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I - K
I Don't Depend On You
The a-side of the only early League record to feature guitars, drums or female vocals, this song was released under the name The Men and made for an unlikely follow-up to The Dignity Of Labour. A sublime, sophisticated disco track, it dispenses with the group's usual lyrical obscurity for a frank assessment of complacency in human relationships. It also recycles the main synthesizer riff from Being Boiled!
Philip: "I can't imagine why we did The Men. We were always fascinated by disco. It was so alien to us... I remember Martyn coming in and saying we should do that sort of stuff, and he had Let's All Chant by the Michael Zager Band in his hand. So we tried to do that, but thought we'd better not call it The Human League. It was probably a really stupid move."
Writing for the New Musical Express in 1990, Stuart Maconie remarked that the song's musical style "jars quite noticeably with the period. Utterly commercial, the irritating bleep-content is all but lost under lashings of catchy Euro-Pop sheen (with prophetic female backing to boot). The HL were quite clearly ahead of their own time, never mind anyone else's."
A cover of this song was produced by Martyn and Ian in 1981 for Hot Gossip's Geisha Boys And Temple Girls album. It was released as a single the following year - see Miscellaneous Releases (part one) for details.
Original version released on I Don't Depend On You, Travelogue (CD only) and Methods Of Dance (Volume 2) compilation - see Compilations (part two).
I Held You Underwater
This was a charming early title for the song which later became The Black Hit Of Space.
Presumably, this title was used as a temporary name for the track before it had lyrics, as some of the synthesized sounds have something of a 'gargling' quality...!
Released as The Black Hit Of Space on Travelogue
An early Human League instrumental from 1978, this featured on many of the group's demo cassettes. On one cassette compilation issued to record companies, Philip took on the guise of an imaginary television presenter named Jason Taverner and introduced various tracks; Interface was described as a track the League had written for his best-selling record There'll Be A Good Time With Taverner Tonight...!
Surprisingly, the track was never officially released, but an MP3 of the demo is available on the Futuristic Sounds page of this site. There has been much confusion over the title of this track, and many know it as The Year Of The Jet Packs, which is a different instrumental.
(Note that the MP3 is the incomplete version as included on a number of bootlegs, and omits the opening sequence which borrows from Elmer Bernstein's musical West Side Story.)
Released on some editions of the 'Human League cassette' and on The Golden Hour Of The Future, and unofficially on In Darkness (mis-labelled Year Of The Jet Packs)
Also included on the 'Taverner tape'
Based on elements of an earlier demo, Overkill Disaster Crash, this is perhaps the sound of the League at their most perverse; a demented mix of bleeps, sirens, alarm bells and explosions over a sinister three-note bass riff, which still manages to be darkly comic (it's hard to take seriously the screams into the radio transmitter at the end of the track!).
Introducing is perhaps the ideal song to play to anyone wishing to dismiss The Human League as "that pop band who did Don't You Want Me"...
Released on Empire State Human and Reproduction (CD only)
King Of Kings
This track was to have opened the League's 'unique automated cabaret' shows, supporting Talking Heads on their 1979 UK tour (see The Way It Was: Automatic Stations).

This piece became known as King Of Kings because it is the League's interpretation of some music composed by Miklos Rozsa for the 1961 film of this name, directed by Nicholas Ray. The correct title for the piece is unconfirmed at the time of writing.

Released on The Golden Hour Of The Future