Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Empire State Human by The Human League

Prior to their break-out success with 1981's Dare, the Human League labored in obscurity in a style that's quite different from their more commercial offerings like "Don't You Want Me."  In fact, early Human League was much colder, and overtly Kraftwerkian in sound, and old Usenet synthpop guru Al Crawford used to compare them pointedly to Gary Numan and John Foxx.

Although Dare was where synthpop focusing on the pop (as opposed to Gary Numan's somewhat novelty-sounding hits earlier) became mainstream huge, in many ways, the earlier Human League is now seen as quite classic, innovative and influential.  The most recognized track from that period is the only single release from their first album.  It was actually first released in 1979 but failed to chart.  On a re-release in 1980, it managed to scrape up to number 62 in the UK.

I've had this track for many years, and think it's quite intriguing in many ways, but honestly I'd also kinda forgotten about it until my recent, belated discovery of Marsheaux.  The Greek girls covered a lot of 80s material, and "Empire State Human" is one of them, which reminded me again of another "classic" synthpop group of the 80s who hadn't quite managed to make it on my blog yet.  I imagine that later I'll add more of their Dare or post-Dare material, but for now, here's kind of the "original" Human League song, "Empire State Human."