The Human League – The Golden Hour of the Future

OK, ready, let’s do it. Celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of its release this week and also approximately the fortieth anniversary of its recording is the compilation of early recordings by The Human LeagueThe Golden Hour of the Future.

It opens with the brilliant single-that-never-was, Dance Like a Star, which sounds exactly as it should – The Human League Mk 1, as they are popularly called, the early lineup, featuring Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh alongside vocalist Phil Oakey, always seemed to be making eccentric pop which was a little rough around the edges. This is exactly that – and it might not quite be release quality, but you can still hear the sheer brilliance that’s still to come.

This compilation was curated by über-fan Richard X when he was pretty much at the height of his fame, and pulls together twenty tracks altogether, a mixture of early material by The Human League, their predecessor group The Future, and one solo track from Phil Oakey.

The second track is from The Future, entitled Looking for the Black Haired Girls, and is a fun experimental semi-instrumental track, and that is then followed by the pleasantly melodic and beatsy 4JG from The Human League. It ends, slightly unpredictably, with a child singing Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Most of the earlier tracks are from The Future though, often very experimental, slightly noisy pieces, hinting perhaps at vocalist Adi Newton‘s later industrial work with Clock DVABlack Clocks is pleasant, but definitely more odd than anything, while Cairo takes a lot of inspiration from the work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and sounds every bit as fantastic.

As The Human League showed us long ago on those first two albums, they had always been fascinated with advertising, and so Dominion Advertisement should come as little surprise. It serves as a brief interlude before Dada Dada Duchamp Vortex, a very pleasant drifting piece which along for nearly six minutes before passing over to Daz.

You might find yourself drifting with the music, as Future Religion mixes into Disco Disaster. There’s more than enough variety here to satisfy a full career compilation, but there’s also a huge amount of material. Even among that, a few tracks really stand out – Interface is brilliant, as is Phil Oakey‘s solo work The Circus of Dr. Lao, and then there’s a fun instrumental cover of Reach Out (I’ll Be There) in case things need livening up.

There are some more experimental moments with New Pink FloydOnce Upon a Time in the WestOverkill Disaster Crash, and Year of the Jet Packs, a series which are all good, but only the last one really shines. Pulse Lovers is great too, and then we’re pretty much at the end already, with the short King of Kings, and then, after a lot of odd groaning and screaming, the extremely long Last Man on Earth.

Of course, the thing with Last Man on Earth is that it does, to some extent, help explain what on earth Phil Oakey was going on about on Circus of DeathThe Human League‘s first b-side, released just a year or so after most of these demos would have been recorded. This is definitely history in the making.

What’s surprising is just how good this is as an album. I’ve always loved The Human League Mk 1, but their sound on their albums is always a little raw and uncontrolled, and I suppose I expected their early demos to be even more manic. But they’re not particularly, and I’m very glad this compilation appeared to help add more context to those early years.

The CD has fallen out of print again, but you can still find The Golden Hour of the Future through your favourite digital retailers.


Music for the Masses 38 – 30 April 2005

The Live Bit, launched only the preceding week as a new feature, quickly turned out to be way too much trouble and was downsized to just one track, but the Electromix would continue for the rest of the show’s run, this week starring Leeds’s own Utah Saints as the centrepiece.

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Show 38: Sat 30 Apr 2005, from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Apollo 440.

  • Moloko – The Time is Now
  • System F – Insolation
  • Faithless feat. Boy George – Why Go?
  • Röyksopp – Remind Me (Someone Else’s Remix)
  • Apollo 440 – Astral America
  • Mylo – In My Arms (Sharam Jey Remix)
  • The Clarke & Ware Experiment – Communication (from Music for Multiple Dimensions)
  • New Order feat. Ana Matronic – Jetstream (Richard X Remix)
  • LCD Soundsystem – Disco Infiltrator
  • Heaven 17 – Being Boiled (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Amorphous Androgynous – The Mello Hippo Disco Show
  • Apollo 440 – Pain in Any Language
  • Moby – I Like It
  • M83 – Teen Angst (Montag Mix)
  • Lemon Jelly – Make Things Right
  • The Flirts – Passion
  • Apollo 440 – Heart Go Boom
  • Ladytron – Blue Jeans [Electromix]
  • Utah Saints – Love Song [Electromix]
  • Piney Gir – Girl [Electromix]
  • Jam & Spoon feat. Rea – Be Angeled

The Electromix feature from this show still exists, and will be included on a future Playlist for stowaways.

