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About The Human League

When Virgin signed the Human League in April of 1979, they signed them with a sense of apprehension. They questioned the chart viability of a pop group that relied on synthesizers, and they wanted the Sheffield group to rely less on them. The group agreed to release a single using more traditional instrumentation, but only if they could issue it under a pseudonym and not as the Human League. As the Men, Martyn Ware, Ian Marsh, and Philip Oakey recorded the two disco-influenced songs "I Don't Depend on You" and "Cruel" (a largely instrumental version of the former) with hired guns on bass, drums, and background vocals. Produced by Colin Thurston, the single was released by Virgin in July of 1979. Although the single is certainly one of the strongest moments of the Human League's early years, it didn't fare well on the charts. Its failure to perform commercially probably had a little to do with its pseudonymous nature; more importantly, the group was unable to promote the release as they were recording what would become their debut album, Reproduction. Thankfully, when Virgin issued the Human League's second album, Travelogue, on CD, they included both sides of the Men single as bonus tracks. ~ Andy Kellman

Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

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