Human Beings
by Seal

Album: Human Being (1998)
Charted: 50
Play Video


  • This song is a look at death and mortality - we're mere human beings, thus we are destined to die. Seal came up with the idea in light of the murders of Tupac Shakur (killed in 1996 at 25) and Notorious B.I.G. (killed in 1997 at 24). He told MTV: "It's basically saying that we are not invincible. That we are human beings and that we are born into this life, we have a vocation to fill, and then we die, and that vocation is not pretending we are gangsters."

    He added: "It is essentially a song of love. It was also, I guess, inspired by this constant fear of death that we seem to live in."
  • This was the title track to Seal's third album, his first since Seal four years earlier. That album produced a #1 hit with "Kiss From A Rose," but "Human Beings" stalled at #50 in his native UK and didn't chart at all in America despite excellent reviews for the album. The next two singles didn't chart either, and with scant airplay, Seal's tour was cut short. He fared better with his next album, Seal IV, in 2003.
  • Trevor Horn, known for his work with The Buggles and Yes, produced Seal's first two albums and was set to work on Human Being when he had a row with Seal in 1997 and relinquished the role. Stewart Levine got the gig, but that didn't pan out and Horn ended up producing it after reconciling with Seal.
  • The video was directed by Francis Lawrence. It shows Seal performing the song in front of a big concrete wall, interspersed with shots of other humans.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

70s Music Quiz 1

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.