The Human League

Soundtrack to a Generation

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Its somewhat presumptuous title notwithstanding, Soundtrack to a Generation is a very handy guide to those parts of the Human League that other compilations rarely touch -- only 1986's "Human" and the Giorgio Moroder collaboration "Together (In Electric Dreams)" can exactly be called hit singles and, as that latter was all but a Phil Oakey solo shot, it scarcely counts. Elsewhere, the stately post-glitter stomp of "Empire State Human" and the foreboding "Do or Die" leap out as the sole other "familiar" numbers, as the remaining tracks dip instead into the band's album catalog and give the lie to anyone who complains that the "greatest hits" are all the Human League you really need and that Dare was their last great album. From Hysteria, "Don't You Know I Want You" has at least as much passion as the band's similarly named greatest hit, while the same album's "Betrayed," Crash's "Are You Ever Coming Back?," and "Get It Right This Time" (from Romantic?) keep the pulse racing for a full decade after the band's initial putative high. Indeed, by the time you reach "Soundtrack to a Generation" itself, again from the band's 1990 effort, the Human League appear to have provided exactly that -- before going on to do even more with the albums issued during the 1990s and beyond. Those sets, sadly, are beyond the remit of this collection, but the point has been made regardless.

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