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The Human League: Dare!

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - rated #78 in Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums Of The Eighties" survey. (November 1989)

Rolling Stone (2/6/03, p.65) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Tuneful and oh-so-charmingly dated pop..."

Q (6/00, p.64) - Ranked #69 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "This glorious daft creation is as Northern as FA Cup Giant killing....they conquer the world with a slightly wonky brand of techno that was more Norman Wisdom than Giorgio Moroder..."

Uncut (11/02, p.140) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A timeless pure pop fusion of deadpan heartache and noirish electronica..."

CMJ (1/5/04, p.10) - Ranked #2 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1982".

Q (Magazine) (p.111) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] record that nonchalantly pulls off the rare trick of capturing its moment while never seeing to age."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Urbane, futuristic, and just a bit silly, it still sounds fantastic."

NME (Magazine) (9/25/93, p.19) - Ranked #18 in NME's list of The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s.

Album Notes

1 LP and 1 EP on 1 CD: DARE! (1982)/LOVE AND DANCING EP.

It isn't overstating the case to call the Human League's third album synthpop's SGT. PEPPER; not only did DARE! establish synthesizers as a viable musical tool on the US charts, it redefined what people thought of electronic pop. No longer did synth bands have to sound like Kraftwerk or Throbbing Gristle.

There are no guitars on DARE! but it's emphatically a pop record. Phil Oakey's gruff vocals blend surprisingly well with the untrained, girlish voices of new backing vocalists Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall, and the electronic melodies are expertly rendered by producer Martin Rushent into three-dimensional pop extravaganzas. Musically witty and unfailingly exciting, tracks like "Love Action," "Open your Heart," "Sound of the Crowd" and of course "Don't You Want Me" are as catchy as pop got in 1981, and darker tracks like "Seconds" and "Do Or Die" add depth. DARE! is a brilliant album even today.


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