Human – Human League | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1986

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

By taking their name from a science fiction game, perhaps the members of Human League unwittingly hit upon the underlying absurdity of the music business. After all, what could be more farfetched than an electro-pop band from Sheffield, England being produced by urban legends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, whose forte was working with Janet Jackson and the S.O.S. Band? Although League members usually wrote the group’s songs, Jam and Lewis composed Human. Since singer Phil Oakey’s style leaned toward the mechanical, the producers worked with him extensively during the session in order to get a more intimate delivery. This, coupled with the lyrical female twist on a typical male’s tale, created a captivating track that gave Jam and Lewis, in addition to Janet Jackson’s When I Think Of You, their second #1 hit as producers. Likewise, Human was the Human League’s second #1, their first having been Don’t You Want Me.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • James Harris III
  • Terry Lewis

Lyrics Written by:

  • James Harris III
  • Terry Lewis