April 14, 2012

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Human League - On top of everything else: Techno.


The last few years of the 70's signaled a huge explosion in music genres. One of them was the introduction of Techno, or Synthpop. Mostly relegated to Disco and soft-Jazz in the early 70's, Techno branched out and crossed paths with Experimental and turned what was formerly a dance genre into something new.

Human League were at the forefront of the movement. Along with bands like OMD and Ultravox!, Human League embraced a cool and detached approach - stripped down and basic. Initially their was more akin to the German techno of Kraftwerk, rather than Tangerine Dream and it eventually paved the way for the New Wave and New Romantic genres.

Tonight it's a session Human League did for the BBC, recorded on August 8, 1978 when they were relatively new and finding their musical voice.

Here's what they perform:

1. Being Boiled
2. No Time
3. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (yes, THAT one).
4. Blind Youth

It's interesting, the inclusion of a song made famous by The Righteous Brothers and iconic in its production by Phil Spector. Done by Human League the warmth is stripped away and the message seems sinister in comparison, becoming almost an anti-love song. Which, considering the times, was probably the intention.

Further evidence the playing field was up for grabs and it was open season for everything.

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