the melody line around it. The result 
was one of clipped, crackerjack pulses which overawed the weaker tunes and
punctured the stronger ones. However, although the production is a little flat 
in places, the albm deserved to sell better than it did. When the combined
might of the synthesiser enhanced and escalated the sincere and rounded 
harmonics of Oakey's voice - as in You've Lost That Loving Feeling or The Path
of Least Resistance - the effect is breathtaking.

With Reproduction released in October '79 followed closely by the single cut 
Empire State Human, the band's run of bad luck really got going. Unenthusiastic
reviews, the lack of any obvious tunes for airplay and the public's distaste 
for its cover (new born babies being trampled underfoot by a bunch of 
adults) meant that they sold much worse than expected, and the proposed 
headlining UK tour, set to promote the records, was summarily junked by Virgin's

Instead they substituted their own headline jaunt with plans to support Talking 
Heads in November. But, in true Human League fashion, it wouldn't be as
straightforward as that. In the words of Bob Last's press release . . .

'The Human League, intrigued to experience their own performance themselves, 
have designed a remotely controlled touring entertainment. Therefore 30 Human
League minutes will be available on the upcoming Talking Heads tour. The League 
temsleves may well join the audience on some evenings to savour the occasion.
The arrangement will allow tem on other evenings to continue working on their 
second album in their Sheffield workshop'. Which would mean that they had
sharpened the control of modern technology to the point where they didn't 
actually need to appear on stage at all! This new concept in 'live' shows was
obviously not to the taste the Heads because hours before the tour was about to 
start the League were given their marching orders. Although a great deal
of expense of time and money, had gone into the scheme, the band refused to be 
thrown by the incident. As Adrian proffers 'spirits were quite high because
everybody was against us and we were all really tough about it.'

Determined that the mistakes they had made with the first album should not be 
repeated, the band spent the next months convincing Virgin to put up the money
to finance their own personal studio. It made commercal sense because the band 
would probably spend less money fitting up their own place than they would
if they recorded elsewhere. They eventually set up shop in a disused veterinary 
surgery in Devonshire Lane. Having cleaned out the cat hairs and hamster
droppings, they christened their new home in characteristic tountue-in-cheek 
fashion 'Monumental Pictures'.

In April '80 they released Holiday '80 as a double single pack which, for the 
first 10,000, included Rock and roll Parts 1 and 2/Nightclubbing (a cover
of the Iggy Pop/Bowie mood march), Dancevision, Marianne and Being Boiled (the 
newly recorded version). It entered the charts at number 80 with all the
impact of a falling souffle and Virgin took the recuperative step of deleting 
the original double pack and quickly issuing an ordinary 7 inch version.
The new single now comprised Rock and Roll without the Nightclubbing sequence, 
Being Boiled and Dancevision - Marianne being lost to those unlucky enough
not to have gotten the original. It reached No 56 in the charts, an achievement 
that was magnificently surpassed by the second album Travelogue which peaked
at No 16 in the album slot. Released in May '80, Travelogue fulfills the 
League's stated intention of providing dance music for the '80s, without talk
of digital delay componets and modulating sequencers, far better than 
Reproduction. It still bore the odd trace of pedantic and ponderous 
but overall the atmosphere was brighter, lighter and longer burning than they 
had ever achieved before.

At that time, the Blitz scene, or the New Romantics or the Rebels without a 
Thing To Wear began to dominate the headlines. Their passion for the dancefloor
and the electro-austerity of Numan cybernauts provided the League with the 
ready-made audience they had previously lacked. Martyn however, gave short 
to the so-called Futurists: 'It's a very old fashioned view of futurism, which 
is like people walking about like Michael Rennie out of 'The Day The Earth
Stood Still' or something. That's not futurism, that's more nostalgia than 
anything else.'

Travelogue's success was but a brief gap in the group's run of hard times. In 
what seemed a concerted effort to flood the vinyl market with Human League
product, Virgin tried to capitalise on the modest successes of the Rock and 
Roll single and the second album by releasing yet another single. In June '80
they repackaged Empire State Human, which, in the words of the Virgin press 
release, had made 'buggerall impact' at the time of their first attempt with
it the previous Octover. The first 15,000 were sold as a double pack with ESH - 
backed by Introducing - shrinkwrapped alongside Travelogue tracks Only
Afer Dark (the Mick Ronson cover) and the instrumental Toyota City. It still 
didn't sell.

