Putting together an adequate compilation of the Human League's best moments has proved to be a thankless task. What to include? (How about all of Dare!?) Do you pay attention to the pre-coed version of the band? Do you pay any attention to anything that came after Crash? At any rate, The Very Best Of Virgin retrospective, originally released in the U.K. in 2003 with remastered sound (and a bonus disc of remixes that Americans won't miss), does a respectable job of paying mind to the group's best work through 2001's Secrets (the group's best album since Dare!). All of the expected major hits -- "Don't You Want Me," "Love Action," "(Keep Feeling) Fascination," "Human" -- are provided, as are crucial early moments ("Being Boiled," "Empire State Human") and later singles that history, for the most part, has tried to forget ("One Man in My Heart," "Heart Like a Wheel"). Once again, 1980's Travelogue goes completely ignored; while that album didn't impact the charts all that much -- even in the group's home country -- the atypically abrasive "The Black Hit of Space" or even the non-album single "Marianne" would have made a significant addition.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman