Some years ago, today’s song was featured in a commercial for Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Just a few weeks ago, the Robert Glasper Experiment released an album called ArtScience which included a cover version of the song, sung with a vocoder.
No matter who covers it, be it Rick Springfield, Craig David or even Zo! & Tigallo, the definitive version belongs to a synth-pop act that came to fame back in the 1980s. Like many acts during the 80s, they joined forces with the hot production duo Jimmy Jam Harris and Terry Lewis for a big hit. A big hit they got, all the way to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart.
“Human” by the Human League is today’s 80’s Monday Mania song.
“Human” was written by Jam & Lewis for the group’s album Crash. The group started sessions for the album by working with the production team, but creative disputes ended those sessions early. It appears that Jam & Lewis thought the group should sound one way, while the members thought the sound should be different. Thankfully for all of us, they were able to create this great song.
For the Human League, which started out as an all-male instrumental group, but turned into a synth-pop trio, it was their second #1 hit, after the influential and popular “Don’t You Want Me.” The group had trouble maintaining the success after “Human”; they had three additional singles make the pop charts, but none could ascend any higher than #31. The group is still together today and still touring; their last album was released five years ago.
What memories do you have about this song? For me, it reminds me of my junior year of college; the first half of which was pretty good for the most part. I remember buying Crash on vinyl at the college bookstore, but I thought that the full album was only so-so. There were a couple of good songs on it, but today’s song was the one great one.
I hope you enjoy today’s 80’s Mania Monday song, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.