Earlier this week I received a wonderful package in the mail, and it wasn’t even the kind thats usually wrapped in plain brown paper. No, no. This is much more exciting.
I bought the DVD “The Very Best of The Human League”.
Oh my God. I love the Human League. I’ve loved The Human League since 1981 when Love Action (I Believe In Love) came out, BEFORE everyone’s favorite 80s anthem “Don’t You Want Me”.
The Human League were cool in that they used all electronic instruments. All synthesizers. No drums, no guitars, just keyboards and vocals. That was way cool.
Since I was in the middle of puberty when I discovered The Human League, I found myself attracted to Phil Oakey when his hair wasn’t all lopsided and he was wearing tight jeans. Interestingly, I also found both Suzanne (the blonde) and Joanne (the brunette) attractive as well, though I must admit that I leaned more towards Suzanne while secretly wishing for Phil.
As big of a Human League fan that I am, I had only seen the video to “Don’t You Want Me.” We didn’t have cable, let alone MTV when I was growing up. The only way we could catch videos was if we watched them at my Grandma’s in Syracuse or if we watched “Friday Night Videos” on NBC at 12:30 a.m. on Friday. I guess that was MTV for the hicks or something.
I must admit that I really enjoyed the videos and found Phil yummier than ever. I’ve watched the entire DVD four or five times this week. One of the things that I enjoy about the Human League is that Phil’s vocals are more in the baritone range that I sing in, rather than the tenor stylings so common in pop music. There’s an instrumental track called “Hard Times” on the Fascination! EP (and on the flip side of Love Action) that shows how low Phil can sing, and I can get right down there with him. (That really invokes some images in one’s mind if you use your imagination, doesn’t it?!?)
The other thing that I really enjoy about the group is that they just do there own thing. They’re fiercely devoted to their art. They bang around on keyboards until they find something that sounds really good, then they add vocals to it. And the product is way cool.
The Human League still tours from time to time. Earl and I saw them during the 80s Rewind Tour with Culture Club and Howard Jones back in 1998. I worked in radio at the time, had met the likes of Phil Collins, Dave Matthews and Britney Spears, but The Human League wouldn’t let me backstage to meet them. I was miffed! No, pissed is a better word. But I’ve since forgiven them. Looking back, I couldn’t have been scorned too much, since I continued to play “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” in heavy gold rotation on the station I was programming.
It’s good to take a stroll down memory lane once in a while. It’s good to feel a little fascination.
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