GET YOUR NEW WAVE ON IT'S THE HUMAN LEAGUE - DARE POLL 1981

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This album is about three times more classic than I remember it. This was probably the third LP I ever bought with my own money, after being an avid buyer of 45's for some years. I just remember that when "Don't You Want Me" came out I thought "okay these folks are only using synths, that is the wave of the future, I want to buy the whole LP". No American band anywhere near the Top 40 was doing that.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
9. Love Action (I Believe in Love) (4:58) 11
10. Don't You Want Me (3:56) 10
1. The Things That Dreams Are Made of (4:14) 9
8. Seconds (4:58) 8
5. Do or Die (5:23) 5
3. The Sound of the Crowd (3:56) 2
2. Open Your Heart (3:53) 2
4. Darkness (3:56) 1
7. I Am the Law (4:14) 0
6. Get Carter (1:02) 0


Someone is more goth than someone else (Bimble), Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:08 (ten years ago) link

The story behind this album and how the label were just about to write off the League as a failure, given that Marsh and Ware had left Oakey to the contract on his own is far more fascinating than even the going to the bar to find the two female singers story. Basically, Oakey being super-crazy and persistent, and Martin Rushent being a producer god allowed Dare to be what it is.

System Jr. (Mackro Mackro), Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:21 (ten years ago) link

oh yeah, I voted "Seconds"

System Jr. (Mackro Mackro), Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:21 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, Seconds is a force to be reckoned with. I don't think I really understood when I first bought this record, what treasure I had.

Someone is more goth than someone else (Bimble), Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:43 (ten years ago) link

If you can stand the thought of seeing Phillip Oakey's hair in a braid on the side of his head, please proceed:

Someone is more goth than someone else (Bimble), Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:48 (ten years ago) link

I bought this album at the supermarket. Not even in a record shop, oh no. AT THE SUPERMARKET.

Someone is more goth than someone else (Bimble), Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:52 (ten years ago) link

Still voting for "Do Or Die", as I also did the last time this one was being polled here.

Geir Hongro, Sunday, 22 February 2009 04:59 (ten years ago) link

"Seconds" easy I think. "Sound of the Crowd" a decent Ultravox rip tho.

J0hn D., Sunday, 22 February 2009 05:03 (ten years ago) link

No, I really think you guys might be right after all. It may just be Seconds that is the best thing here. Yikes. Get out of the WAY for that one.

Someone is more goth than someone else (Bimble), Sunday, 22 February 2009 05:39 (ten years ago) link

Norman Wisdom, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, Good Times

Someone is more goth than someone else (Bimble), Sunday, 22 February 2009 05:49 (ten years ago) link

Been on a big "Things That Dreams Are Made Of" trip lately.

www.morrissey-cock.com (King Boy Pato), Sunday, 22 February 2009 11:20 (ten years ago) link

'love action (i believe in love)'

"olympics rings" (special guest stars mark bronson), Sunday, 22 February 2009 11:53 (ten years ago) link

> I bought this album at the supermarket.

my copy came with the Daily Mail.

koogs, Sunday, 22 February 2009 12:30 (ten years ago) link

it's always been 'things that dreams are made of' for me. Those sawing noises in the middle eight that power up into the reedy mock-tudor squall of the chorus! that alien elegance-inelegance, the huge distance between his voice and the synths, the storybook hopefulness of the lyrics. A bunch of remixes of it were released in 2007 and none of them could satisfy, i think because they all somehow smoothed out the edges of the weirdness, made it either screechy or too dreamy.

though the lightness of touch in 'don't you want me' never fails to astonish: i think it wasn't until i heard the 12" dance mix that i even noticed how bright the chorus is.

god i love this album so much.

c sharp major, Sunday, 22 February 2009 12:35 (ten years ago) link

Things That Dreams Are Made Of for me too..

I always hated Seconds, it was the B-side of Don't You Want Me and i hated it long before I heard the album.

That version of Do or Die from OTT is grebt. It's not the album version, but they're definitely not playing it all live.. so it must be some backing track version...

