Friday, April 22, 2011

The Human League: Don't You Want Me (Now DMCA compliant!)

(This post contains no download links!!)

The Human League, originally a more experimental synthesizer band, experienced a rift just like The Rezillos (more HERE) , with the more musicianly types forming Heaven 17 while the remaining members had to recruit some song-writing muscle quick. Enter Jo Callis (more HERE), who not only co-wrote the world-wide smash hit "Don't You Want Me Baby" but also left his indelible stamp on it. The song not only employs those male-female lead vocals (lead singer Phillip Oakley originally thought having one of the back-up singers do a duet was just a novelty) of his earlier band but it also hearkens back to their kitschy retro B-movie lyrical angle (though in this case, more like some "A Star is Born" knock-off).

It would be easy for a rockist, such as myself, to sneer off this massively-successful synth-pop tune but it is not only stamped on my brain due to its hitting the charts when I was young and impressionable but it is also a superbly well-written pop song - one that had novelty appeal at the outset but has endured even as time has set in.

If you're as fascinated with rock doc's as myself, you'll probably get hooked right into this BBC 30 minute documentary on the Human League's twisted history.


Update1 : For an fantastic read go check out this interview with Jo Callis over at It's **** Thing.

Update 2: MRML is looking for a rip of Jo Callis' post Human League band SWALK, let us know if anyone out there has a copy of it!

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  1. CallPastorJerkfaceApril 22, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    I've always loved this song and was truly weirded out when I first heard of it's connection to anything Rezillos related. At that time it seemed unbelievable that anyone involved in something as punky and crazed as Rez/Rev could come up with something so "dark and mysterious"!

    (I'd like to say age played a factor in my ignorance but I'm pretty sure this thought occured to me while I was in my early twenties.I hang my Rock Nerd head in shame.)

  2. I still think The Human League of this period were one of the most irritating acts ever...

  3. I learn something new everyday, so thanks for this. I've always wondered why no one has done a straight forward power pop cover of this. Or maybe they have and I just haven't found it yet.

  4. "It would be easy for a rockist, such as myself, to sneer off this massively-successful synth-pop tune"!!!! Yep, me too!

  5. Hey, thanks for the link to the documentary! I'm apparently on some kind of quest to watch all rock docs ever.

  6. gotta say one of the most irritating songs ever,made worse by the fact it was used on a tv ad in uk.mind you ,cant stand anything else by em either or any of that other 'new romantic' crap like soft cell etc, yuk!
    hey,this post is a bit late as an april fool

  7. I was probably too old even when this came out (31 at the time) to really be impacted by it other than liking it as DJ. As a DJ, I picked this same UK 12" import up (as I had their earlier more experimental efforts) and played the shit out of it for the 3-6 months before it's US release. I never got tired of the extended issue (like the way I did with Soft Cell's Tainted Love) "dub" mix. I also loved the Human League Orchestra's "dub" LP as a whole. 30 years later this has lost a bit of it's shine, but I still play it from time to time for nostalgic purposes. Haven't heard their newest attempt at revival. Somehow I'm not that tempted. But I'd do anything to go back in time 30 years and be there for the night and the first time I played this at the club over a 1000 watt system.

  8. Thanks for having positive (maye 'constructive' is the word) on this post unlike the DMCA who really tore it down


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