Music for the Masses 15 – 29 March 2000

Bay Radio, like any student radio station, suffered a little from bad student taste, and the student union was often pretty much empty at 10.55 in the morning, for reasons which are very obvious indeed. So if anything particularly dreadful turned up on the playlist, I would often try to hide it at 10.55am, before the show started properly.

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Show 15: Wed 29 Mar 2000, from 10.55am-1.05pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 14 tracks). A indicates A-list (7 tracks); B indicates B-list (4 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week. R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 8 tracks). L indicates the ones from the “library” (Total 5 tracks).

  • 1. Clinic “The Return of Evil Bill” A
  • [IRN 11.00 News]
  • 2. David Arnold & Nina Persson “Randall & Hopkirk Theme” A
  • 3. Dubstar “Stars” R
  • 4. Death in Vegas “Dirge” A
  • 5. Timo Maas “Der Schieber” A
  • 6. Enigma “Push the Limits” R
  • 7. Travis “Turn” A
  • [Coming Events Feature]
  • 8. Echoboy “Kit & Holly” A
  • 9. Beck “Mixed Bizness” S
  • 10. Planet Perfecto feat. Grace “Not Over Yet 99” R
  • [Advert Break]
  • 11. Shamen “Indica” R
  • 12. Fragma “Toca’s Miracle” B
  • 13. Merz “Lotus” B
  • [IRN 12.00 News]
  • 14. Everything But the Girl “Hatfield 1980” R
  • 15. Moby “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” L
  • 16. Richard Ashcroft “Song for the Lovers” A
  • 17. Asian Dub Foundation “Real Great Britain” C
  • 18. Pala “Cat-Like Creatures” B
  • 19. Bloodhound Gang “The Bad Touch” L
  • 20. O.M.D. “Walking on the Milky Way” R
  • [Top 10 Single & Album Charts]
  • 21. York “The Awakening” L
  • 22. The Clarke & Ware Experiment “Music for Multiple Dimensions” (Technology) R
  • 23. Big Yoga Muffin “Is that How You?” C
  • [Advert Break]
  • 24. Ouch “Seen the Light” A
  • 25. Rage Against the Machine “Sleep Now in the Fire” A
  • 26. Komputer “The World of Tomorrow” R
  • [IRN 1.00 News]
  • 27. Depeche Mode “Only When I Lose Myself” R

Producer: None.

Notes: Well that was fun, wasn’t it, kiddies. No, I didn’t think so, either. Well, it went about averagely, with me stopping a record half way through (never done that before) and also playing the track I’d just played (never done that either actually). So I think I’ve done about all the big mistakes possible now. Well, except for missing the news, which everyone else seems to be managing with considerable enthusiasm. Mind you, I did manage to overlap it with a jingle…


Chart for stowaways – 17 January 2015

The ghost of Christmas 2014 finally fades, as Erasure swap Make it Wonderful for Gaudete at the top of the singles chart, and Röyksopp make their millionth climb back towards the top with Running to the Sea. Meanwhile, on the albums:

  1. Röyksopp – The Inevitable End
  2. Erasure – The Violet Flame
  3. Erasure – Snow Globe
  4. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
  5. The Clarke & Ware Experiment – House of Illustrious
  6. David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed
  7. The Eccentronic Research Council – 1612 Underture
  8. Depeche Mode – Violator
  9. U2 – Songs of Innocence
  10. Everything But The Girl – Adapt or Die – Ten Years of Remixes

Music for the Masses 7 – 8 February 2000

By early February, Kraftwerk had made it onto the A-list on Bay Radio, so I was able to play them without needing an excuse!


Tracks played on the seventh show, Tue 8 Feb 2000, from 3pm-5pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 14 tracks). A indicates A-list (7 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (3 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week. R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 8 tracks). L is dem dere tracks out of the drawer (Total 8 tracks).

