The Human League

1977-
PhilOakeyVocals, synth
Martyn WareSynth
Ian MarshSynth
Adrian WrightVisuals
Ian BurdenBass
Joanne CatherallVocals
Susanne SulleyVocals
  • The name of the band was taken from a sci-fi board game called Star Force. One empire was called The Human League. The group was formerly called The Future.
  • The group split up after releasing their first two albums. Wright and Oakley formed the new Human League with a bass player and two school girls as additional vocalists. Ware and Marsh left to form the British Electronic Foundation which later became known as Heaven 17.
  • They've built protecting cages around themselves and their synthesizers after some bad experiences during live shows ("fans" throwing beer cans, etc.). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Thomas - Wurzburg, Germany, for all above
  • Phil Oakey first approached Joanne Catherall and Susanne Sulley to join Human League in 1980 when he spotted them dancing together on the dance floor. Neither had any experience of singing or dancing professionally. Sulley recalled to Q magazine in 2016:

    "He came over, he was very serious and said, 'I don't know if you know but I'm Philip Oakey from the Human League. Our group has just split up but we're contracted to do a tour of Europe in three weeks and we're looking for a female singer. I saw you and your friend together and wondered if you wanted to audition."
  • Oakey was working as a hospital porter at the time he was approached to be Human League's vocalist. He recalled to Q Magazine: "I was a hospital porter out of absolute desperation. I'd worked at a book shop for two years where their wages were £9.50 a week; at least with portering I was earning £50 a week. That was the only reason I did it, I was finished otherwise."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 1

  • Minna from Joplin, MoTheir last and biggest hit HUMAN was produced by hit makers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, former members of The Time
see more comments

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Is That Song Public Domain?Fact or Fiction

Are classic songs like "Over The Rainbow" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the public domain?

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."