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2023 Albums Thing 161 - Human League “Travelogue”

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Back when we were talking about Heaven 17 I mentioned Romeo & Juliet’s in Birmingham. It was a big, plush “normals” disco/nightclub in the City Centre. But downstairs in a little side room that probably held about 150 people max, a little scene developed based around the Bowie & Roxy nights that were springing up at the time in the early 80’s. The DJ would play Bowie & Roxy, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Eno, post Punk stuff like Magazine and Bauhaus, Kraftwerk and other Krautrock stuff. Neu! And La Düsseldorf, plus the developing synth-pop records by Yellow Magic Orchestra and of course the Human League.

Tracks from “Travelogue” made up a big chunk of the playlist and would cause a rush to the dancefloor where you’d find couples (boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy, we weren’t fussy) doing “that” dance (ask me to show you one day it’s too hard to describe) to “The Black Hit Of Space”, “Only After Dark” (a cover of a Mick Ronson song from his first solo album "Slaughter On 10th Avenue"), “Crow And A Baby” and “Being Boiled”.

The Human League of “Travelogue” (and its predecessor “Reproduction” (which featured another R&J’s dancefloor killer “Empire State Human”) were a very different animal to the poppy confection that had all those hits and produced “Dare” later in the 80’s. This is much darker, moodier stuff than that which came later. As much as I like that Human League MkII, “Travelogue” will always be the sound of the Human League to me.

Crow And A Baby - https://youtu.be/wJUvU6j51ME

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