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Thursday, September 16

Dare - Human League

This was one of the very first vinyl LPs I bought, at the time I was going through a bit of I heart the 80's phase. And what better record than Dare to exemplify that. To be honest I didn't really know what I was buying , at the time I only knew Don't you Want Me, but it was one of my favourite songs of all time but more on that later.

(the audio clips are courtesy of Amazon which is a nice if unintended touch)

Things that dreams are made of - I've actually had this album a few years now, back in the days when I didn't know who Richard X was, now he's probably one of my favourite producers. This song is probably the song on the album that reminds me of Mr X the most. Its weird to think when this album came out there were few pop acts making use of synths like this . Maybe it's because I'm removed from the times and not an expert but I see the synths in Human League on the same par as the Roxy Music debut album maybe its the success that Mister Oakey and co had that made them a lot less respected than Eno?

2. Open your heart - One of the Things I love about Phil Oakey is he absolute lack of ability in the singing department, but I think that is half the charm. In this song especially though he does rely on the backing vocals of Joanne and Susanne. The story of Joey and Suzie is one which I'm not older enough to really understand. If the I heart programs are to believed he just found them in a disco while they were at school, if that happened now I'd smell a Simon Fuller masterstroke but surely then was the same. Am I too Cynical?

3. Sound of the crowd The 'get it right now' and 'get around town' forever make this an electro reworking of 'I get around' which it isn't but it is a nice ode to the New Romantic club type things, and it has a good percussive Synth outro.

Darkness -Oakey Brings us in with some lovely 'la-la-la-laaaas' It's a bit of a darkness cliche, but I'm still a sucker for the 'I can see better in the dark cliche' it's poetic in an 'I'm a teenager writing poetry' kinda way. Which has to be admired or your condemning yourself.

Do or die - A little to samba for my liking, especially for a song about the difficulty of survival, a song like that. Though those early synths didn't do dark really so I'll let them off.

Get Carter - I have a confession to make, I've never seen Get Carter. The amount it's referenced and name-checked I feel like I've committed some kind of pop culture cardinal sin. But I like the track is that a get out clause?

I am the law - This is more of the darkness I was talking about for 'Do or Die' In this one I can't decide whether I like the really simple essentially spoken word chorus. It's like Fitter Happier of OK Computer, I can't work out whether its genius or a cop out. This listen its a genius next time might be different.

Seconds It sounds like Prince on the Intro - 1999 I think, but its the start of one of the best closes to an album, Normally in my experience the first three tracks are better than the last three. There's not many cheery songs about murdering, and this is suitably dark, and its simplicity really seems to imply the fundamental simplicity of the act which ultimately gets you to question whether there can be any mitigating circumstances to the act. Not bad for an eighties synth pop band with one song.

9. Love action (I believe in love) - Oakey has put on his best butch voice in parts of this. It just make the track even more camp. But as mantra or call to arms 'I believe in love' fulfils the role nicely. I wonder if someone called Justin might have heard this one?

10. Don't you want me -One of the best mini-narrative songs ever. It's like a premise of a pulp Mills and Boon book, plus what with Oakeys discovering the Girls in the band it has a nice blurred line between the songs fiction and the bands fact. And its more catchy than a lot of STD's

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