  • 1. Ten Benson “Robot Tourist” C
  • 2. Bluetones “Keep the Home Fires Burning” A
  • 3. Electronic “Freefall” R
  • 4. Sneaker Pimps “Six Underground” L
  • 5. Moby “Natural Blues” A
  • [Rag Week Advert]
  • 6. Everything But the Girl “Temperamental” (DJ Spen & Karizma Remix Edit) L
  • 7. Azzido da Bass “Dooms Night” B
  • 8. Beloved “The Sun Rising” R
  • 9. Younger Younger 28s “Inbetween Days” A
  • 10. Energy 52 “Café del Mar 98” L
  • 11. Space Brothers “Shine 2000” L
  • 12. Kraftwerk “Expo 2000” A
  • 13. Tom Jones & Stereophonics “Mama Told Me Not to Come” A
  • 14. William Orbit “Barber’s Adagio for Strings” L
  • 15. Erasure “First Contact” R
  • [News Break]
  • 16. Chicane “Saltwater” L
  • 17. Shamen “MK2A” R
  • 18. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynki “Poodle Rockin'” S
  • 19. Fiona Apple “Fast As You Can” A
  • 20. Jean Michel Jarre “Hey Gagarin” R
  • 21. The Clarke & Ware Experiment “Communication” R
  • 22. Komputer “Looking Down on London” R
  • 23. Sgt. Rock “Yeah Word Party” B
  • 24. Rhinocerose “La Guitaristic House Organisation” C
  • 25. Smashing Pumpkins “Stand inside Your Love” C
  • 26. Brassy “Work it Out” A
  • 27. Utah Saints “Love Song” L
  • 28. Progress presents the Boy Wunda “Everybody” L
  • 29. Bellatrix “The Girl with the Sparkling Eyes” B
  • 30. Faithless “Salva Mea” (Floating Mix) R

Producer: None.

Notes: Hmm… well apart from (a) complete and utter chaos for the first half hour; (b) an appalling Rag Week jingle that I was supposed to play every 15 minutes but decided to read out instead, and (c) lots of other things, that went about as smoothly as a fairly smooth thing.


Music for the Masses 6 – 31 January 2000

The end of January 2000 saw this blog’s predecessor, the radio show Music for the Masses, return for another run of shows on Bay Radio, Aberystwyth’s student radio station.


Tracks played on the sixth show, Mon 31 Jan 2000, from 11am-1pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 13 tracks). A indicates A-list (7 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week. R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 13 tracks). L is the ones out of the drawer (Total 5 tracks).

  • 1. Terris “The Time is Now” B
  • 2. The All Seeing I “1st Man in Space” R
  • 3. Oasis “Go Let it Out” A
  • 4. Kraftwerk “Expo 2000” (Kling Klang Mix 2002) R
  • 5. Space Brothers “Shine 2000” L
  • 6. Jay-Z “Anything” A
  • 7. Enigma “Gravity of Love” R
  • 8. Hepburn “Deep Deep Down” B
  • 9. The Clarke & Ware Experiment “Travel” (from Music for Multiple Dimensions) R
  • 10. Eiffel 65 “Move Your Body” L
  • 11. Death in Vegas “Aisha” A
  • 12. Raissa “How Long Do I Get?” S
  • 13. Everything But the Girl “Temperamental” R
  • 14. Rhinocerose “La Guitaristic House Organisation” C
  • 15. Tom Jones & Stereophonics “Mama Told Me Not to Come” A
  • 16. Monaco “What Do You Want From Me?” R
  • 17. Fungus “A Fanclub Would Be Nice” B
  • 18. Sarah Cracknell “Anymore” R
  • 19. Dario G. “Voices” L
  • 20. Yello “To The Sea” R
  • 21. Eels “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues” A
  • 22. Pet Shop Boys “Lies” R
  • 23. Apollo 440 “Heart Go Boom” L
  • 24. Kelis “Caught Out There” A
  • 25. Missy “Misdemeanour” Elliot “Hot Boyz” A
  • 26. Yazoo “Don’t Go” (Todd Terry Freeze Mix) R
  • 27. Kawala “Humanistic” L
  • 28. Manic Street Preachers “You Stole the Sun from My Heart” L
  • 29. Wannadies “Yeah” A
  • 30. Tony di Bart “The Real Thing” R
  • 31. Robert Miles “Freedom” R

Producer: None.

Notes: Mmm, nice. Err… not a lot else to say really. Lots of noisy listeners too, which is scary. But there we go. Oh, and hilarious drying up to even more hilarious consequences at one point. Well, I thought it was funny…


Chart for stowaways – 29 March 2014

After a bit of a break while the album chart went a bit bonkers, it’s time for its return. It’s not a lot less bonkers:

  1. Moby – Innocents
  2. B.E.F. – Music of Quality & Distinction, Vol. 3: Dark
  3. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Organisation
  4. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Architecture and Morality
  5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  6. Chicane – The Best of 1996-2008
  7. De La Soul – AOI: Bionix
  8. Deep Forest – Deep Forest
  9. Enigma – The Screen Behind the Mirror
  10. The Clarke and Ware Experiment – Pretentious