The Human League
1984: Virgin CDV2315
Because of the way the bands name is split across this albums gatefold cover (see below), my brother and I would often refer to them as Hulea Mangue (pronounced HOO-lee-uh MAN-goo); I still do, actually.
Hysteria is a pretty weak record full of stuff that just wasnt quite there. Whats confusing about it (and it was confusing back then, I remember) is that Hysteria actually came out a year after the Fascination EP, which was not only considerably better but also had a much stronger soundin fact it included I Love You Too Much, which appears here, but this version is absolutely gutless and vague while the Fascination version kicks ass and has power to spare.
So what happened? Was this just the remnants of the drawn-out recording processes as they lost two producers and the wind died in their sails? It sounds like stuff that was tossed out in favor of Fascinations tracks. The Lebanon is the only track here that sounds like the group actually finished working on it and got a satisfactory mix, while at the other end of the scale is the almost-unlistenable Louise and the nearly-as-excruciating Life on Your Own. In between are a bunch of near-misses (well, a little further away than near) such as Dont You Know I Want You and Im Coming Back, and The Sign probably could have been beefed up in the mix to become something more like what they came out with on the overlooked Romantic? of 1989.
But Louise. Oh my god, Louise. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???
Comments © 2006 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.