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unreleased

THE FUTURE TAPES

LP, Virgin OVED 4

spoken introduction
  Dance Like A Star (instrumental)
Blank Clocks (excerpt)
  Treatment (instrumental)
Looking For The Black Haired Girls
  The Year Of The Jet Packs
Almost Medieval
  Disco Disaster (instrumental)
Cairo (excerpt)
  Dance Like A Star (incidental music)
Pulse Lovers (excerpt)
  [title unknown #1]
Dreams Of Leaving
  [title unknown #2]
Overkill Disaster Crash (first version)
  C'est Grave
Interface
  Dada Dada Duchamp Vortex
Morale... (third instrumental version)
  The Last Man On Earth (excerpt)
Once the second incarnation of The Human League began having major chart success in 1981, Virgin Records were predictably keen to capitalise on interest in the group and eager to make plenty of Human League 'product' available.
As luck would have it, Martyn and Ian were interested in releasing a compilation of their work as The Future, prior to Philip joining them to form The Human League. Virgin realised they could easily sell such a compilation to the new legions of Human League fans, simply by mentioning the League's name on the album's sleeve.
A compilation was quickly assembled, using extracts and full-length tracks from Martyn and Ian's archives, and a spoken introduction was recorded by their friend Nicholas Dawson, explaining the origin of the material to the listener (read the transcription here).
However, when the planned release came to Philip's attention, he suspected that Virgin (and perhaps also Martyn and Ian) were simply exploiting the popularity of the new-look League, and recognised that no-one in the League's current line-up would profit from the album, because none of the group appeared on any of the tracks.
So Philip intervened and prevented Virgin from issuing the album, even though its forthcoming release had already been announced on the sleeve of Heaven 17's 1981 debut album, Penthouse And Pavement. For twenty years, the majority of the tracks planned for inclusion on this album remained unreleased, but in 2002, Philip gave his consent for the release of the Dance Like A Star EP and The Golden Hour Of The Future, which between them included more than half of these songs in one form or another.

The titles of two of the pieces on this album are unknown and they are not thought to have ever surfaced on bootlegs. Regarding the remaining titles listed above - some may not be the titles which would have been used on the released album, as many pieces from this period were known by more than one name. No sleeve artwork is known to be available, so it's possible that, for instance, the curious second version of Dance Like A Star above would have been listed with an alternate title (it does after all sound as though Martyn and Ian were trying to present this as a track in its own right).

According to the album's spoken introduction, the tracks are split into thirteen 'bands', the first of which seems to include the first six tracks after the introduction, i.e. those recorded by the Marsh/Ware/Newton line-up of The Future. Band thirteen appears to include both Dada Dada Duchamp Vortex and the excerpt of The Last Man On Earth, as C'est Grave is described as band twelve.
Some of the tracks which had originally been recorded in mono were given a fake 'stereo' treatment, and even the tracks in 'band one', which were recorded in stereo, have been slightly altered in places, with the addition of effects. For reasons best known to Ian and Martyn, Blank Clocks and Looking For The Black Haired Girls are welded together as one track. The early version of Dreams Of Leaving is actually a good deal longer than the one-minute extract issued on The Future's early demo tape, and here lasts three and a half minutes.
Also, Treatment would have been listed on the album's sleeve as Depression Is A Fashion, which is how it was re-titled after Martyn added vocals to the track - the album would not have included these vocals..
Please note that there are a number of bootleg CDs and cassettes based on that early demo tape, and these are often titled The Future Tapes too. These are completely different to the album described here, and feature rather fewer tracks (usually eight or ten), though they do include full-length versions of tracks presented here as excerpts, plus a few tracks which were not included on the planned album.
These bootlegs usually offer some or all of the following tracks: Blank Clocks, Looking For The Black Haired Girls, Almost Medieval, Cairo, Pulse Lovers (sometimes listed as Pulse Colours), Future Religion, Daz, Dancevision, Dreams Of Leaving (excerpt) and Philip's first solo effort, The Circus Of Dr Lao (often listed as Circus Of Dr Boo), which has nothing to do with The Future, other than the fact that Philip borrowed Martyn's synthesizer to create the track!
Writing credits for Blank Clocks to Dreams Of Leaving and unknown titles are uncertain, though all other tracks are likely to be Marsh/Ware compositions, except C'est Grave (traditional, arr. Marsh/Ware/Pearce?)
Produced by Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, except Blank Clocks, Looking For The Black Haired Girls, Almost Medieval, Cairo, Pulse Lovers and Dreams Of Leaving (co-produced with Adi Newton) and C'est Grave (co-produced with Timothy Pearce)
Release cancelled
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In Darkness (bootleg)
In Darkness (bootleg)
Dance Like A Star