By now, on the verge of a make or break year, the strains on the band were 
beginning to tell. Never the most complementary of characters, the in-fighting
on everything from group policy to the kind of animal skin jacket Bryan Ferry 
word on Roxy Music's first 'Old Grey Whistle Test' appearance had become
unbearable. But it was something that had gone on right from the start. Philip 

'The impression is that there was a big bust up between me and Martyn. Tere was 
always a big bust up between me and Martyn. I've known him seven years,
and as long as I can remember I've been arguing like the clappers with him. I 
didn't talk to him for a year once. I rememer chasing him down the road throwing
milk at him.'

In November '80, The Human League anounced that they had gone forth and 
multiplied. Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh had split off to form themselves into a 
company' under the name of The British Electric Foundation. This would function 
as 'a cross between what PiL should have been before they became just another
group, and th business suss of Chic' in the words of Martyn Ware. The break 
came when preliminary groundwork for the third album got snagged up because
no one could agree on just about anything. It seems that the major disagreement 
was over how the group's aim to make enormously successful pop records
only using synthesisers and vocals should be achieved.

Bob Last, who continued to manage the League while maintaining a partnership 
interest in the Foundation clarified the situation: 'The League didn't split
up for the usual corny musical-and-personal differences reasons: they simply no 
longer had an adequate working relationship. Neither party was happy and
no one was fulfilled, but this way both sides will produce far more 
satisfactory and commercial work'.

Ware and Marsh under the name Heaven 17 (one they nicked from Stanley Kubrick's 
film 'Clockwork Orange') released (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
to be followed by the Penthouse and Pavement LP - which went silver earlier on 
this year and is still bobbing around te album charts. After producing a
Hot Gossip album which they took over from Spandau producer and Landscape 
member Richard Burgess, they have released an album of cover versions entitld
Music of Quality and Distinction. Basically a collection of BEF's favourite 
tracks, the hookline come in the inspired use of several guest singers. Whilst
Glen Gregory (the vocalist contracted to fill Phil's place) handled Lou Reed's 
Perfect Day and Glan Campbell's Wichita Lineman, there were party pieces
from Billy MacKenzieof The Associatiates for Bowie's Secret Life of Arabia and 
Roy Orbison's It's Over Sandie Shaw, the 60's barefoot chanteuse and the
League's old hero Gary Glitter also appeared.

But what of Philip and Adrian? Left with the band's name, Adrian's collection 
of slides and home movies, and a lop-sided haircut, the two were faced with
the terrifying prospect of having to honour a couple of British dates in the 
next week or so.

Determined not to go under, Adrian started to learn the synthesiser whilst 
Oakey put into practice his long cherished hope of becoming the British Abba.
Always acutelyl image-conscious, Phil realised that what the group needed apart 
from those elusive commercial singles, was a healthy dollop of glamour.
He himself had providd the original ingredient - that slightly ambiguous 
sexuality enshrined in his liberal use of black Kohl eye-liner, girls' blouses
and pierced nipples - but now he wanted to balance that out. He found what he 
was looking for inthe Crazy Daisy disco in Sheffield.

'I went in looking for someone to join the group. We had an idea that we'd 
prefer someone of a less similar gender to our own . . . also Martyn's got a
rather nice high pitched voice when he wants to, and we needed a high voice 
just to cut through and add things on record or sing leads ocasionally.

'My girlfriend said, "Look at those two, they're great". They weren't at al, ut 
we licked 'em into shape. And in four days they were singing better than
me,' said Phil after the girls' second appearance on stage.

At the tender ages of 18 and 17 respectively, Joanne Catherall and Susane 
Sulley had made the rather spectacular move from studying A-levels to twisting
the nigt away on stage with a pop group. The Things That Dreams Are Made Of! 
Susanne: 'Surprised weren't the word. I were dumbfounded.'