Jack Battery-Pack, Sunday, 22 February 2009 18:36 (ten years ago) link

These Are The Things, These Are The Things The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

zeus, Sunday, 22 February 2009 18:38 (ten years ago) link

I can't choose between "Seconds" (that moment after the first gunshot: when Oakey sings "Your mouth was white as your fingers curled" his detachment is chilling) and "Do or Die," which I put on a mix I compiled for my sister last month and sounded GRATE, especially the synth breakdown in the middle.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 22 February 2009 18:46 (ten years ago) link

If Seconds (my vote) wins this, I'll be delighted. But really: it's almost a perfect album, isn't it? Much weirder, way more unsettling and far less obviously of its time than -- I think -- received wisdom has it. I've read countless articles about how it came about, and I'll not deny the genius-level input of Martin Rushent -- but I think the key thing is that the departure of Ian C-M and Martin, and the arrival of Ian B and Jo, got rid of a lot of the self-consciousness and simply gave rise to an eight-legged tune-making machine. I still prefer the MkI League, but Dare is the sound of a slightly unlikely collection of songwriters absolutely nailing the moment; music-box melodies with no musicianship.

given that Marsh and Ware had left Oakey to the contract on his own

Adrian Wright's lack of recognition saddens me enormously!

Special topics: Disco, The Common Market (grimly fiendish), Sunday, 22 February 2009 18:59 (ten years ago) link

One more for Seconds

kornrulez6969, Sunday, 22 February 2009 22:09 (ten years ago) link

Surely it's "Your knuckles white as your fingers curled"?

fit and working again, Monday, 23 February 2009 00:21 (ten years ago) link

voting for the elephant under the sofa. record takes me back, cuz it reminds me of being excited about electronic music. which is weird.

welcome little swetty (contenderizer), Monday, 23 February 2009 02:57 (ten years ago) link

"Love Action," people!!!

ilxor, Monday, 23 February 2009 03:00 (ten years ago) link

Well, sure, but maybe people are avoiding that one the better to rave about the lesser known equally good ones. The two that really got me back then were 'Sound of the Crowd' and 'The Things That Dreams Are Made Of'. I liked their tough, strident rhythms and highly musical use of sound effects. Phil's voice has always had a slightly cold, brutal quality that went with the music. But fundamentally, yeah, great rhythms and sounds. 'Seconds' - soppy, slightly unchallenging chords, cliched lyrics and perspective (not as weak as Dolores O'Riordan Cranberry's effort on the same subject, good song compared to a lot of synth pop at the same time though, and a big warm production. Hmm yeah, but Do Or Die, a modernist classic of early techno. Melodically so obvious as to be oddly not obvious, especially when carved in the blaknk grey slate sounds of that big System 700 or whatever it was. In 1981 I found that track a bit of a challenge, but nowadays it's just a kickass piece of modernist synthpop. I'm with you Geir! Except I am a little surprised you like it, being as how it's not exactly brimming with melodic invention, relying more on subtle textural, arrangement and rhythmic shifts to hold interest. I mean, basically, it's a groove, once Phil's alarming/alarmed and thrusting vocal section ends. Hilarious lyric - 'Alsatians fall unconscious at the shadow of your call'. How does he come up with this stuff?

moley, Monday, 23 February 2009 05:20 (ten years ago) link

<3 Darkness

Ein Herz für Briten (Trackpants Tree), Monday, 23 February 2009 07:13 (ten years ago) link

this album doesn't have their electrohiphop remix of fascination, therefore i must abstain

messiahwannabe, Monday, 23 February 2009 07:45 (ten years ago) link

though the lightness of touch in 'don't you want me' never fails to astonish: i think it wasn't until i heard the 12" dance mix that i even noticed how bright the chorus is.

Do you mean the version on Love and Dancing? That was a revelation for me: because it's mostly instrumental, the sophistication of the music is more apparent. The chord voicing is particularly nicely done, and adds greatly to the song's sense of drama. I'd like to know whether that was the work of Rushent or Jo Callis.
My vote goes to Things that Dreams Are Made of. Love, love, love the riff, and Wright's fab lyrics.

Former Golden Boy, Monday, 23 February 2009 18:38 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 6 March 2009 00:01 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 7 March 2009 00:01 (ten years ago) link

Sound of the crowd got way stiffed, but happy with the results

bacon = bad for the face + magic for the moobs (Mackro Mackro), Saturday, 7 March 2009 01:59 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, Love Action was my fave when I first bought it, so I'm happy with the results, too.

Still More Goth Than Your Cat's Asshole (Bimble), Saturday, 7 March 2009 02:21 (ten years ago) link

Check the song called DARKNESS

Goth As A Moth (Bimble), Saturday, 7 March 2009 09:55 (ten years ago) link

It's just gratuitous goth-ness, I know. Not anywhere near the best track on this album, but still unavoidably goth.

