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Sheffield History

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THE HUMAN LEAGUE

Original Line Up

phil oakey: vocals

martyn ware: synths

ian craig marsh: synths

 

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INFORMATION

When Sheffield computer operators Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh teamed up with hospital porter Phil Oakey in 1977 to experiment with electronic sythesizers, The Human League was formed. A year and a demo tape later, Adrian Wright joined the outfit and their live performances which had mainly been to art college students, now included playing support to Siouxie & The Banshees and, in 1979, Iggy Pop.

Ware and Craig Marsh left The Human League in 1980 to form Heaven 17. Oakey and Wright discovered Joanne Catherall and Susan Sulley dancing in a local nightclub and recruited them to dance on stage with the band. Several singles in the early part of 1981 were released and reached the lower end of the UK charts, the first major success being Sound Of The Crowd. Their next single did even better - Love Action (I Believe In Love) got to number three in the summer. By the end of 1981, the album Dare was number one and a single lifted from it, Don't You Want Me occupied the top slot in the UK.

A second album Hysteria followed in 1984, as did Phil's brief excursion away from the band with Georgio Moroder with Together In Electric Dreams.

In 1986, the album Crash was released and the single Human was the last one of the decade to make the Top Ten.

 

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Then, just as everyone thought they had disappeared, The Human League returned in 1995 with the catchy optimistic love song, Tell Me When which reached number six. Their second single that year, One Man In My Heart proved that Tell Me When wasn't a fluke by a chart position of number thirteen.

PICTURES

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Hello Everyone, I just shared a new podcast episode. On the road with The Human League in May 1980. Link to listen here - http://smarturl.it/MyLifeInTheMosh Thanks Roger

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Phil Oakey was a porter at Fulwood hospital when I worked there playing smaller venues with Human League. Shortly after I emigrated he hit the big time. I believe it was the Crazy Daisy where he saw Joanne and Susan dancing.

BTW the Made in Sheffield DVD is available over here .I bought it the week it came out.

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Guest andi064

 

The Human League 2006 From Left: Joanne Catherall, Philip Oakey, Susan Ann Sulley

The Human League are still going strong! They finished a tour of the USA and Europe in December 2006 and are taking a rest now before playing some festivals in the summer, at home and abroad. Philip Oakey has said that the group aim to produce new material this year and possibly a new studio album. For more info on the Band:

Human League Fan Forum

Human League History (Very detailed Danish fansite in English)

Susan Sulley's Unofficial Website

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Guest andi064

Some 21st Century Human League pictures for those interested:

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1. Receiving Q Award (Innovation in sound) 2004

2. Secrets 2001, Album Artwork

3. THL Portrait 2005

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4. THL on Tour 2004

5. Susan Ann Sulley (formerly known as Susanne Sulley) live on stage 2006

2003_Q_awards.jpg

2001_Secrets_Artwork.jpg

2005_trio.jpg

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2003_ss_pdc_171203_02.jpg

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Guest andi064

Didn't Phil get in to producing albums for other artists???

Phil has never Produced formally, but regularly 'advises' up and coming bands. He has worked regularly outside the Human League with other artists in the past, and has the following commercial releases:

1984 Giorgio Moroder Recorded a complete album and the hit single "Together In Electric Dreams" (now also an 'honorary' Human League track)

1990 Respect "What Comes After Good-Bye" (Respect featuring Philip Oakey)

1999 All Seeing I "1st Man In Space" (All Seeing I, vocals by Philip Oakey)

2003 Kings Have Long Arms- "Rock and Roll is Dead (Kings Have Long Arms featuring Philip Oakey)

2003 Alex Gold "LA Today" - (Alex Gold featuring Philip Oakey)

The Girls (Joanne and Susan) have never worked independently. Although I was told that Susan has been asked, but turned it down saying she's not interested in working outside the Human League.

Hope that helps

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Thanks. It's good to see that they are still making a living in the industry. So many artists have a fleeting career and then fade away.

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Guest MartinC

I saw The Human League support Siouxsie And The Banshees at the Top Rank in 1978.I remember slides being shown as they were playing.Clips of 60's TV shows rings a bell,im sure they showed bits of STINGRAY.

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Sheffield History

Good stuff Andi - thanks for the updates, they are much appreciated and it's always good to hear about the Human League..

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Guest andi064

As this is a very well viewed thread, I thought people here would like this photo from Falkirk last week. This is the most recent Human League band photo (only 10 days old!). Philip wasnt as grumpy as this photo makes him appear :)

From Right:

Philip Oakey - Lead Vocals and founder member.