But the glamour wasn't the only factor necessary for the life to continue to 
flow through The Human League's veins. Even though Adrian had taken up the
synthesizer, he still had to operate the by now perfectly synchronised visual 
show (he had been elevated to an on-stage position well before this point).
It became imperative that they recruit another member of the musician species. 
With four days to go before the European tour Ian Burden, ex-art-school
teacher, and erstwhile bass guitarist with Sheffield combo Graph was asked to 
join the fun.

'Ian was roped in because we had four days before a German tour and we had 
nobody to play synthesiser on stage,' points out Adrian. 'If we hadn't got him
we'd have had to have gone out with tapes of me and Philip - which we wanted to 
do at one point but we chickened out because we thought they might kill

Burden whose girlfriend shared a house with Philip, is a perfect foil for the 
ping-pong wit of the others. Tall, serene, with a humour dry enough to be
a fire hazard, Ian's qualifications for the job were not as obvious as you 
might believe. Says his new boss:

'Ian never really liked the old Human League, e's a much arier sort of person. 
I think he was very surprised he even got on wth us: his background's art
school and we're just interested in pop records, basically.' More than anything 
else, Ian's 'serious' musicianship brought a whole new confidence to the
band's sage show. 'We've always needed someone like Ian Burden,' Philip 
confirms. 'I'm good on words and tunes, but we've never had anyone who was 
good at rhythms and bass lines.' 'Ian's a bass guitarist, very 
reggae-influenced. His heroes are Sly Dnbar and Robbie Shakespeare.'

Put on a two month trial period ('like a new washing maching or something!') 
and given a weekly wage, Burden enabled the League to fulfill their contracts
and go out on the European tour. It was a masterful piece of bluff that cost 
much in the way of emotional wear and tear.

'That tour nearly reduced me to an alcoholic. I was drinking bourbon every 
night to try and forget what we were doing because I thought iwas a vast con.'
said Philip later. 'I've always hated backing tapes. The old group used them a 
lot and I hated them from the very start'.

Back home and the real cementing of the group, with new members, new roles and 
directions took place in earnest. Not that the old goals had been changed
in any respect by the recent game of musical chairs rather the degree of 
concentrated attack on the group's more commercial aims had been microscopically
focused. Phil:

'In the old group we wanted to be pop right from the start but there were four 
people who all had different ideas about how to go about doing it.'

'We're starting to write pretty pop songs that are properly finished off. What 
we're about is tunes and, to a lesser degree, rhythms and lyrics, but really
tunes - just the same as Abba or Michael Jackson or even Rod Steward. We don't 
play electronic music, we play pop music that happens to be done on 
It was a remarkable simple shift in attitude but one that had far-reaching 

In February of '81, the new look League issued their first single Boys and 
Girls - a song shich marked the collaboration for the first time of Adrian and
philip as songwriters and the official membership of Susanne and Joanne. It 
reached No 48, the closest any League single had got to the big time.

Meanwhile pressure had begun to build up from Virgin over that old chestnut - 
whether or not to use orthodox musical instruments as a supplement to the
synthesisers. Adrian, 'the floss-haired git' responds in typically terse terms: 
'What peopl don't seem to understand is that it's our group and we can
do what the hell we want'. Philip was slightly more eloquent: 'The whole 
experiment that evolved in the very first place was: is it possible for a group
- people who have never had anything to do with music - by using the brain and 
adapting modern technology, that maybe they can get a record into the Top
Ten without having any traditional musical abilities? Doing it that way - 
that's what the experiment was.'

Using ordinary instruments meant using ordinary musicians, a change bound to 
instill fear and loathing in a couple who had just fought desperately hard
to win and maintain control ofthe band. 'The more people you've got,' Adrian 
insists, 'the more chance you've got of having arguments and thins that don't
help.' After a big confrontation with the record company the group reluctantly 
agred to use other instruments simply ecause virgin had intimated that they
wouldn't push the League unless they did. As it turned out though, it wasn't at 
all necessary.

