The Human League

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 2003 (The 2004 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Dare (1981)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Don't You Want Me (1981)

The Human League @ Wikipedia

The Human League Videos

Will The Human League be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


14 comments so far (post your own)

Yes! The Human League invented electro-pop almost single-handedly; inspired a myriad of imitators; scored two massive US No 1 hits, and have been acclaimed as influential by everyone from Madonna to Moby.

Posted by Ian on Tuesday, 03.13.07 @ 18:20pm

An interesting choice, they might be considered too "kitsch" to get in. Personally, I preferred Heaven 17...

Posted by Kit on Thursday, 05.24.07 @ 20:15pm

I'd rather swallow broken glass than see the Human League get inducted.

Posted by Philip on Monday, 08.11.08 @ 01:18am

Absolutely, they were hugely influential in the 80s, well before a lot of the electric bands like Depeche Mode who trode on their coattails.

Posted by Lance on Tuesday, 01.13.09 @ 23:11pm

They were one of the first synthpop bands. But in the US they're looked at as a generic 80's cheese band, but they were more than that. They're mainly remembered as the band who did Don't You Want Me. They were good, but I doubt they'll get in.

Posted by lame on Saturday, 05.29.10 @ 18:10pm

They were right there at the beginning of synth-pop so I wouldn't have a problem with them being inducted, but anyone who thinks they will be is delusional.

Posted by Sam on Tuesday, 07.27.10 @ 17:38pm

The album "Dare" is one of the most essential disc in the Synthpop genre. A real classic. Like Coca-Cola.

Posted by Joe-Skee on Thursday, 10.21.10 @ 14:09pm

One of my favorite bands ... I would love to see them honored in the RRHF but I realize that this is highly unlikely.

Since they only select a handful of artists each year and it now is politically correct to give away slots to horsesh!t rap artists, I see it as almost an impossibility that a band like Human League would even be nominated.

Posted by John on Thursday, 11.25.10 @ 20:54pm

It isn't politically motivated, it would be stupid to ignore the creators of what's ben pretty much the dominant form of music for the past 15 years.

Posted by GFW on Friday, 11.26.10 @ 10:28am

"I'd rather swallow broken glass than see the Human League get inducted." - Philip

I guess this means Philip doesn't like them very much. LOL

"it would be stupid to ignore the creators of what's ben pretty much the dominant form of music for the past 15 years." - GFW

I wouldn't call the Human League the creators of synthpop, Suicide (you can call their 1977 debut "synthpunk" if you want) and Sparks were doing it slightly before and Donna Summer, Bowie and Roxy Music could all arguably be considered pioneers of the style which had in turn developed from earlier influences like Kraftwerk, etc.

Not to mention the song "Popcorn" by Gershon Kingsley, and popularized in 1972 by Hot Butter... The Human League were among the first but they weren't "the first."

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Friday, 03.18.11 @ 07:51am

I was on about rap tahvo.
But The human League ar eimportant.
oh yeah! I never did a ranking for these guys!

Influence: These guys have had a lot of influence on sytnhpop. 20
Innovation: Helped bring synthpop to the mainstream. 10
Commercial Sucess: 20 million records sold world wide, not too shabbby. 10
Critical Respect: Dare! is recognized as a classic now. 15

55, worthy but not a big deal.

Posted by GFW on Sunday, 11.27.11 @ 13:32pm

"I was on about rap tahvo."

Thanks for clarifying, that makes a lot more sense.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Sunday, 11.27.11 @ 13:37pm

The Human League

01. Philip Oakey
02. Martyn Ware
03. Ian Craig Marsh
04. Philip Adrian Wright
05. Joanne Catherall
06. Susan Ann Sulley
07. Ian Burden
08. Jo Callis

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 09.5.12 @ 20:25pm

One factor that not only shoots Human League to the upper echelon of synthpop acts (which would also include Gary Numan, New Order, Ultravox and at least 2 or 3 others) but also sets them apart from their contemporaries is their eschewal of standard instruments in favor of an exclusively-synthesizer-based sound. I quite like it, especially since white guy guitar rock had exhausted its creative possibilities well before the early 1980s and there was a dire need for new sounds and musical directions. Synthpop helped in a tremendous way. The timing was perfect as science fiction and futurism were reaching an apex with Star Wars, the golden age of arcade video games/home console games, the original Battlestar Galactica, the Star Trek films, Alien, Mork and Mindy, and various other media examples from 1977-1983/84.

BTW, Dare is an absolutely hypnotic album. Love those simultaneously eerie and danceable synths. HL is so, so much more than Don't You Want Me (A fine song, but hardly their definitive single).

Posted by Zach on Friday, 10.16.15 @ 18:22pm

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