Susan Ann Sulley (formerly known as Susanne Sulley) - Vocals, since 1980

Rob Barton - Drums, since 2004

Joanne Catherall - Vocals, since 1980

David Beevers - On stage Sound Engineer, since 1999

Nic Burke - Multi Instrumentalist, Since 2001

Neil Sutton - Keyboards, Since 1990

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RichardB

I used to dance around my hangbag to "Being Boiled" and "Empire State Human" with Phil in the Limit ......

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Sheffield History

As this is a very well viewed thread, I thought people here would like this photo from Falkirk last week. This is the most recent Human League band photo (only 10 days old!). Philip wasnt as grumpy as this photo makes him appear :)

From Right:

Philip Oakey - Lead Vocals and founder member.

Susan Ann Gayle (formerly known as Susanne Sulley) - Vocals, since 1980

Rob Barton - Drums, since 2004

Joanne Catherall - Vocals, since 1980

David Beevers - On stage Sound Engineer, since 1999

Nic Burke - Multi Instrumentalist, Since 2001

Neil Sutton - Keyboards, Since 1990

Many thanks

Keep the updates coming - Sheffield is a city that's really proud of the Human League

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Guest andi064

Many thanks

Keep the updates coming - Sheffield is a city that's really proud of the Human League

THL are key contenders for this years ' Sheffield Legend' Award. Which would be a nice honour from their home city on the 30th Aniversary this year. (Even if Joanne and Susan are relative newcomers with only 27 years in the Band). But thats up to the Lord Mayors commitee.

Susan has recently confirmed that the Band are going to release a new album "in the near future". Something Philip was hinting at in December 06. An event that should make all the papers.

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Guest Horrorbelle

I work at the Psalter Lane campus of Hallam (the old Arts College) - We have a plaque here to say that Human League played their first gig in the Wham Bar (which has sadly now become a computer room).

we've been talking about using that event as a possible part of our wake/celebrations of Psalter as the site is closing in Summer 2008, and we're all being shipped with our lovely books to City. :(

Was anyone at that gig?

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Guest andi064

I work at the Psalter Lane campus of Hallam (the old Arts College) - We have a plaque here to say that Human League played their first gig in the Wham Bar (which has sadly now become a computer room).

we've been talking about using that event as a possible part of our wake/celebrations of Psalter as the site is closing in Summer 2008, and we're all being shipped with our lovely books to City. :(

Was anyone at that gig?

Any chance of a good photo of that. I know a lot of Human League Mk1 (pre chicks) fans who would like a copy of that.

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Sheffield History

Anyone wanting to see that gig should buy the dvd 'made in sheffield'

it's highly recommended - I absolutely love it

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Guest andi064

(follow on post) Any chance of a good photo of that plaque. (Especially if it's closing)I know a lot of Human League Mk1(pre chicks) fans who would like a copy of that.

Maybe it should be converted to a blue 'Heritage Department' disk. I think Black's on High Street (Ex Crazy Daisy) needs one too. eg "Pop Royalty Joanne Catherall and Susanne Sulley Danced here in 1980" lol he he

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Guest andi064

30th ANNIVERSARY "DARE" TOUR

For anyone who wants to see them live, The Human League are to mark their 30th Anniversary with a special "Dare Tour" in November/December 2007 where they will play their most successful album in its entirety. 20 Dates have now been anounced in UK and Europe including Sheffield on 07/12/07. This is likley to be one of their best tours ever and I would expect it to sell out very quickly so I advise booking early.

Sheffield City Hall Friday 7th December 2007

See Entire Tour Listing

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Guest andi064

I work at the Psalter Lane campus of Hallam (the old Arts College) - We have a plaque here to say that Human League played their first gig in the Wham Bar (which has sadly now become a computer room).

we've been talking about using that event as a possible part of our wake/celebrations of Psalter as the site is closing in Summer 2008, and we're all being shipped with our lovely books to City. :(

Was anyone at that gig?

Here is a picture of that Plaque: I will be putting a copy on Wikipedia too.

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I saw The Human League support Siouxsie And The Banshees at the Top Rank in 1978.I remember slides being shown as they were playing.Clips of 60's TV shows rings a bell,im sure they showed bits of STINGRAY.

I saw The Human League also in 1978 at the Top Rank supporting The Stranglers. I remember them playing a cover of Bridge over troubled water with synthesizers never heard anything like it before. Not sure if the punk audience appreciated it at the time!!! I worked next door to Thornbury hospital where Phil worked,

quite weird to see him on the no 60 bus the next day.

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