In April the group followed up the thumbprint they had made with Boys and Girls 
with the Ian Burdne/Phil Oakey collaboration Sound of the Crowd - a record
which bruised the chart at the number 12 spot, just failing to make the top 
ten's golden mile. The song marked the first partnering of the band with 
Martin Rushent as well as ushering in Burden as a permanent member. Rushent, 
whose work with 999 had so impressed Oakey, brought a new dimension to the
Human League's music. 'We spent I don't know how long on it (Sound of the 
Crowd) before we met Martin, and we'd bodged it so badly. We'd had this arrogant
attitude, but when it comes to things like the whole basic balance of a record, 
we don't know how to do it. Martin Rushent does. I hope if we continue
working with people like him we will know more.'

Rushent provided the vital ingredient to the song's success in that those weak 
drum sounds that Virgin were so worried about were swapped for a highly 
synthesised drum unit developed in Rushent's own Bekshire studio, Genetic. A 
producer that could enhance and bring out what the League had been trying
to convey all this tim was all that was really missing from those gorgeous pop 
tunes and a change of atitude was all that it tok to bring that situation
about. Philip confesses:

'We were making bad records for such a long time. It was down to arrogance, 
thinking that we knew everything there was to know although we didn't. 
is not too bad; Travelogue to me is a joke, I wouldn't recommend anyone bought 
it: I think it's taht bad.' An ironical stagement made in the light of the
reappearance of both those albums in the charts, something which pleases Adrian 
about as much as a tax demand.

Ushering in a phase of astonishing success was he band's first appearance on TV 
- a spot on Top of The Pops to promote Sound of the Crowd. It also highlighted
the peculiar situation the two girls were in. Brought in for their glamour 
quotient alone, Philip maintains that their vocal ability onlly came to te fore
during the recording of the single. Their joining in the first place was a bone 
of contention between the band and their fans. Joane commented, 'Bluntly
speaking, people look at us as two little tarts who are in a group. We've had 
it said to us!' Philip mentioned the resentment they received: 'I don't think
boys like the idea of girls being in groups. There's a stereotype they try to 
stick to. There's a hell of a lot of men, very very scared of women . . .
They hate the girls in Germany. They threw beer cans at them over there, it 
goes so deep.' Joanne again: 'Some people think that because a girl is in a
group she has to go sleeping around with every member of the group. That's what 
people think.'

The situation could not have been helped when Joanne subsequently became 
Philip's main squeeze, their love providing the inspiration for many of te songs
on the band's third album. Apart from the fans' unfamiliarity with the girls, 
there was also Bob Last's doubt about vocal abilities. He wanted to use backing
vocalists for the TOTP session but Susanne pointed out the false economy of it 
all. 'We said we didn't think it was fair to us or the public because it
was conning everyone into thinking we had superb voices. What would happen when 
we went on tour? Everyone would be expecting perfect back-up vocals and
they'd get us. And if you use session singers when are you going to improve?' 
The band got their own way simply because the girls combination of vulnerable,
girl next door glamour and sympathetic amateurism was totally in keeping with 
the League's past and present image. The single also introduced the band's
gimmick of colour-coding their records. Recorded by Human League Red, it 
carried a red sticker, apparently denoting the danceability quota - 'Red for 
says Susanne. 'For Spandy types,' adds Joanne. And Blue for Abba fans,' 
confirms Philip.

And red is the colour of the hit that followed, Love Action, the best record of 
that summer, which was rush-released in July to capitalise on its predecessor's
success. Released in both 7 and 12 inch versions, Love Action/Hard Times 
smashed into the charts at No 3, finally awarding the band with the dream goal
they had strived so long and so hard for. The brilliance of its simple, yet 
elegant chorus coupled with the bright bubbly melody line made it a compulsive
summertime anthem which deserved its accolade of being one of the best selling 
singles of the year.

Never ones to lean on their laurels, the band had been recording tracks for 
their third album Dare and fired of another cut from it in October, Open Your
Heart - a single which brought Jo Callis' membership of the band out into the 
ir. Callis, a veteran of groups such as The Rezillos, Boots For Dancing and
Shake, had been composing and recording with the League for the past six 
months. Introduced to them via Bob Last who also managed Callis, he's described
by Oakey as being 'the world's most energetic human being. He doesn't stop from 
when he wakes up to when he goes to sleep, which is about five in the morning.
He can do anything. He's the best keyboard player in the group which is quite 
good when you consider he's not a keyboard player.'

