Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.

Thursday

ALMOST MEDIEVAL



The birth of a child, never as dark and cold…

In the late 'seventies The Human League were a pioneer electronic band who used synthesizers in dark and experimental pop. The band was composed of Phil Oakey on voice, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh on synths, and Philip Adrian Wright.
Before The Human League re-branded themselves as chart storming synth-pop giants, they released a pair of albums that were perhaps thee most cold and dehumanised form of synth-pop ever heard. It’s almost so unfamiliar that some listeners may doubt the robotic beats of 'Being Boiled' or the eerie dirge of 'The Path Of Least Resistance' could have ever come from the same band who; a few member changes and a stylistic rethink later; produced enduring, pop leviathans like 'Don't You Want Me' a couple of years following.
It’s just so dark. Throughout the record there’s a lack of hope for the world and apathy for humankind strewn across the futuristic electro warbles and detached vocals and lyrics heard on virtually every track. On paper, that sounds unpleasant, but in reality it’s a well formed brand of synth-pop that doesn‘t care for commercial approval. It has its own flavour; its own sense of style and a clear idea of what it wants to be - cold futurist music, deployed using (at the time) cutting edge synthesisers to create a danceable, yet moody form of electronic music for those outside the realms of pop’s rose-tinted glasses.
Sure, 'Dare' is a masterpiece and, when it comes down to it, it’s probably a better record than 'Reproduction'. But just because their début didn’t aim for the charts, doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Whilst the music isn’t as hooky or digestible as it would grow to be; it is infinitely more interesting and thought-provoking. The opener 'Almost Medieval' pounds along with its despair filled beat and subtle background melodies to make one of the tensest tunes on the album, and despite the overall tone, one song managed to find its way onto the UK charts back in the day ('Empire State Human') - almost unbelievable considering its odd chorus: "Tall, tall, tall, I wanna be tall, tall, tall, as big as a wall, wall, wall".
Really, it’s a matter of taste. People who mainly enjoy, easy-to-stomach pop hooks and generic lyrics won’t see the appeal, and would be better off sticking with 'Dare', but those with a penchant for darker and more challenging music will find themselves a ground-breaking record they might actually prefer to the pop-leaning tendencies on later 'League' albums. It’s best to approach these songs with an ear for curiosity. If you’re looking for a simple pop fix like you’d get with 'Dare', you’ll be disappointed, but if you’re looking to hear The Human League at their earliest and most artily inventive, 'Reproduction' might just delight more than you expect.


Taken from the expanded CD including the Fast singles as bonus tracks. Plus for all you audiophiles out there I've included the two well played Fast Product Records Dignity Of Labour 12” and Being Boiled 7” to MP3 @ 320kbps

Reproduction
Track List
01 Almost Medieval
02 Circus Of Death
03 The Path Of Least Resistance
04 Blind Youth
05 The Word Before Last
06 Empire State Human
07 Morale... You've Lost That Loving Feeling
08 Austerity/Girl One (Medley)
09 Zero As A Limit
Bonus Tracks
10 Introducing*
11 The Dignity Of Labour Part 1*
12 The Dignity Of Labour Part 2*
13 The Dignity Of Labour Part 3*
14 The Dignity Of Labour Part 4*
15 Flexi Disc*
16 Being Boiled (Fast)*
17 Circus Of Death (Fast) *


*Crackly singles link

4 comments:

  1. Hello Andie Here's Uath Saints Something Good https://www.sendspace.com/file/sq0dnb

    Aid00

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Aid. That was the only Utah Saints single I didn't have

      Delete
  2. I love your blog! Cheers. :)

    ReplyDelete