Goth As A Moth (Bimble), Saturday, 7 March 2009 09:55 (ten years ago) link

But man, that loooove action...[Barry White voice]

Goth As A Moth (Bimble), Saturday, 7 March 2009 10:14 (ten years ago) link

not enough love here for Open Your Heart!

dan selzer, Saturday, 7 March 2009 14:52 (ten years ago) link

poor sound of the crowd!

stirmonster, Saturday, 7 March 2009 14:55 (ten years ago) link

"i am the law" wuz robbed

and "sound of the crowd" too!

the pelvis of a mammoth (get bent), Saturday, 7 March 2009 15:58 (ten years ago) link

To read this thread, you'd think "Seconds" was the clear winner. I guess everyone who voted for it posted about it. Oh well.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 7 March 2009 16:09 (ten years ago) link

"love action" is great but SO not the best song on dare.

the pelvis of a mammoth (get bent), Saturday, 7 March 2009 16:15 (ten years ago) link

I played Seconds last night and I still stand behind that one.

Goth As A Moth (Bimble), Saturday, 7 March 2009 17:12 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

If I'd voted in this poll, 'Seconds' would have been my immediate pick. I just love those sustained synth chords.

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Monday, 17 September 2012 20:52 (seven years ago) link

"Sound of the Crowd" and "Open Your Heart" scored crazy low in this poll!

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Monday, 17 September 2012 21:05 (seven years ago) link

The synth jam on "Do or Die" is fabulous. I wonder to what degree Rushent arranged it.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 September 2012 21:10 (seven years ago) link

"Sound of the Crowd" is the key banger on this one but man "I Am the Law" is such a bizarre track, think it sorta got underrated in here

fadanuf4erybody, Monday, 17 September 2012 21:20 (seven years ago) link

"Sound of the Crowd" and "Open Your Heart" scored crazy low in this poll!

― justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Monday, September 17, 2012 9:05 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

'Open Your Heart' is my second place pick after 'Seconds'. Gorgeous song!

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Monday, 17 September 2012 22:18 (seven years ago) link

seven months pass...

Marcello gives Dare and the genesis of New Pop its due: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/the-human-league-dare.html

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 22 April 2013 00:13 (six years ago) link

five months pass...

http://www.flipflopflyin.com/g/musicflowchart.png

mookieproof, Wednesday, 9 October 2013 16:30 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

Dare, one of my favorite albums, deserves the praise it still gets. Heaven 17 too. My list of their best.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 01:47 (two years ago) link

not enough love for "darkness" itt

a but (brimstead), Monday, 13 March 2017 02:04 (two years ago) link

'Darkness' rules. I love the way that Dare sounds, every synthesiser sound and part is so well thought out and the overall sound/mix is so crystal clear. It's an absolute pleasure to listen to.

'Play To Win' undoubtedly my least favourite song Heaven 17 put out on their first three LP's.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:36 (two years ago) link

The absence of 'Five Minutes To Midnight' and 'And That's No Lie' completely inexcusable.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:37 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

This fucking album.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 30 November 2019 15:35 (one week ago) link

Ha i know and like the top three in poll, never have listened to the album. I just checked “seconds” and while i would immed know who it is, I don’t know it.

spose this is where I look at my lifetime musical heuristics and vote myself off the island. maybe i can listen and swim back.

and i approve this message (Hunt3r), Saturday, 30 November 2019 17:01 (one week ago) link

I only came to love this album truly madly deeply this year

L'assie (Euler), Saturday, 30 November 2019 17:40 (one week ago) link

The second half is just astonishing

I Am The Law stops me in my tracks

L'assie (Euler), Saturday, 30 November 2019 17:40 (one week ago) link

Sound of the Crowd" is the key banger on this one

Was at an old-school new-wave club and this came on around 2 a.m. and it was the best thing.

... (Eazy), Saturday, 30 November 2019 20:28 (one week ago) link

Marcello gives Dare and the genesis of New Pop its due: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/the-human-league-dare.html

Bloggers just don't write novellas loosely associated with albums they like anymore do they. Interesting elegy for Lester Bangs but that's as far as I made it.

Aside from Don't You Want Me the only song I know here is The Things That Dreams Are Made Of, which I've had in heavy rotation for a while, seeking out all the different versions and remixes because it was featured in one (electroclash?) DJ mix I found recently, which highlighted its unique appeal very effectively. I think it may have actually been the album version but the way it fits into the mix is exceptional.

viborg, Saturday, 30 November 2019 22:46 (one week ago) link

the intro to “darkness” always gives me chills

brimstead, Sunday, 1 December 2019 00:46 (one week ago) link

viborg, what mix was that?

lukas, Sunday, 1 December 2019 02:50 (one week ago) link


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