Human League

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Commencing during the heart of the UK Punk era.

Human League were very much ahead of their time.

They went on to become a major feature of the Post Punk and New Wave era.

As well as a huge influence over music as we know it today.


Hailing from Sheffield in the UK, formed during 1977.

Human League's most popular album was Dare, released in 1981, spawning the single "Don't You Want Me" a No. 1 hit in the pop charts of UK, US and many other countries, probably one of those songs that everyone can sing along to.

Following the success of "Don't You Want Me", their first single, "Being Boiled" was reissued and hit the top ten hit at the start of 1982.

The success of "Don't You Want Me" is seen as the beginning of the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US, with the Human League scoring many other international hits, including -
"Love Action"
"Open Your Heart"
"Mirror Man"
"The Lebanon"
"Human" (a US No. 1)
"Tell Me When".

The Human League has had only one constant band member since day one, this is vocalist/songwriter Philip Oakey.

First off, they started their musical journey as an Avant-Garde style, all-male synthesizer-based band, but The Human League evolved to become one of the originators of Synthpop, as well as a huge commercial success.

Since 1987, they have basically been a trio;-
Phil Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (both of whom joined the ensemble in 1980), with various sidemen.


Throughout their career, they have released nine studio albums, four EPs, 30 singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums and eight singles in the UK Top 10 and have sold more than 20 million records worldwide.

Album List

1) Reproduction (1979)


2) Travelogue (1980)


3) Dare (1981)


4) Hysteria (1984)


5) Crash (1986)


6) Romantic? (1990)

Human League Romantic.jpg

7) Octopus (1995)

Human League Octopus.jpg

8) Secrets (2001)


9) Credo (2011)


Well deserved awards

  • 1982 BRIT Award – Best British breakthrough act
  • 2004 Q Award – Innovation in sound
  • 2008 ASCAP Award – for 20 million U.S radio plays of "Don't You Want Me" (in 2007)

Members Name Check

  • Philip Oakey – vocals, keyboards (1977–present)
  • Joanne Catherall – vocals (1980–present)
  • Susan Ann Sulley – vocals (1980–present)
  • Ian Craig Marsh – keyboards (1977–1980)
  • Martyn Ware – keyboards (1977–1980)
  • Philip Adrian Wright – visuals (1978–1980), keyboards (1978–1986)
  • Ian Burden – keyboards, bass (1980–1987)
  • Jo Callis – keyboards, guitar (1981–1985)
  • Jim Russell – drums, guitar, programming (1983–1987)

Additional Members

  • Neil Sutton – keyboards (1986–present)
  • David Beevers – onstage engineering (1990–present)
  • Nic Burke – multi-instrumentalist (2001–present)
  • Rob Barton – electronic percussion (2003–present)
  • Russell Dennett – keyboards (1990–1994)
  • Errol Rollins – electronic percussion (2001–2004)

External Links