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With this new line-up, the group decided to change their name. After briefly considering ABCD, they chose The Human League, a name taken from a science-fiction board game called Star Force.
Martyn: "There were all these scenarios in the back for various wars in the future, and one of these, for a stage 'round about 2180, where there were two main empires - The Pansantient Hegemony and The Human League. The Human League centred around Earth and the scenario was called The Rise Of The Human League. So we stole it."
They then spent time writing and recording material for a demo tape in a disused factory on Devonshire Lane (pictured right) in the centre of Sheffield. The demo tape featured Being Boiled, Circus Of Death and Toyota City, all recorded in mono on their new two-track tape recorder and all later commercially released (on the Being Boiled and Only After Dark singles).
The group's demos came to the attention of Bob Last through Paul Bowers of Sheffield band 2:3.
Devonshire Lane, Sheffield
Bob ran a small independent record label, Fast Product (then home of the influential Gang Of Four and Mekons, as well as 2:3), in Edinburgh, Scotland and was impressed by the tape. He immediately offered them a recording contract.
The deal was completed over the telephone, and the group did not actually meet Bob until five months after the group's debut single, Being Boiled, was released by Fast Product. Reproduced below is part of a press release - the group's "world-view" - issued as a computer print-out by Fast Product at the time:
"SCENARIO: In the summer of 1977 The Human League was formed due to the members finding no conventional channels for their immense talents.
"BACKGROUND: None of The Human League have any orthodox musical training, but prefer to regard compositions as an extension of logic, inspiration and luck. Therefore, unlike conventional musicians, their influences are not so obvious.
"CONCLUSION/MANIFESTO: Interested in combining the best of all worlds, The League would like to positively affect the future by close attention to the present, allying technology with humanity and humour. They have been described as 'Later Twentieth Century Boys' and 'Intelligent, Innovatory and Immodest'.
The same computer print-out included a brief history of the group, which mentioned The Future and Adi Newton's departure from that project; apparently, he was "deleted due to malfunction". The press release was part of a publicity pack, which also included a cassette of demo recordings, an Electronically Yours sticker and catchphrases such as "beware of sugar-coated bullets"...
Introducing Philip   Interface