With his history in the 60's soaked esoterica of The Rezillos, Callis made 
perfect sense as the extra member especially as he had a shared fascination with
Adrian for all things pulp. When I first met him, Jo recalls, 'the first thing 
he did was open up his wallet and show me two Thunderbirds bubblegum cards
with the words of this song he'd written. Three years later we eventually 
finished it.'

In October '81 they released Dare to unanimous applause and quickly followed it 
up with Don't You Want Me?, a song inspired by the film 'A Star is Born'.
Within a week of its release it reached No 1 on December 12, a position it held 
on to all over Christmas and the New Year. Not to be outmatched, Dare shot
straight tothe top of th album charts in tandem with the single and clung to 
the top right through the early months of '82. Their headlining winter tour
of the UK was an unqualified sell-out, finally removing the all nightmarish 
memories of that first ill-fated album-promoting jaunt. There's no stopping
the snowballing popularity of the League now. Recruiting Mike Douglas (first 
heard on Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark records) as third keyboardist,
the band now garner rave reviews for their live appearances - by this time 
Adrian's show consists of 17 projectors and 1400 slides; he's built a box with
buttons on it which he plays on stage. In February '82 they won the coveted 
British Rock and Pop Awards for Best Album with Dare, which then went on to
do them even more proud by going Platinum along with Don't You Want Me. Which 
means it has sold in excess of a million copies, a feat that only 16 singles
have achieved since 1974. It's interesting to note that neither Adam and the 
Ants nor The Police have topped that mark. Philip celebrated in his own fashion
by cutting off that long shank of hair, its purpose having been well and truly 

The huge success thatthe band were now enjoying hardly saw them rushing for the 
Bahama beaches or zipping off to South America for a quiet Pina Colada or
two. On the contrary, the band get a princely wage of something like [pound]43 
a week with Philip still dossing down above the studion in Sheffield.

The catalogue of their success seems almost endless. The total domestic sales 
of their singles outstriped the three million mark, whilst the EMI re-release
of 'Being Boiled' chuged up to the No 6 spot in January '82.

Philip has his own explanations for the phenomenal success. 'One of the reasons 
was that we changed the format of the group and we changed around to writing
songs where the words and the vocal line are the strongest thing there and 
that's supported by the others instead of writing instrumentals and putting
words to them. I don't think that the instruments really matter any more. I 
like to think we're the first grown-up synthesiser band because it doesn't
mater. Of all the synthesiser bands, there's us and there's everyone that 
copies Kraftwerk and that's about it.'

Having got their native country dancing itself stupid, the League set off in 
March for a European tour that kicked off in Berlin, realising that the market
there is just ripe for a band that combine glamour with accessibility. After 
that they have lined up for them a world tour taking in Japan, Australia and
the Americas even though they have been advised that that country 'will not buy 
the Human League'.

'That's what they said about The Beatles,' comments Phil wryly . . .

If there's one thing the Human League need not fear, it's their ability to stay 
in the top rank. In thewords of their vocalist, 'In the long term, so long
as you're writing good songs, you've got it made. It doesn't matter what you 
look like, someone will want to hear them. I think that's really what it's
all about . . .'



Being Boiled
Fast Product
June 1978

The Dignity of Labour Parts 1 and 4
April 1979

I Don't Depend On You
Virgin [recorded as 'The Men']
Summer 1979

Empire State Human
October 1979

Holiday '80 (double pack for the first 10,000 with 'Nightclubbing' and 
'Marianne', after as a single pack without those tracks))
April 1980

Empire State Human
Virgin - re-release
June 1980

Boys and Girls
February 1981

Sound of the Crowd
April 1981

Love Action/Hard Times
July 1981

Open Your Heart
October 1981

Don't You Want Me
December 1981

Being Boiled
EMI - Fast re-released
January 1982


October 1979

May 1980

October 1981 

Other related posts: