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Reach Out [I'll Be There]
This cover of the Holland/Dozier/Holland classic made famous by The Four Tops was recorded by The League for possible use in their live shows, though it was never actually performed live.
Vocals were never recorded for the song, but the instrumentation itself is interesting enough; using percussion sounds reminiscent of Almost Medieval, the mood is lighter in tone than most of the League's own compositions, though it's odd that the track fades out if it was planned for live use. Perhaps this was intended to annoy rock 'purists' who objected to the group's use of backing tapes...
Released on The Golden Hour Of The Future
Ring Mod Singing
Nothing is known about this track, which was committed to four-track tape by the League, probably in 1979.
It is possible that this song was later released with an alternate title. This may even be an abbreviated title, but this is how it is listed in notes accompanying the original master tape.
Unreleased, at least under this title
River Deep, Mountain High
A cover of the Spector/Barry/Greenwich song made famous by Ike & Tina Turner in 1966. The League's version unsurprisingly replaces Phil Spector's original wall-of-sound production with an altogether sparser electronic arrangement.
An instrumental version of the first recording has appeared on bootleg cassettes (this is likely to be a backing track used for live performances of the song), but a second version also exists, recorded at the 24-track Townhouse studio in London, and this includes vocals.
Interviewed about the B.E.F. collaboration with Tina Turner on 1982's Music Of Quality & Distinction album (Virgin 2219), Martyn remarked, "We did a version of River Deep, Mountain High with the League, but it never got released, for obvious reasons. We did have this perverse thought that we'd suddenly spring this old backing track on Tina Turner and say, 'Well, you wouldn't mind just knocking off a quick vocal on this, would you Tina?'" (They eventually chose the Temptations' Ball Of Confusion instead.)
Both versions unreleased
Rock 'N' Roll
Always a live favourite, this cover of Gary Glitter's first hit very nearly provided the League with their own first hit. It was originally issued as a medley with Night Clubbing, but the latter track was edited from the recording for single release.
The single's limited success was enough to win the original line-up of the group their first (and only) appearance on the British music television institution, Top Of The Pops. When performed live independently of Night Clubbing, the closing instrumental section would often be slightly extended, allowing Martyn and Ian to improvise a little.
Much of the success of Gary Glitter's original single could be attributed to the remix on the b-side, Rock 'N' Roll [Part 2], which had been hastily produced when those involved realised their budget would not allow the recording of a brand new song. The first time Martyn and Ian recorded this song (shortly after Adi left The Future), their arrangement was based on the Part 2 version. This demo version was much longer than the League's later single version, lasting almost eight minutes, and the only vocals used were occasional inserts of some pre-recorded "hey"s.
Gary, who in 1980 was on the verge of another comeback, apparently appreciated the League's recording and often played it before taking the stage at his live shows that year. Martyn and Ian would later record a track with Gary himself in 1982, for the B.E.F. album Music Of Quality And Distinction. Together, they re-worked the tender Elvis Presley classic Suspicious Minds in the trademark stomping Glitter style, complete with raucous backing vocals (!). Who knows what Elvis would have made of it all...?
Martyn and Ian's version unreleased
The Human League's version released on Holiday '80 (double single and single), Travelogue (CD and Canadian/Australian LP only)
Rotation Club
This track dates from the League's recording sessions for the Reproduction album.
Although listed on the box containing one of the album's master tapes, it's not clear whether this is an unreleased track or simply a song which was renamed and released on the album. Philip has suggested this may have been a version of The Year Of The Jet Packs, but is not sure.
Unreleased, at least under this title
Sandor Sandor
A song by Philip which was never finished, though a lyric sheet is known to exist.
'Sandor' is possibly a reference to a character from the 1970s animated sci-fi series, Star Blazers.
This is one of the many titles for the song which became Marianne. The song had this title on the planned setlist for the League's automated set on their UK tour with Talking Heads (see The Way It Was: Automatic Stations).
Released as Marianne on Travelogue