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The two groups now found themselves in the slightly strange position of having to share the studio they jointly owned, taking turns to use the equipment to record demos for their next albums. During this time, much bitching took place in the music press, mainly from the B.E.F. corner...
Slides from the Dare tour
Martyn: "We've got the talent. They haven't."
"It must be revealed that the backing tapes for their last tour were made up by me and Ian. It won't happen again. We got hold of the master tapes and erased them."
(Philip and Adrian had in fact already made their own copies of those tapes, as well as recording four new backing tracks for the tour. Philip: "We read in the paper, 'Oh, ha ha, we've taken the tapes off 'em.' And the really sad thing is that we were using them ourselves to record other things over the tracks, because we needed the tape.")
Glenn Gregory on Philip: "He likes Ian, loves him like a son, but thinks he's a bit odd. He thinks that Martyn is a self-opinionated twat."
Martyn, in response: "I think he's a berk anyway. Yeah, he does like Ian - he thinks he's been led astray by my evil influence."
Philip, one year after the split: "When you've devoted two and a half years, and you've got a dream in your head of selling a lot of records, being Number One with the three people you've worked with, it's like a little love affair, and you really believe in it. No matter what you say, no matter that you succeed with something else, you're still a little bit heartbroken that that didn't work out, when you've cared about it for so long.
"They've moved to London, they don't live in Sheffield anymore. No, they're a lot more interested in going to nightclubs than making records. I get annoyed at picking up a paper and I read 'haven't The Human League done well when the inventive side have left?', which is an absolute load of rubbish. They are doing a hell of a lot, they've put out three albums and a Hot Gossip album, and singles, and we've done one album. Because we're absolutely determined that everything we do is gonna be a hundred per cent what we want. If we want to do something inventive, we'll do it, we'll take a year over it and it'll be right. But we can do it.
"For one album, we said we're gonna do pop singles, we're gonna get popular, we're gonna communicate with a lot of people, make a lot of people think we're really worth listening to, and we're not gonna mess around. We're not gonna release any rubbish whatsoever, nothing with the Human League name on it is going to be duff. And then we read in the paper 'These [Marsh and Ware] are inventive'. Of course they're inventive - if they do a bit of tape for five minutes, they'll put it on a record and it'll be out next week.
"But it's all for the better. They are going to be very, very good and we're going to be very, very good. It'd got very stale, everyone was a bit sick of everyone - I've known Martyn for a long time and periodically we do have very big arguments. Twice in the past, I didn't talk to him for a whole year, which is a bit silly. But they're nice lads - Ian still comes in the studio when we're in, and I see Martyn quite a lot. It's better that way."
So the bickering eventually subsided and Bob Last continued to manage the new incarnation of The Human League, even though he was now a director and shareholder in the B.E.F. (many people, including the group themselves, suspected him of having engineered the split anyway!).
The new-look Human League went on to huge worldwide success with the single Don't You Want Me and the third Human League album, Dare!, which sold five million copies and is hailed by many as one of the definitive pop albums of the 1980s. The group (now essentially just Philip, Susanne and Joanne, plus collaborators) have also scored hits with most subsequent albums and singles, and members have collaborated with the likes of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, Giorgio Moroder, The All-Seeing I and even comedian Vic Reeves.
Dare album sleeve
Adrian eventually left the League after the making of 1986's Crash album, during which he found that producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had no need for his keyboard contributions, having drafted in session musicians. Adrian returned to film-making and has worked as a director in the fields of both film and music video.
Chart success came slightly later for Heaven 17; after disappointing sales of their debut album, Penthouse And Pavement (side two of which Martyn has described as "like a continuation of Travelogue"), they scored three Top 20 singles in 1983 (including the Number Two hit, Temptation) from their best-selling album, The Luxury Gap.
The Luxury Gap album sleeve
The B.E.F. have also had success, both as a recording act (with many famous guest vocalists) and also as producers (after a low-key debut with dance troupe Hot Gossip's Geisha Boys & Temple Girls album, which included new versions of early League songs). Martyn has produced many artists, such as Erasure, Tina Turner, Marc Almond and Terence Trent D'Arby, as well as two singles for his favourite soccer team, Sheffield Wednesday. Ian has also worked on other projects, programming Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy and Scritti Politti's version of The Beatles' She's A Woman.
Both The Human League and Heaven 17 continue to record occasionally, and attract large audiences whenever they tour. The League's impact continues to be felt today, with such diverse established artists as Richard X, Smashing Pumpkins, Ladytron, and Five covering or re-working their songs, and a new generation of artists such as Les Rythmes Digitales AKA Jacques Lu Cont ("They're my all time favourite band") and Ex-Rental (who have covered The Black Hit Of Space and remixed Empire State Human) citing them among their influences. Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor once commented on "the excitement of hearing a Human League track, and thinking, 'that's all machines, there's no drummer'. That was my calling."
Ultimately, the original Human League line-up achieved their ambition after splitting - mainstream success came when the re-issued Being Boiled single entered the UK Top 10 in 1982... a song both The League and Heaven 17 now play at their live shows.
Relations between Philip and Martyn are now relatively cordial, if perhaps a little strained when they meet. Ian: "It's a bit like the envoy of Iraq meeting the President of the United States. It's all very diplomatic and, on the face of it, pleasant, but obviously that whole area hasn't been unwrapped for either of them and it's a pretty sore point, particularly for Martyn, because he basically feels that he was thrown out of his own band. He got Phil in, and then Phil got rid of him."
Nevertheless, in the light of recent releases such as The Golden Hour Of The Future and remastered editions of Reproduction and Travelogue, Martyn seems optimistic about the future.
"Me and Phil get on fine now. I was thinking about asking him to do some writing together. Seriously. Because I was so impressed with hearing the early albums again, and I just had this idea that we could do what we used to do - me and Ian write some backing tracks and just give it to Phil. I think it would be exciting, wouldn't it?"
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No Future, They Say