Label retrospectives are not without a degree of risk: it's easy for compilers to fall into the self-indulgent trap of looking after your pet projects, with the line by extension between vanity exercise and faithful cataloguing dangerously a thin one.
The guys at Wall of Sound will probably feel that they're worth it. Twenty years after their first and fondly remembered compilation 'Give 'Em Enough Dope', they're back to celebrate their 21st in business with a two disk, thirty-odd song opus, the idea to map the imprint's evolution from big beat boutique to its later, more cosmopolitan artist roster.
They've got the sense to start with two stone cold killers as well; it's been donkey's years since we heard the Propellerheads' 'Take California' or Royksopp's 'Poor Leno', but we're happy to report that both are still headphone gold. There are also selections from the respective acts at their peak, which is less than can be said, however, for some of the other choices strewn across the first disk. The problem here isn't a lack of the quality in the contributors - we've got stuff from the likes of Zoot Woman, The Bees and Les Rythmes Digitales - but they've all produced better material than that featured here, a point best illustrated via The Bees on the jazzy, underwhelming scat of 'A Minha Menina'.
Human League (Dare) - I am both, a musician called Lone Taxidermist and a make up artist, so Record store Day seemed like a good way of merging both of my passions. One of the reasons why I love vinyl is because of its true long playing physical format. I decided to listen to each album in full from start to end over and over again until the face was complete. Every time the album finished I would have a glass of wine! But I was getting too drunk especially after Human League!" - London, United Kingdom - Friday 24th April 2015
Fan power has seen the 80s hit make it back into the charts.
Following Aberdeen’s heroic win in the Scottish League cup, fans of the club have been hard at work getting The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’ to the top of the iTunes chart. And they haven’t done too badly, with the 1981 hit currently sitting in the top 5.
The Human League performing in Amsterdam
The Human League’s iconic hit reached the top spot back in 1981, and was ringing around Celtic Park after Aberdeen won the final 4–2 against Inverness CT. The jubilant fans changed the lyric ‘don’t you want me baby’ to “Peter Pawlett baby” after their injured midfielder, who missed out on playing the final but was there to help the players celebrate the famous win.
Whilst it seems the industry has little by the way of collective conscience, we at Contact Music are never short of a metaphorical finger or two to wag at it. Today's hot topic (again): reissues, flogging a dead horse, or money for old bloody rope, discuss. We feel that what was a stream of nostalgic reminders-of-a-blinder has in the last few years become a tidal wave, now apparently synchronised with the gift and card industry in a weirdly cynical act of symbiosis. Old indie band needing a quid? Father's Day. Celine Dion?...well, the list goes on. Grrr.
Continue reading: Human League, Dare Album Review
3rd September, 1977