Don’t You Want Me – The Human League

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………………on July 3rd of 1982 The Human League started a three week run at the top of the US singles charts with “Don’t You Want Me”, also a UK #1.”Don’t You Want Me” was the first US single released by The Human League; it was issued in January 1982, entered the Top 40 in April, and thanks to the MTV exposure, hit #1 on July 3, 1982, where it stayed for three weeks. The song’s rise mirrored that of MTV, gradually gaining attention and making a huge cultural impact by the summer of 1982. In the UK, this was a monster hit, and the first #1 for Richard Branson’s Virgin label. The song was released in the UK in November 1981 and hit #1 on December 12, where it stayed for five weeks; the group had three previous UK hits that year: “The Sound Of The Crowd” (#12), “Love Action (I Believe In Love)” (#3), and “Open Your Heart” (#6). The Human League was formed in 1978 by Philip Oakey, Adrian Wright, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh. Wright – a non-musician – was in charge of the visuals, and created elaborate slide shows that were projected on stage during their songs. In 1980, Ware and Marsh left to form Heaven 17, leaving Oakey and Wright in charge of the group. The female backup singer/dancers Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall were added that year, and various musicians were hired to work on the Dare album. Wright learned to play some synthesizer and contributed to the songwriting, but Oakey fronted the group. “Don’t You Want Me” was was written by Oakey and Wright along with keyboard player Jo Callis, and was unusual in that one of the female backing singers took a lead role, as the song was structured as a duet. It was Sulley who got the call, and to many American listeners who only knew the group for this song, she appeared to be much more than a hired backup singer. At the time, Philip Oakey was dating the other singer, Joanne Catherall.